The relation of religion and science is presented in terms of the interrelationship of domains generated within a reflexive real world concept by status assignment. The domain of religion is articulated by the concepts of ultimacy, totality, and eternity, which are boundary conditions on all status assignments. The domain of science is a status assignment, that of determining the facts and constraints of the real world, and is articulated by the concepts of empiricism, objectivity, and order. The interrelationship of domains is illustrated by examining the concepts of order, disorder, entropy, evil, freedom, creation, and resurrection.
Emerson W. Shideler is professor of philosophy emeritus at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, and now lives at 750 13th Street, Boulder, Colorado 80302. The author is indebted to Peter G. Ossorio (1978), associate professor of clinical psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, for the insights which set the general direction of this paper, and especially for the emphasis upon the centrality of the person concept as the logical key to a coherent conceptualization of the real world.
Religious Cognition as Interpreted Experience: An Examination of Ian Barbours Comparison of the Epistemic Structures of Science and Religion by William A. Rottschaefer
Using as a model contemporary analyses of scientific cognition, Ian Barbour has claimed that religious cognition is neither immediate nor inferential but has the structure of interpreted experience. Although I contend that Barbour has failed to establish his claim, I believe his views about the similarities between scientific and religious cognition are well founded. Thus on that basis I offer an alternative proposal that theistic religious cognition is essentially inferential and that religious experience is in fact the use of inferentially acquired religious beliefs to interpret ordinary nonreligious experiences.
William A. Rottschaefer is associate professor of philosophy, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon 97219.
The Thermodynamic and Phylogenetic Foundations of Human Wickedness by P. R. Masani
The problem of evil is brought under the ambit of science by explicating the theological concept sinful in thermodynamic and phylogenetic terms, and the proposition Homo sapiens is a sinful species is established. By a like explication, the theological concept of the Fall of man is shown to be an amalgam of two concepts, Fall I and Fall II, of thermodynamic and anthropogenetic origins, respectively. Fall I affects all life; Fall II (original sin) affects Homo sapiens and its immediate forebears alone.
P. R. Masani is University Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260. The author is grateful to Dr. Karl E. Peters and the four referees who provided sharp criticism and useful suggestions found in the present version of this manuscript. He also benefited from a long conversation with Professor Chandler Davis and a shorter one with Dr. Ashley Montagu and thanks both of them very much.
Imaging the Future: New Visions and New Responsibilities by Kenneth Cauthen
History may be pregnant with a new paradigm centering around the organic features of systems in four areas: the global-ecological, the national-social, the organizational-institutional, and the individual-psychological. Key terms are holistic, synergy, harmony, interdependence, and synthesis. A transition is occurring in each of these realms that has great potential for human fulfillment, if the shift can be successfully managed. Movements in theology can be similarly illuminated by this analysis at three points: the global conversation between liberation and establishment theologies, the renewed discussion among Christian theologians regarding other world religions, and the current influence of process theology.
Kenneth Cauthen is the John Price Crozer Griffith Professor of Theology at Colgate-Rochester/Bexley Hall/Crozer, 1100 South Goodman Street, Rochester, New York 14620.
The Contemplation of Otherness by Richard E. Wentz
I like to sit on the porch. In the Valley of the Sun the houses have patios, but a patio is a poor substitute for a porch. So when I found this little house among the junipers and scrub oak in Payson, Arizona, I was happy to see that it had a porch. Now I sit on the porch whenever I have the opportunity.
I sit—not doing anything and not being bored—just sit. One of the disciplinary practices of Zen Buddhism is zazen—just sitting—and the grace of God is knowing how to sit. Sitting was difficult to do when I was a child. I sat with my mother and dad on the front porch and found myself saying, There is nothing to do! Now I realize that that is a very wise saying: there really is nothing to do, and that is good. Lets just sit and learn to do nothing. …
Richard E. Wentz is professor of religious studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287.
The Human Mind and the Mind of God by James B. Ashbrook, reviewed by Philip Hefner