The effort to yoke science and religion—that is, to address the issues included in this journals vocation as Zygon—often comes down to the difficult work of attempting to understand different sets of concepts and their data, with a view to bringing about interrelationships among them. The sets of concepts and data that occupy our attention most often are those of the sciences, philosophy, and theology. In this, the first issue of our twenty-eighth volume, we observe five authors working very hard to understand and interrelate these different sets of concepts.
Evolution of the human capacity for beliefs is considered in relation to the emergence in human phylogeny of the ability to formulate propositions, evaluate their worth as bases for action, and make emotional attachments to them. Most of the relevant capabilities had appeared in primate evolution before the emergence of the Hominidae. The combination of capabilities peculiar to evolving hominines was that involved in the development of language, which ontogenetic evidence suggests began as a tool for implementing intentionality in social interaction and whose subsequent elaboration was associated with later reportorial and narrative uses.
beliefs • cognition • human evolution • language
Ward H. Goodenough is University Professor Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania, University Museum, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6398.
Classical Theism, Panentheism, and Pantheism: On the Relation between God Construction and Gender Construction by Nancy Frankenberry
The argument of this article is that, philosophically, there are but three broad conceptual models that Western thought employs in thinking about the meaning of God. At the level of greatest generality, these are the models known as classical theism, pantheism, and panentheism. The essay surveys and updates these three conceptual models in light of recent writings, finds more flaws in classical theism and panentheism than in pantheism, and suggests a feminist response to each.
classical theism • feminism • models of God • nature • panentheism • pantheism
Nancy Frankenberry is Professor of Religion at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, where she has also been affiliated with the Womens Studies Program since its inception.
Holomovement Metaphysics and Theology by Kevin J. Sharpe
The holomovement metaphysics of David Bohm emphasizes connections and continuous change. Two general movements through space-time extend Bohms ideas. One is that the universe was nonlocal when it started but increases in locality. (With nonlocality, two simultaneous but distant events affect each other.) The other is the opposite movement or evolution toward increasingly complex systems exhibiting internal connections and a type of nonlocality. This metaphysics produces a theology when the holomovement is a model for God. Several topics follow, including global nonlocality, God as creator, Gods transcendence and immanence, and God as personal. This theology shows promise but needs further development.
David Bohm • entropy • holism • holomovement • nonlocality • systematic theology
Kevin J. Sharpe is a professor in the graduate school of the Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio. His mailing address is 65 Hoit Road, Concord, NH 03301.
The Interplay between Science and Theology in Uncovering the Matrix of Human Morality by Hans Schwarz
Theology and the life sciences are mutually dependent on one another in the task of understanding the origin and function of moral behavior. The life sciences investigate morality from the perspective of the historical and communal dimension of humanity and point to survival as the primary function of human behavior. A Christian ethic of self-sacrifice advances the preservation of the entire human and nonhuman creation and should not, therefore, be objected to by the life sciences. Religion, however, is more than a survival mechanism. It points to a preserving agency beyond humanity and prevents the life sciences from reducing life to its strictly biological side.
altruism • behaviorism • free will • genetic determinism • morality • order(s) of preservation • sociobiology • survival
Hans Schwarz is Professor of Systematic Theology and Contemporary Theological Issues and Director of the Institute of Protestant Theology at Regensburg University, 84000 Regensburg, Universitiitsstr. 31, Germany.
Biological Perspectives on Fall and Original Sin by Philip Hefner
The paper consists of an argument that goes as follows. Symbols and their elaboration into myths constitute Homo sapienss most primitive reading of the world and the relation of humans to that world. They are, in other words, primordial units of cultural information, emerging very early in human history, representing a significant achievement in the evolution of human self-consciousness and reflection. The classic myths of Fall and Original Sin, as well as the doctrines to which they gave rise, are further interpretations of this primordial information. The doctrinal traditions of the first four centuries of Christianity are surveyed. Three sets of data as interpreted by the biological sciences are offered as resources for understanding the biogenetic grounds of the experience that the symbols, myths, and doctrines of Fall and Original Sin seek to interpret. The conclusions to be drawn are that (1) the symbolic material is indeed commensurate with the scientific understandings, and (2) the scientific interpretations deepen our understanding of the symbols, while (3) the conversation between the symbols and the science once again raises certain perennial questions about human existence.
Augustine • defect • fall • finitude • genes and culture • Gregory of Nyssa • myth and ritual • original sin
Philip Hefner is Professor of Systematic Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1100 East Fifty-fifth Street, Chicago, IL 60615-5199. Research for this paper was made possible in part by the Theological Questions Raised by Human Genome Initiative project, sponsored by the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, National Institutes of Health Grant #HG00487.
Fundamentalisms Observed edited by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, reviewed by Brian W. Ogilvie