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Adventures in the Spirit by
Publication Date: 2008-08-25
Many theologians have been reconceiving the God-world relation, challenging the separation that underlay too much of Patristic and Scholastic theology. These panentheists affirm a radical indwelling of God within the world and the world within God. During the same period scientists have begun to abandon the reductionist ideology that characterized much of the modern period. Reductionism is being replaced by a new emphasis on emergence: the study of how new structures and entities arise throughout the evolutionary process and how each requires its own form of explanation. Surprisingly few theologians have recognized the paradigm shift represented by the convergence of these two important schools of thought. Clayton's pioneering work develops new models of God and the God-world relation in light of panentheism and emergent complexity and models an open-minded Christian theology that still respects tradition.
Divine Action and Modern Science by
Publication Date: 2002-10-31
Divine Action and Modern Science considers the relationship between the natural sciences and the concept of God acting in the world. Nicholas Saunders examines the Biblical motivations for asserting a continuing notion of divine action and identifies several different theological approaches to the problem. He considers their theoretical relationships with the laws of nature, indeterminism, and probabilistic causation. His book then embarks on a radical critique of current attempts to reconcile special divine action with quantum theory, chaos theory and quantum chaos. As well as considering the implications of these problems for common interpretations of divine action, Saunders also surveys and codifies the many different theological, philosophical and scientific responses to divine action. The conclusion reached is that we are still far from a satisfactory account of how God might act in a manner that is consonant with modern science despite the copious recent scholarship in this area.
Evolutionary and Molecular Biology by
Publication Date: 2006-01-18
This collection of twenty-two research papers explores the creative interaction between evolutionary and molecular biology, philosophy, and theology. It is the result of the third of five international research conferences co-sponsored by the Vatican Observatory, Rome and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley. The over arching goal of these conferences is to support the engagement of constructive theology with the natural sciences and to investigate the philosophical and theological elements in ongoing theoretical research in the natural sciences. Contents: An extensive introduction (Robert John Russell), two recent statements on evolution and Christian faith by Pope John Paul II, and an interpretive essay by the Director of the Observatory, George V. Coyne, S. J., Section One: Scientific Background?evolutionary and molecular biology (Francisco J Ayala and Camilo J. Cela-Conde) and the possibility of the evolution of extraterrestrial life (Julian Chela-Flores); Section Two: Evolution and Divine Action-philosophical analyses of teleology in light of biology from the perspectives of a scientist (Francisco J. Ayala) and a theologian (Wesley J. Wildman), assessments of the evidence for teleology by scientists (Paul Davies and William R. Stroeger, S. J.), and theological arguments on divine action and evolution focusing on special providence (Robert John Russell) and on process theism (Charles Birch); Section Three: Religious Interpretations of Biological Themes?critique of evolution-based arguments for atheism and of science-based religion (George F. R. Ellis), Darwin's relation to natural theology and a feminist perspective on metaphors in evolution (Anne M. Clifford), evolution from a naturalist perspective and the challenge to religion (Willem B. Drees), bicultural evolution and the created co-creator (Philip Hefner), continuity and emergence, propensities, pain, and death in light of evolution, and constructive Christology from and Anglican perspective (Arthur Peacocke), original sin and saving grace in light of evolution from a trinitarian perspective (Denis Edwards), divine kenosis and the power of the future from an evolutionary and process perspective (John F. Haught), and a comparison of models of God in light of evolution (Ian G. Barbour); Section Four: Biology, Ethics, and the Problem of Evil-an evolutionary model of biological and moral altruism (Camilo J. Cela-Conde and Gisele Marty), supervenience as a response to the reduction of Morality to biology (Nancey Murphy), ethical and theological issues raised by gem-line genetic therapy (Ted Peters), and the problems of divine action and theodicy in light of human sinfulness and suffering in nature (Thomas F. Tracy). This series of conferences builds on the initial 1987 Vatican Observatory conference and its resulting publication, Physics, Philosophy and Theology: A Common Quest for Understanding (1988), and on the previous Jointly-sponsored conferences and their publications, Quantum Cosmology and the Laws of Nature (1993) and Chaos and Complexity (1995). Future conferences will focus on scientific topics including the neuroscience's, quantum physics, and quantum field theory.
The God of Nature by
Publication Date: 2007-07-20
Although Christians have professed the God of Israel, they have often assumed a naturalistic theism that harks back to the Greeks. Doing so, says Christopher Knight, has masked the explanatory potential of a basic Christian affirmation: the incarnation. Knight here forges a third way of thinking about divine engagement with the world, beyond deism and theism. He sees God's intimate involvement with creation and history as implied in the reality of the incarnation and essentially confirming divine purpose in a kind of sacramental character to all events as they unfold in the world. On this basis, he brings fresh insight to the questions of providence, miracles, personal prayer, the virgin birth, and the ascension of Jesus. Knight's work promises not to displace science, nor to plead for special exceptions on special occasions, but to see God as always active in the very warp and woof of the universe and its laws.
