Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
20 (2), June 1985

Table of Contents


June 1985 Editorial by Ian G. Barbour and Robert John Russell

This issue of Zygon consists of a series of papers whose focus is the thought of David Bohm. As many Zygon readers well know, Bohm is a theoretical physicist whose pioneering research in the early 1950s produced a new interpretation of quantum mechanics in terms of nonlocal hidden variables. Recently his analysis of the deeper conceptual problems of modern physics has led him to reject mechanism in favor of a wholistic conception of nature. Moreover, Bohm’s vision extends beyond physics into art, thought, language, philosophy, and religion. With compelling insight, Bohm urges us to overcome the fragmentation of self and world and regain a sense of unifying order which is implicit in all human experience.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00585.x

David Bohm’s Implicate Order: Physics, Philosophy, and Theology

Hidden Variables and the Implicate Order by David Bohm

This paper explains how my ideas of hidden variables tie up to those in the implicate order, and how all these notions are related to my views on religion. Beginning with my work on the quantum theory, it traces how I was led to question the usual interpretation, and goes on to show how both the notion of hidden variables and that of the implicate order were implicit in my thought more than thirty years ago. The further development through quantum field theory brings all the various threads together. Finally, the general world view that comes out of this development is seen to be compatible with a religious approach to life.
David Bohm is emeritus professor of theoretical physics, Birkbeck College, University of London, London WCIE 7HX, England.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00586.x

Fragmentation and Wholeness in Religion and in Science by David Bohm

This paper starts with a discussion of the nature of religion and of science, viewing them both as embodying a search for wholeness, although each does so in its own way. Attention is called to the fact that science and religion have both become fragmented and that this fragmentation has a deeper origin in the structure of the ego itself. The source of fragmentation in the ego is discussed. Finally, a possible way for the religious attitude and the scientific attitude to work together is proposed, which involves a common approach to ordering the fragmentary divisive structure and activity of the ego.
David Bohm is emeritus professor of theoretical physics, Birkbeck College, University of London, London WCIE 7HX, England.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00587.x

The Physics of David Bohm and its Relevance to Philosophy and Theology by Robert John Russell

The purpose of this paper is to analyze David Bohm’s work in terms of physics, philosophy, and theology. First, I discuss the development of Bohm’s thought since 1951. Then, using the methodology of Imre Lakatos, I evaluate the scientific status of his research program. Next, I explore the philosophical dimensions of Bohm’s views in which realist and idealist, monist and dualist, contingent and determinist outlooks occur in creative tension. Finally, I suggest ways in which Bohm’s ideas are relevant to theology through concepts of God and cosmos, beauty and purpose, grace and free will, church, self and evil.
Robert John Russell is assistant professor of theology and science in residence at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and Executive Director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, also at the Graduate Theological Union, 2465 Le Conte Avenue, Berkeley, California 94709.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00588.x

Gentle Quantum Events as the Source of Explicate Order by Geoffrey F. Chew

It is proposed that multiple emission and absorption of soft photons in a discrete quantum world (implicate order) generates the continuous Cartesian-Newtonian-Einsteinian space-time world of localizable objects and conscious observers with measuring rods and clocks (explicate order).
Geoffrey F. Chew is professor of physics at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720. This work was supported by the Director, Office of Energy Research, Office of High Energy and Nuclear Physics, Division of High Energy Physics of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC03-76SF00098. The author is grateful to Ralph Pred for a critical reading of this manuscript.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00589.x

Bohm and Whitehead on Wholeness, Freedom, Causality, and Time by David Ray Griffin

David Bohm’s developing postmodern thought (combining precision and wholeness) is seen to contain two tendencies. One is a vision of “underlying wholeness,” in which all causation is vertical, and the implicate-explicate relation is ubiquitous. This provides a possible solution to certain problems, but creates many others involving freedom, causation, and time. Second, many of Bohm’s statements suggest that his deepest intuitions could be formulated without those problems in terms of the distinctions developed in Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy of “prehensive wholeness,” in which the ubiquity of creativity would require a more restricted use of the implicate-explicate relation.
David Ray Griffin is executive director of the Center for Process Studies. 1325 North College Avenue, Claremont, California 91711 and professor of philosophy of religion at the School of Theology at Claremont.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00590.x

David Bohm, Postmodernism, and the Divine by Ted Peters

This is an exposition and critique of physicist David Bohm’s theory of wholeness and the implicate order in light of the wider emerging postmodern consciousness. Postmodernity is defined primarily as advocacy for wholistic thinking over against the alleged fragmentation characteristic of the modern mind since René Descartes and Isaac Newton. When Bohm attempts to unite all things in the explicate order with his implicate “multidimensional ground,” theological questions are raised and, in this article, addressed. The thesis is advanced that there is no whole which presently exists, meaning that the future is presently open, and that the unity of the cosmos awaits the eschatological act of God.
Ted Peters is associate professor of systematic theology at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union, 2770 Marin Avenue, Berkeley, California 94708.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00591.x


Response to Conference Papers on “David Bohm’s Implicate Order: Physics, Philosophy, and Theology” by David Bohm

This was the first conference ever to consider my work as a whole. The fact that it took place in a seminary community and drew on a major university at the same time made it a unique experience in my professional life. A large number of people came to hear my public lecture, and the degree of interest shown there impressed me very much. I was especially struck by the wide variety of world views of those who contributed papers and of the twelve respondents. Nevertheless, there was a common thread running through the conference, which was a serious concern with wholeness and with helping heal the present fragmentation of the human being and of society in general. …
David Bohm is emeritus professor of theoretical physics, Birkbeck College, University of London, London WCIE 7HX, England.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00592.x


God and the New Physics by Paul Davies, reviewed by Richard S. Bernardo

Richard S. Bernardo; Media Consultant on Science, Ethics, and Society; Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00593.x

Cosmology and Theology edited by David Tracy and Nicholas Lash, reviewed by Thomas B. Ommen

Thomas B. Ommen; Associate Professor of Religious Studies; Villanova University
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00593.x

Discovering Reality edited by Sandra Harding and Merrill B. Hintikka, reviewed by Richard Gelwick

Richard Gelwick; Professor of Religion and Philosophy; Stephens College
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00593.x

Experimenting with Truth by Rustum Roy, reviewed by Robert W. Bertram

Robert W. Bertram; Seminex Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology; Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00593.x

The Creation of Consciousness by Edward F. Edinger, reviewed by James A. Hall

James A. Hall; Isthmus Institute; Dallas
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00593.x

The Naked Public Square by Richard Neuhaus, reviewed by Roger Paden

Roger Paden; Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy; University of Florida
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00593.x

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