Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
29 (4), December 1994

Table of Contents

Editorial

December 1994 Editorial by Philip Hefner

In her tribute to Roger Sperry, elsewhere in this issue, Jerre Levy speaks of this celebrated brain researcher as a “paradigm breaker.” In the September 1994 editorial, I cited Ervin Laszlo’s suggestion that a major goal of the religion/science conversation is the emergence of the kind of knowledge that will elicit new paradigms. New paradigms cannot be called forth simply by a wish or a clever abracadabra. We can look for new paradigms, prepare the soil of thought for their emergence; indeed, without such yearning and patient nurture they will never penetrate our sensibilities, but, as Jesus said of the spirit, emerging paradigms blow where they will, and their appearance is always a surprise, as to time and place.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00685.x

The 1993 Templeton Symposium, Science and Religion: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World

Experiencing and Interpreting Nature in Science and Religion by Ian G. Barbour

Abstract:
I trace three paths from nature to religious interpretation. The first starts from religious experience in the context of nature; examples are drawn from nature poets, reflective scientists, and exponents of creation spirituality. The second, “Natural Theology,” uses scientific findings concerning cosmology or evolution to develop an argument from design-or alternatively to defend evolutionary naturalism. The third, “Theology of Nature,” starts from traditional religious beliefs about God and human nature and reformulates them in the light of current science. I point to examples of each of these paths in papers by other participants in this symposium, and suggest that all three paths can contribute to the task of relating science and religion today.
Keywords:
argument from design • cosmology • creation spirituality • environmental ethics • evolution • human nature • models of God • natural theology • naturalism • religious experience
Ian Barbour is Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and Society at Carleton College, Northfield, MN 55057, where he also served as Professor of Physics and Professor of Religion.
This is a slightly revised version of the paper delivered at the Templeton Symposium, “Science and Theology: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World,” organized by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 31 August-2 September 1993. This symposium and its publications were made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00686.x

Nature as the Image of God: Reflections on the Signs of the Sacred by Langdon Gilkey

Abstract:
This is a brief survey of aspects of the modern scientific view of nature to see if implied therein are signs or traces of the sacred—as early religious apprehension surely supposed. Nature’s power and order are discussed as is the strange dialectic of death and life, evident in modern biology as it also is in all early religion.
Keywords:
death and new life • hierarchy and/or levels • imago dei • order • power • redemptive unity • traces
Langdon Gilkey is Shailer Mathews Professor of Theology Emeritus at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia, and Kenny Distinguished Visiting Professor at Georgetown University. His mailing address is 123 Cameron Lane, Charlottesville, VA 22903.
This article was originally delivered at the Templeton Symposium, “Science and Theology: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World,” organized by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 31 August-2 September 1993. This symposium and its publications were made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00687.x

Can Nature Truly Be Our Friend? by Philip Hefner

Abstract:
The question of whether nature can embody love or be considered in this sense as “friend” is a thorny problem for Christian theology. The doctrines of finitude and sin argue against nature as a realm of love, whereas the doctrine of creation out of nothing, which links God and the creation so forcefully, would seem to argue for such a view of nature. This paper explores the thesis that Western culture has not offered a concept of nature rich enough to allow for an understanding of it as a domain of graciousness. From pre-Socratic times through the Enlightenment and the rise of modern science, nature was conceived of as a realm of defect or lacking in creative possibilities. Christian theology has consistently spoken of nature in terms that defy the limitations of the authorized views proposed by the ambient Western cultures. The present times, under the influence of the sciences, have furnished for the first time an authorized concept of nature that is large enough and dynamic enough to entertain the dimension of grace. Consequently, ours is a time of great promise for developing a more adequate theology of nature.
Keywords:
Chalcedon • R. G. Collingwood • creation out of nothing • finite is capable of the infinite • incarnation • love • means of grace • nature • sacrament • Timaeus
Philip Hefner is Professor of Systematic Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. His address is 1100 East Fifty-fifth Street, Chicago, IL 60615.
This article was originally delivered at the Templeton Symposium, “Science and Theology: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World,” organized by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 31 August-2 September 1993. This symposium and its publications were made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00688.x