In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being by
Publication Date: 2004-02-01
Foreword by Mary Ann Meyers Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the doctrine of panentheism -- the belief that the world is contained within the Divine, although God is also more than the world. Here for the first time leading scientists and theologians meet to debate the merits of this compelling new understanding of the God-world relation. Atheist and theist, Eastern and Western, conservative and liberal, modern and postmodern, physicist and biologist, Orthodox and Protestant -- the authors explore the tensions between traditional views of God and contemporary science and ask whether panentheism provides a more credible account of divine action for our age. Their responses, which vary from deeply appreciative to sharply critical, are preceded by an overview of the history and key tenets of panentheism and followed by a concluding evaluation and synthesis. Contributors: Joseph A. Bracken Michael W. Brierley Philip Clayton Paul Davies Celia E. Deane-Drummond Denis Edwards Niels Henrik Gregersen David Ray Griffin Robert L. Herrmann Christopher C. Knight Andrew Louth Harold J. Morowitz Alexei V. Nesteruk Ruth Page Arthur Peacocke Russell Stannard Keith Ward Kallistos Ware
Neuroscience and the Person by
Publication Date: 2004-11-16
This collection of twenty-one essays explores the creative interaction among the cognitive neurosciences, philosophy, and theology. It is the result of the fourth of five international research conferences co-sponsored by the Vatican Observatory, Rome, and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley. The overarching goal of these conferences is to support the engagement of constructive theology with the natural sciences and to investigate the philosophical and theological elements in ongoing theoretical research in the natural sciences.This series of conferences builds on the initial Vatican Observatory conference and its resulting publication, Physics, Philosophy, and Theology: A Common Quest for Understanding (1988), and on previous jointly-sponsored conferences and their publications: Quantum Cosmology and the Laws of Nature (1993), Chaos and Complexity (1995); and Molecular and Evolutionary Biology (1998). A future conference will focus on quantum physics and quantum field theory.In Section One, essays on biblical accounts of human nature (Joel B. Green) and on the role of philosophical theories of human nature in recent theology (Fergus Kerr) are paired with ?snapshots? of neuroscientific research (Joseph E. LeDoux, Peter Hagoort, Marc Jeannerod, and Leslie A. Brothers) to set the poles between which the volume?s dialogue proceeds. In Section Two, essays of two types bridge the fields of cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind: the first begin with findings in science that raise philosophical issues (Michael A. Arbib, LeDoux, Jeannerod); the second type address current philosophical accounts of human nature, focusing especially on reductionism (William R. Stoeger, Nancey Murphy, Theo C. Meyering). Essays in Section Three proceed from neuroscientific or philosophical accounts of human nature to theological interpretations: three essays provide comprehensive accounts of human nature consistent with both theology and science (Philip Clayton, Arthur Peacocke, Ian G. Barbour); others relate findings and general trends in neuroscience to phenomenological and Thomistic accounts of human experience (Stephen Happel), to Christian teaching on life after death (Ted Peters), and to religious experience (Fraser Watts, Wesley J. Wildman, and Leslie Brothers). Section Four offers conflicting answers to the question whether or not a theistic account is needed to make sense of the various dimensions of human nature canvassed in this volume.
The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science by
Publication Date: 2008-07-15
The field of 'religion and science' is exploding in popularity among academics as well as the general reading public. Spawning an increasing number of conferences and courses, this field has shown an unprecedented rate of growth in recent years. Here for the first time is a single-volumeintroduction to the debate, written by the leading experts. Making no pretence to encyclopaedic neutrality, each chapter defends a major intellectual position - at the heart of the book is a series of 'pro' and 'con' papers, covering each of the current 'hot topics' (such as evolution versuscreation, naturalism versus the supernatural). In addition to treatments of questions of methodology and implications for life and practice, the Handbook includes sections devoted to the major scientific disciplines, the major world religions, and the main sub-disciplines in this exciting andever-expanding field of study.
Philosophy, Science and Divine Action by
Publication Date: 2009-08-31
One of the most important and controversial themes in the contemporary dialogue among scientists and Christian theologians is the issue of divine action" in the world. This volume brings together contributions from leading scholars on this topic, which emerged out of the Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action project, co-sponsored by the Vatican Observatory and the Center for Theology and Natural Science. This multi-year collaboration involved over 50 authors meeting at five international conferences. The essays collected here demonstrate the pervasive role of philosophy in this dialogue."
Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action by
Publication Date: 2009-01-15
Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action: Twenty Years of Challenge and Progress is a collection of thirteen essays assessing the scholarly contributions to the Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action series, which is comprised of five volumes resulting from international research conferences co-sponsored by the Vatican Observatory and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences between 1991 and 2000. The overarching goal of the series is to advance the engagement of constructive theology with the natural sciences with special attention to the theme of divine action and to investigate the philosophical and theological elements within science. This volume is divided into three sections: In Section One, contributors review the history of the series and the development of new research methodology and discuss philosophical issues raised by the laws of nature and the limits of science; in Section Two, authors provide philosophical analysis of specific issues in the series; and in Section Three, contributors offer theological analyses of specific issues. The five volumes in the series include: Quantum Cosmology and the Laws of Nature (vol. 1, 1993); Chaos and Complexity (vol. 2, 1995); Molecular and Evolutionary Biology (vol. 3, 1998); Neuroscience and the Person (vol. 4, 1999); and Quantum Mechanics (vol. 5, 2001), and are distributed by University of Notre Dame Press.
Where Is God in the Megilloth? by
Publication Date: 2018-06-01
In Where is God in the Megilloth? Brittany N. Melton constructs a dialogue among Ruth, Esther, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs centred on this question, in an effort to settle the debate about whether God is present or absent in these books. Their juxtaposition in the Hebrew Bible highlights their shared theme of apparent divine absence, but, paradoxically, traces of God's presence are unearthed as well. By examining various aspects of this theme, including the literary absence of God, divine abandonment, God-talk, allusive language, God's providence, and divine silence, it becomes clear that the ambiguity of divine presence and absence in the Megilloth presents a significant challenge to current conceptualizations of divine presence and absence in the Hebrew Bible.