Many scientists now recognize the participation of the knower in the known. Not many admit, however, that scientists rely upon intuitions about reality commonly attributed to philosophy and religion: that sensory experience relates us to an order in nature congruent with our minds and of value congruent with our fulfilled being. Nature has disclosed itself to scientists—albeit fragmentarily—as power, life, order, and unity or meaning. In science these remain limit questions, raised but unanswered. In the unity of these qualities, assumed by science, the sacred begins to appear. Addressing the limit questions, not only of scientific but of human experience, is the province of philosophy and religion.
intuition • philosophy of science • the sacred • science and religion • truth
Langdon Gilkey is professor of theology at the University of Chicago.
Truth, Relativism, and Crossword Puzzles by Nancey Murphy
Neither the correspondence nor the coherence theory of truth does justice to the truth claims made in science and theology. I propose a new definition that relates truth to solving puzzles. I claim that this definition is more adequate than either of the traditional theories and that it offers two additional benefits: first, it provides grounds for a theory regarding the relations between theology and science that may stand up better to philosophical scrutiny than does critical realism; and second, it blocks the move to relativism based on recognition of the plurality of perspectives and the historical and social conditioning of knowledge.
critical realism • relativism • science and theology • truth
Nancey Murphy is assistant professor of Christian philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California 91182.
Disciplining Relativism and Truth by Philip Clayton
Imre Lakatoss philosophy of science can provide helpful leads for theological methodology, but only when mediated by the disciplines that lie between the natural sciences and theology. The questions of relativism and truth are used as indices for comparing disciplines, and Lakatoss theory of natural science is taken as the starting point. Major modifications of Lakatoss work are demanded as one moves from the natural sciences, through economics, the interpretive social sciences, literary theory, and into theology. Although theology may consist of Lakatosian research programs, it also includes programs of interpretation and programs for living. This conclusion must influence our definition of theological truth and our assessment of theological relativism.
Lakatos • philosophy of science • relativism • theology • truth
Philip Clayton is assistant professor of philosophy, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267.
The Human Brain and Human Destiny: A Pattern for Old Brain Empathy With the Emergence of Mind by James B. Ashbrook
The human brain combines empathy and imagination via the old brain which sets our destiny in the evolutionary scheme of things. This new understanding of cognition is an emergent phenomenon—basically an expressive ordering of reality as part of a single natural system. The holographic and subsymbolic paradigms suggest that we live in a contextual universe, one which we create and yet one in which we are required to adapt. The inadequacy of the new brain—especially the left hemispheres rational view of destiny—is replaced by a view of a new relatedness in reality in which human destiny comes from and depends upon the mutual interchange between the new brain (cultural knowledge) and the old brain (genetic wisdom) for the survival of what is significant to the whole systemic context in which we live.
brain-mind • cognition • culture • destiny • emergent evolution • genetic wisdom
James B. Ashbrook is professor of religion and personality at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60201 and an advisory member of the graduate faculty, Northwestern University. The author expresses appreciation to Ralph Wendell Burhoe for extended discussion of the issues, to Karl Peters for editorial suggestions, and to Barbara Stinchcombe, who assisted with style.
Hebrew Wisdom and Psychotheological Dialogue by Jerry Gladson and Ron Lucas
When understood as a potential resolution for the epistemological impasse between psychology and religion, Hebrew wisdom presents a model for dialogue. Noting that wisdom exhibits a special interest in human dispositions and behavior, the authors compare Viktor Frankls logotherapy and Adlerian psychology with Proverbs and uncover a biblical, empirical approach to psychology which indirectly incorporates the religious dimension.
Adlerian psychology • Viktor Frankl • Hebrew wisdom • logotherapy • psychology and religion • science and religion
Jerry Gladson is academic dean and professor of biblical and integrative studies at the Psychological Studies Institute, Atlanta, Georgia. Ron Lucas is a mental health clinician at the Loudoun County Mental Health Center, Leesburg, Virginia.
The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design by Richard Dawkins, reviewed by Roger Smook