The founder of this journal, Ralph Wendell Burhoe, often has spoken of the audacity of the enterprise to which we are committed. Some earlier epochs of human history have thought it quite natural to integrate their best knowledge with the insights of the religious traditions, but ours is not one of those epochs. For the past dozen generations, it has taken audacity to suggest such integration, and that audacity has often been rewarded with misunderstanding, disbelief, and even ridicule. This journals raison dêtre has driven it on the one hand to attempt to dissipate the misunderstanding and, on the other, to chart the methodologies and concepts by which a credible integration or yoking (hence the name zygon) can be undertaken.
Despite the by now historical tendency to demarcate scientific epistemology sharply from virtually all others, especially theological epistemology, it has recently been recognized that both enterprises share a great deal in common, at least as far as the epistemology of discovery is implicated. Such a claim is founded upon a psychological analysis of figuration, where, it is argued, metaphor plays a crucial role in the mediation of discovery, in the domains of science and religion alike. Thus, although the conventionally conceived scientific method is crucial to the enterprise, primacy must nonetheless be accorded to discovery, which drives virtually all disciplines.
cognition • discovery • epistemology • figuration • metaphor • scientific method
Morris L. Shames is associate professor of psychology at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H4B 1R6.
Time, Thermodynamics, and Theology by George L. Murphy
A theological approach to understanding time and change in a modern way must consider the relationships between thermal physics and time as elucidated during the past century and a half. The fact of temporal change, including death and decay, has been a religious problem since antiquity, so that some traditions have simply attempted to transcend the world of change. However, a major current of the Christian tradition has seen change as a fundamental aspect of Gods creation, and one with which God becomes identified in the Incarnation. This implies approval of history, as having an ultimate value, rather than transcendence of it.
We examine thermodynamics, and especially its Second Law, in order to understand more precisely the issues of temporal change. The Second Law states a universal tendency toward increasing disorder, and several implications of this law are discussed. Of particular significance, however, is the work of Prigogine and others on nonequilibrium thermodynamics, drawing attention to such phenomena as the enhancement of chemical reaction rates and the formation of dissipative structures in nonequilibrium situations. Such possibilities may be of considerable importance for understanding chemical and biological evolution.
These ideas can be included in an evolutionary picture in which, following Teilhard de Chardin, the Body of Christ is seen as the future of evolution—an ultimate dissipative structure in which the world of time and change is united with God. Suffering, death, and decay receive their meaning from the future. Within this framework it is therefore possible to believe that the material world of history may be part of the eschatological future and that science provides hints, though not predictions, of how that may happen.
creation • eschatology • Incarnation • thermodynamics • time
George L. Murphy is a theoretical physicist and the pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church, Box 201, Tallmadge, Ohio 44278.
Quantum Cosmologies and the Beginning by Willem B. Drees
The cosmology proposed by Stephen Hawking has been understood as support for an atheistic stance, due mainly to its view of the nature of time in combination with the absence of explicit boundary conditions. Against such a view, this article argues that one might develop a theistic understanding of the Universe in the context of Hawkings cosmology. In addition, the quantum cosmologies of Andrej Linde and Roger Penrose are presented. The coexistence of different research programs and their implicit metaphysical views about the nature of quantum reality and time may have profound implications for philosophy and theology.
Big Bang theory • creatio ex nihilo • S. W. Hawking • A. D. Linde • R. Penrose • quantum cosmology
Willem B. Drees is a staff member of the Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Science, Society, and Religion (Bezinningscentrurn) at the Free University, De Boelelaan 1115, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His investigations were supported by the Foundation for Research in the Field of Theology and the Science of Religions in the Netherlands (STEGON), which is subsidized by the Netherlands Science Organization (NWO). The author received a Fulbright grant and additional support from various Dutch foundations that made it possible to study at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley, California, and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science. The author expresses his gratitude to his thesis advisers, R. Hensen and H. van Woerden at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), and to R. J. Russell (CTNS, Berkeley) and P. Hefner (CCRS, Chicago).
Ralph Wendell Burhoe: His Life and His Thought: V. The Struggle to Establish the Vision as a New Paradigm by David R. Breed
This fifth and final installment from the authors book-length study of Ralph Wendell Burhoes life and thought covers the period 1966-1987, and it concludes with a summary of his thought. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science began publication in March 1966, the same year in which the Center for Advanced Study in Theology and the Sciences (CASTS) was founded. Both the journal and the center were made possible by Meadville/Lombard Theological School. After a brief period of flourishing, CASTS was succeeded in 1972 by the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (CASIRAS). Burhoe married Calla Butler in 1969, two years after his first wife, Frances, had died. He retired from Meadville in 1974. The Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion was awarded to Burhoe in 1980. His thought is summarized under the topics of values, thermodynamics, the evolution of religion, the concept of soul, God, enculturation and freedom, and the Lord of History.
Calla Burhoe • Frances Burhoe • Burhoes thought • CASIRAS • CASTS • IRAS • Meadville • Templeton Prize • Zygon
David R. Breed, an independent scholar and systems consultant, lives at 5218 South Dorchester Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60615.
The Reenchantment of Science and Spirituality and Society by David Griffin, reviewed by Ted Peters
Paul Trainor is associate professor of philosophy at Providence College, Providence, RI 02918. He received his Ph.D. from Boston University and has published articles on Plato and R. G. Collingwood and on autobiography as philosophical argument.