Ecology and Eschatology: Science and Theological Modeling by William H. Klink

Abstract:
The possibility of in-breakings of God in science is discussed. A realist philosophy of science is used as a framework in which new paradigms are seen as providing ever better approximations to the true underlying structure of nature, which will be revealed in the eschaton. It is argued that ecology—the study of the earth as a whole—cannot be treated as a natural science because there can be no paradigms for understanding the earth as a whole. Instead technology is used as a means for interacting with God through nature.
Keywords:
ecology • eschatology • realism • scientific models • theological models
William H. Klink is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, 52242.
This article was originally delivered at the Templeton Symposium, “Science and Theology: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World,” organized by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 31 August-2 September 1993. This symposium and its publications were made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00689.x

Sudden Change in the World by David W. Oxtoby

Abstract:
The suddenness of phase change is examined as an example of a discontinuity in nature, in which an apparently random microscopic event can trigger a macroscopic change of state such as the crystallization of a liquid. Recent advances in nucleation theory that have helped to quantify but not eliminate this randomness are described, and analogies with the modes of God’s action in the world are explored.
Keywords:
God’s action in the world • metastability • phase transitions • randomness • thermodynamics
David W. Oxtoby is Professor of Chemistry and Director of the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637.
This article was originally delivered at the Templeton Symposium, “Science and Theology: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World,” organized by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 31 August-2 September 1993. This symposium and its publications were made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00690.x

Cosmology from Alpha to Omega by Robert John Russell

Abstract:
This paper focuses on four passages in the journey of the universe from beginning to end: its origin in the Big Bang, the production of heavy elements in first generation stars, the buzzing symphony of life on earth, and the distant future of the cosmos. As a physicist and a Christian theologian, I will ask how each of these passages casts light on the deepest questions of existence and our relation to God, and in turn how these questions are being explored through ongoing research into the interaction between Christian theology and the natural sciences.
Keywords:
Ian Barbour • Big Bang • chaos theory • cosmology • creation • divine action • Freeman Dyson • evolution • evolutionary theism • far future • God • Stephen Hawking • Jacques Monod • Arthur Peacocke • John Polkinghorne • quantum gravity • quantum physics • Frank Tipler • Trinity
Robert John Russell is Director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, and Professor of Theology and Science in Residence at the Graduate Theological Union, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709.
This article was originally delivered at the Templeton Symposium, “Science and Theology: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World,” organized by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 31 August-2 September 1993. This symposium and its publications were made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00691.x

From the Senses to Sense: The Hermeneutics of Love by Ingrid H. Shafer

Abstract:
Drawing on philosophy, theology, comparative religion, spirituality, Holocaust studies, physics, biology, psychology, and personal experience, I argue that continued human existence depends on our willingness to reject nihilism—not as an expedient “noble lie” but because faith in a meaningful cosmos and the power of love is at least as validly grounded in human experience as insistence on cosmic indifference and ultimate futility. I maintain that hope will free us to develop nonimperialistic methods of bridging cultural differences by forming a mutually intelligible vocabulary that celebrates diversity, enters the worlds of others in respectful dialogue, and fosters a postmechanistic, organic, ecological, holistic, dynamic, interactive, open-ended model of reality. I lay the foundation for a “hermeneutics of love” to complement Paul Ricoeur’s “hermeneutics of suspicion” and invite speculation on the ways science, technology, and society would be transformed if those “glasses of friendship” were widely applied.
Keywords:
altruism • cross-cultural dialogue • cross-disciplinary dialogue • hemisphericity • hermeneutics • hesed • holism • hope • mysticism • religion as language • second naiveté • truth and meaning • two-culture split
Ingrid H. Shafer is Mary Jo Ragan Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha, OK 73018; e-mail: facshaferi @ mercur.usao.edu.
This article was originally delivered at the Templeton Symposium, “Science and Theology: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World,” organized by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 31 August-2 September 1993. This symposium and its publications were made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00692.x

