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God: The Oldest Question - William J. O’Malley, S.J. By: Lauren Cook, Morgan May, Eileen Torpy, & Julie Van Dyn Hoven. Biography of William O’Malley. Born August 18, 1931 American Jesuit Priest O rdained June 19, 1963 Author: of 37 books Actor: Played Fr. Dyer in Exorcist

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God the oldest question william j o malley s j

God: The Oldest Question -William J. O’Malley, S.J.

By: Lauren Cook, Morgan May,

Eileen Torpy, & Julie Van Dyn Hoven


Biography of william o malley
Biography of William O’Malley

  • Born August 18, 1931

  • American Jesuit Priest

    • Ordained June 19, 1963

  • Author: of 37 books

  • Actor: Played Fr. Dyer in Exorcist

  • Professor: at Fordham University

    • Catholic School in New York


Chapter summaries
Chapter Summaries

1. To the Seeker.

  • O’Malley argues humans are unique in their constant search for something more.

  • People achieve their full humanity through their search and those who have not struggled with the larger questions are incomplete.


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

2. The Path To God Through Atheism—By examining the theories regarding a lack of God’s existence, people can grow in their understanding of belief and unbelief. The four major cases for Atheism are:

  • “Problem of Pain” How can a good, knowing, all-competent God allow the anguish innocents.

  • “Occam’s razor” Beings are not to be postulated unless they are inescapable; to be truthful, we don’t need a God.

  • “Meaningless of the term God” which denotes an objectively invalidated entity like unicorn or Santa

  • “Negative consequences of belief” If we can cure ourselves of the illusion of God, we can take back our human dignity and autonomy from the hands of a tyrannical Bogeyman and an arrogant clergy


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

3. A Suspicion of Transcendence—“If there is Bach, there must be God” Two sides of the brain need to work together to lead to “MysteriumTremendum” “Vulnerability is an absolute prerequisite”44.


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

4. Nubaleand Neutrinos, Quasars and Quarks—Scientific pursuit is not foreign to the pursuit of God. “Seekers for God can learn from the practitioners of science, especially in their expectations—and their demands for evidence.”


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

5. Crossing the Abyss

  • “Give one argument against this statement: God does not exist.” Many people don’t challenge their faith until some large event forces them to. The abyss is the commonality of struggles that all religions face, no matter the backgrounds or viewpoints.


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

6. & 7. The Eastern and Western Faces

  • These sections look at different prominent philosophies and religions as a way to continue exploration of God and how each person identifies his/her faith.

  • Judaism, Christianity, Islam

  • Buddhism, Hinduism, Taosim, Confucianism


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

8. If Only God Would Show Us How

  • Through Jesus’s words, actions, and teachings we can make peace with the idea that ‘God is God and we are not’


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

9. The Everyday God

  • Rather than just finding out about God, we should try to find God. Trying to define God (though important) is not as crucial as making a connection with God.


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

God reveals himself in our every day lives.

  • Can you be fully human without seeking?


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

People don’t question their faith until something calls it into question.

  • Give one argument that proves that God exists.


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

Faith as a calculated risk or faith as a blind leap. into question.

  • What calculations or leaps have you had to make?

  • What allows to believe or not believe in God?


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

Religion encompasses God. into question.

  • How would you describe religion?

  • How would you describe God?


God the oldest question william j o malley s j

God is a father. into question.

  • Why do we feel the need to make God tangible?

God the Father by Cima da Conegliano, c. 1515


God in the media
God in the Media into question.

  • Jesus Christ Super Star

  • Godspell

  • The Last Temptation of Christ

  • Jesus of Nazareth