Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
26 (4), December 1991

Table of Contents

Editorial

December 1991 Editorial by Philip Hefner

Zygon’s hypothesis is that, when long-evolved religious wisdom is yoked with significant, recent scientific discoveries about the world and human nature, there results credible expression of basic meaning, values, and moral convictions that provides valid and effective guidance for enhancing human living.” These words have appeared in what publishers call the journal’s “boilerplate” for many years. They have guided the editors since the beginning in 1966. In a new occasional series that is inaugurated in this issue, the focus is upon a single thinker, Arthur Peacocke, who has devoted more than a quarter century to the yoking enterprise that Zygon considers central.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1991.tb00899.x

Profile: Arthur Peacocke

God’s Action in the Real World by Arthur Peacocke

Abstract:
The scientific and theological enterprises are regarded as interacting and mutually illuminating approaches to reality. The theological consequences of the transformation of the scientific worldview through twentieth-century physics and cosmology are considered with respect to notions of God’s transcendence, time, continuous creation, determinism, and multiple universes. The theological implications of the worldview of biology are similarly assessed with respect to certain features of biological evolution: its continuity, its open-endedness, its mechanism, and the role of “chance” and law. The model of human agency for the agency of God in the hierarchy of natural systems is examined. The article concludes with some reflections on a science-informed understanding of God’s relation to the world as transcendent, incarnate, and immanent.
Keywords:
anthropic principle • biology • chance • cosmology • emergence • evolution • immanence • natural systems • physics • theology • transcendent
Arthur Peacocke is Warden of the Society of Ordained Scientists (S.O.Sc.) and an Honorary Chaplain of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, England. He is also a physical biochemist, theologian, and Anglican priest who, after a career in teaching and research in physical biochemistry, became Dean of Clare College, Cambridge (1972-84) and then founding Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre, Oxford (1985-88). His address is St. Cross College, Oxford, OX1 2LQ U.K.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1991.tb00900.x

From DNA to Dean by Arthur Peacocke

Abstract:
In this broadly intellectual autobiographical essay, Arthur Peacocke describes how his educational background at Oxford led him eventually to physicochemical studies on DNA and other biological macromolecules and how biological complexity and the general problems it evokes have remained a recurring theme in his thought. He also describes how, although coming from a relatively nonecclesiastical background, this interest has nevertheless been intertwined with the larger questions to which the Christian faith seeks to respond. He outlines how he has been able to reconcile these two strands in his existence—even to becoming a priest-scientist and eventually the Dean of chapel of a Cambridge college. He reflects on the trends in the relation of religion and science over the last four decades and points to some hopeful developments in the relation between the two communities—and to some unanswered questions.
Keywords:
Church of England • critical realism • DNA • ethics • evil • God • music • physical chemistry • religion • sacraments • science • scripture • theology • thermodynamics
Arthur Peacocke is Warden of the Society of Ordained Scientists (S.O.Sc.) and an Honorary Chaplain of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, England. He is also a physical biochemist, theologian, and Anglican priest who, after a career in teaching and research in physical biochemistry, became Dean of Clare College, Cambridge (1972-84) and then founding Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre, Oxford (1985-88). His address is St. Cross College, Oxford, OX1 2LQ U.K.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1991.tb00901.x

Books by Arthur Peacocke

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1991.tb00902.x

Adequacy or Orthodoxy? Choosing Sides at the Frontier by Lindon Eaves

Abstract:
Arthur Peacocke’s seminal contribution to the dialogue between science and theology is considered along three dimensions: epistemology, anthropology, and the concept of God. It is suggested that his view of a “hierarchy of disciplines” (1) may not completely characterize the way theology interacts with science, and (2) could limit the creative friction between them. His emphasis on humans as “more than” DNA could result in an anthropology that fails to exploit insights that biology could shed on theological puzzles as the impact of genetics is more widely appreciated. His concept of God may also need to be modified more radically to express our understanding of nature in an age of genetics.
Keywords:
biology • DNA • evolution • genetics • God concept • theological anthropology
Lindon Eaves is Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 33 MCV Station, Richmond, VA 23298-0003. He is an Anglican priest, licensed in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1991.tb00903.x