The Religious Dimensions of the Biological Narrative by Ursula W. Goodenough

Abstract:
A cell/molecular biologist challenges the thesis that science and religion are two ways of experiencing and interpreting the world and explores instead the possible ways that the modern biological worldview might serve as a resource for religious perspectives. Three concepts—meaning, valuation, and purpose—are argued to be central to the entire biological enterprise, and the continuation of this enterprise is regarded as a sacred religious trust.
Keywords:
continuation • meaning • meme • new naturalism • niche • nihilism • purpose • selection • symmetry • valuation
Ursula W. Goodenough is Professor of Biology at Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130. She is also President of the Institute for Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS).
This article was originally delivered at the Templeton Symposium, “Science and Theology: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World,” organized by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 31 August-2 September 1993. This symposium and its publications were made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00693.x

A Scientist and a Theologian See the World: Compromise or Synthesis? by Mary Gerhart and Allan Melvin Russell

Abstract:
A scientist (for whom the world is the universe) and a theologian (for whom the world is planet Earth) engage in dialogue, not contrived Platonic or Galilean dialogue, but true bidisciplinary dialogue that strives for higher viewpoint. S: Is the preservation of the human species a primary human responsibility? T: It may be a responsibility we share with God. S: The human species has a limited future if confined to the planet Earth. We must diversify our habitat by colonizing space. T: We are responsible for other life on the planet as well. The discussants conclude that besides protecting Earth ecologies, we should create new ecologies in space.
Keywords:
bidisplinary • colonies in space • dialogue • environment • future • God • higher viewpoint • panentheism • worldview
Mary Gerhart is Professor of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456. Allan Melvin Russell is Professor of Physics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456.
This article was originally delivered at the Templeton Symposium, “Science and Theology: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World,” organized by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 31 August-2 September 1993. This symposium and its publications were made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00694.x

The Religion of a Scientist: Explorations into Reality (Religio philosophi naturalis) by Arthur Peacocke

Abstract:
Sir Thomas Browne’s reflection on the synthesis between his Christian religion and his practice as a medical doctor, made over three centuries ago, leads into reflections on the present relation between religion and science in the personal experience of the writer. An account is given of how the actual practice of scientific investigation led the author to theistic inferences and how the study of DNA provoked questions concerning reductionism and emergence. This evoked the need for a map of knowledge, and an attempt is presented in a figure which also serves to clarify what kind of realistic reference is involved in both scientific and humanistic contexts—especially with respect to personal language. Theological investigations thereby receive at least provisional legitimization and, with this encouragement, the article pursues the questions of the nature of the divine Source (“God”) of the world’s being and becoming, of God’s interaction and communication with the world, especially with human beings in that world. The penultimate section outlines why the writer considers an explicit communication from God to humanity in Jesus of Nazareth is coherent with the foregoing and what this implies for human fulfillment, individually and corporately. The article concludes with a plea for humility before God and nature in our inquiries in the spirit both of Sir Thomas Browne and of the arch “agnostic” T. H. Huxley.
Keywords:
brain • communication • critical realism • DNA; emergence • existence • God • humility • information • Jesus • map of knowledge • mind • natural philosophy • person • personal agency • reductionism • religion • sacraments • science • structure • theology • top-down causation
Authur Peacocke is Warden-Emeritus of the Society of Ordained Scientists. His address is Exeter College, Oxford, OX1 3DP, UK.
This article was originally delivered at the Templeton Symposium, “Science and Theology: Two Ways of Experiencing and Interpreting the World,” organized by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 31 August-2 September 1993. This symposium and its publications were made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00695.x

Reviews

A Fundamental Practical Theology: Descriptive and Strategic Proposals by Don S. Browning, reviewed by Kyle A. Pasewark

Kyle A. Pasewark; Department of Religion; Lafayette College; Easton, PA 18042
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00696.x

The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450 by David C. Lindberg, reviewed by Christopher B. Kaiser

Christopher B. Kaiser; Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology; Western Theological Seminary; Holland, MI 49423
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00696.x

Rediscovering the Sacred: Perspectives on Religion in Contemporary Society by Robert Wuthnow, reviewed by David O. Moberg

David O. Moberg; Professor Emeritus of Sociology; Marquette University; Milwaukee, WI 53233
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00696.x

In Memoriam

Roger Wolcott Sperry, 1912-1994 by Jerre Levy

Jerre Levy; Department of Psychology; University of Chicago; Chicago, IL 60637
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1994.tb00697.x



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