The Theological-Scientific Vision of Arthur Peacocke by Robert John Russell

Abstract:
Arthur Peacocke has made seminal contributions to the interdisciplinary field of Christian theology and natural science. First, this paper presents a summary of his work, including his argument that critical realism provides for theology and science a common philosophical basis preferable to that of reductionistic materialism, vitalistic dualism, or divine interventionism. In specific, Peacocke proposes a form of panentheism in light of cosmology and evolution: God is immanent in and transcendent to the universe, with its open-ended processes characterized by both law and chance. God suffers with the travail of evolution; and Jesus is the normative realization of God’s creative involvement with nature—a form of emergence with continuity. This paper then critiques each of these philosophical and theological positions.
Keywords:
cosmology • critical realism • evolution • panentheism • theology and science
Robert John Russell is Associate Professor of Theology and Science in Residence at The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and founder and Director of The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS), 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1991.tb00904.x

Does Science Clarify God’s Relation to the World? by James S. Nelson

Abstract:
Central to the work of Arthur Peacocke on science and religion is the intention to develop a reasonable faith within an intelligible framework of meaning. Showing the inadequacy of reductionism is necessary for this purpose. Knowledge of God is related to what science can tell us about creation. From an evolutionary framework, characterized as a delicate balance that issued in humans, and manifested through contingency and chance, God’s actions are expressed as exploring the potentialities of creation. The creation is understood to be in God, but God is more than the world, as in panentheism. God suffers with the creation in love, and the focus of human meaning is expressed in Jesus Christ, the Incarnation, the sacrament of God.
Keywords:
anthropic principle • contingency and chance • evolutionary framework • Incarnation • panentheism • reductionism • sacrament
James S. Nelson is Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy, North Park College, 3225 West Foster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1991.tb00905.x

Concluding Reflection by Arthur Peacocke


Arthur Peacocke is Warden of the Society of Ordained Scientists (S.O.Sc.) and an Honorary Chaplain of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, England. He is also a physical biochemist, theologian, and Anglican priest who, after a career in teaching and research in physical biochemistry, became Dean of Clare College, Cambridge (1972-84) and then founding Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre, Oxford (1985-88). His address is St. Cross College, Oxford, OX1 2LQ U.K.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1991.tb00906.x

Response

Humanistic versus Social-Scientific Approaches to Religion by Arvind Sharma

Abstract:
Whereas Robert Segal (1990) identified seven misconceptions of the social sciences that he thinks scholars in religious studies make, this response argues that each of the alleged misconceptions involves the “oversight” of key distinctions that radically alter the complexion of Segal’s case.
Keywords:
belief • faith • falsification and verification • phenomenology of religion
Arvind Sharma is Professor of Comparative Religion in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, 3520 University Street, Montreal, PQH3A 2A7, Canada.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1991.tb00907.x

Credo

Human Survival: The Responsibility of Science and Religion by Ervin Laszlo

Abstract:
Public awareness of threats to human survival has emerged with significant strength since the 1970s. Recognition that growth cannot continue infinitely on a finite planet was affirmed by publication of the Club of Rome report, The Limits to Growth. In turn, the responsibility of science for human survival has been widely debated, at least since detonation of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, but the conjunction of threats to human survival and scientific responsibility has remained rather vague. Clarification of this dual issue must take into account the role of religion, since only through a creative alliance of science and religion can a satisfactory resolution of the threats posed by global problems be found.
Keywords:
ecumenism • education • evolution • global problems • holistic alliance • responsibility
Ervin Laszlo is founder and head of the General Evolution Research Group, Science Adviser to the Director-General of UNESCO, Rector of the Vienna Academy, and Editor of World Futures, the Journal ofGeneral Evolution. He has served as professor of philosophy, systems science, and future studies in various universities in the United States, Europe, and the Far East, and as Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1991.tb00908.x



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