Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
39 (1), March 2004

Table of Contents

Editorial

March 2004 Editorial by Philip Hefner

Religion and science, in some form, permeate the fabric of life today. Because both religion and science originate in the unquenchable human need to know the truth about the world and ourselves, we conclude that religion and science have filled the spaces of our lives for a long time, indeed. It is no surprise, therefore, that a concern with religion and science inevitably brings us into contact with every dimension of life and with every field of thought, research, and experience that life encompasses. Such a realization is both exciting and daunting. This realization is the day-in and day-out preoccupation of this journal. With this issue, we begin our thirty-ninth year of attempting to track the ways, actual and potential, in which religion and science together weave the tapestry of our lives.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00554.x

Symposium: Metaphor as a Space for Religion/Science Engagement

Experience and Theory by Mary Gerhart and Allan Melvin Russell

Abstract:
N. R. Hanson’s discussion of experience is criticized. Experience, though necessary for knowing, is insufficient as a basis for understanding in either science or religion. Experience alone can be misleading. We may begin with experience, but we cannot claim to understand until experience has been mediated by theory. The article is excerpted from Metaphoric Process: The Creation of Scientific and Religious Understanding (Gerhart and Russell 1984), Chapter 2.
Keywords:
demonstration • direct experience • N. R. Hanson • Don Ihde • illusion • instrumentation • mediation • mysticism • phenomenology • sense perception • theory
Mary Gerhart is Professor of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Her address is Department of Religious Studies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges 4040, Geneva, NY 14456; e-mail: gerhart @ hws.edu. Allan Melvin Russell is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His address is 5669 Rt 89, Romulus, NY 14541; e-mail: russell @ hws.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00555.x

Metaphor and Thinking in Science and Religion by Mary Gerhart and Allan Melvin Russell

Abstract:
Excerpts from Chapters 1 and 3 of New Maps for Old: Explorations in Science and Religion (Gerhart and Russell 2001) explore the ramifications of metaphoric process for changes in thinking, especially those changes that lead to a new understanding of our world. Examples are provided from science, from religion, and from science and religion together. In excerpts from Chapter 8, a double analogy—theology is to science as science is to mathematics—is proposed for better understanding the contemporary relationship between science and religion. A conservation of epistemological sufficiency is disclosed as one moves from mathematics to empirical science to theology—a move from one discipline to another that involves a sacrifice of one aspect of thought to gain another.
Keywords:
field of meanings • Carl Hempel • higher viewpoint • metaphoric process • stereoscopic view • tectonic reformation • theology • weltanschauung • world of meanings
Mary Gerhart is Professor of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Her address is Department of Religious Studies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges 4040, Geneva, NY 14456; e-mail: gerhart @ hws.edu. Allan Melvin Russell is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His address is 5669 Rt 89, Romulus, NY 14541; e-mail: russell @ hws.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00556.x

Metaphor and the Reshaping of Our Cognitive Fabric by Betty J. Birner

Abstract:
Mary Gerhart and Allan Russell view our world of meanings as a fabric of concepts and relations. Metaphor bends this fabric, superimposing one concept on another. While Gerhart and Russell are right to view metaphor as a cognitive rather than a purely linguistic phenomenon, their model misses the danger inherent in a cognitive restructuring that leaves some features of a concept highlighted and others backgrounded. When the bending of the conceptual fabric becomes permanent, the essential metaphorical insight is lost, leaving a skewed understanding of reality. We have a tendency to retain the metaphorically altered cognitive topography while forgetting its nonliteral genesis. Thus, the metaphoric process is one from which proceeds not only insight but also, necessarily, misconception.
Keywords:
cognition • cognitive science • epistemology • language • linguistics • metaphor • nonliteral language • ontology • religion • science • theology
Betty J. Birner is Associate Professor of English at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00557.x

Reframing the Fields by Robert Masson

Abstract:
The conception of metaphoric process elaborated by Mary Gerhart and Allan Russell illuminates a key mechanism often involved in the most significant advances in science and religion. Attention to this conceptual device provides a productive way to reframe the relationships and dialogues between the fields. The theory has compelling implications for reframing the understanding of theology and its task.
Keywords:
analogy • bidisciplinary dialogue • fundamental theology • metaphor • metaphoric process • religion and science • religious epistemology • theology of disclosure
Robert Masson is an associate professor in the Department of Theology, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881; e-mail: robert.masson @ marquette.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00558.x

Changing Worldviews: Responding to Betty Birner and Robert Masson by Mary Gerhart and Allan Melvin Russell

Abstract:
Worldviews are changed by higher viewpoints that can develop by metaphoric process, the equating of two formerly disparate known concepts. The equating results in a distortion—a tectonic reformation—of the associated fields of meanings that effects a rearrangement of associated concepts leading to new cognitive relations. We comment on reviews of our books Metaphoric Process (1984) and New Maps for Old (2001) by Robert Masson and Betty Birner. Metaphoric process may further understanding of the formation of diverse worldviews and their reconciliation.
Keywords:
analogy • bidisciplinary • fields of meaning • higher viewpoint • George Lakoff and Mark Johnson • linguistic metaphors • metaphoric process in science and religion • metaphors of thought and action • ontological flash • tectonic reformation • stereoscopic view • worldview
Mary Gerhart is Professor of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Her address is Department of Religious Studies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges 4040, Geneva, NY 14456; e-mail: gerhart @ hws.edu. Allan Melvin Russell is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His address is 5669 Rt 89, Romulus, NY 14541; e-mail: russell @ hws.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00559.x

Theories of Love: Sorokin, Teilhard, and Tillich

Love—A Higher Form of Human Energy in the Work of Teilhard de Chardin and Sorokin by Ursula King

Abstract:
Contemporary debates concerning a universal theory about the praxis of love in human society and culture can benefit greatly from the works of two twentieth-century thinkers, the French paleontologist and religious writer Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the Russian-American sociologist Pitirim A. Sorokin. Although from very different personal and disciplinary backgrounds, they share amazingly similar views on the power of love as transformative energy for transcending the individual self and for creating radically new, collaborative, and cooperative ways of acting that will transform whole societies, indeed the planet. Traditionally, ideas of love have been associated with religion, but these two thinkers advocate systematic scientific research on the production and application of “love-energy” for the change of culture, social institutions, and human beings. The article is organized in five parts: (1) altruism, science and love: what is love energy? (2) Teilhard’s understanding of the phenomenon of love; (3) Sorokin’s approach to creative, altruistic love; (4) comparison of Teilhard’s and Sorokin’s ideas; and (5) performing works of love. As far as I am aware, this is the first article comparing the remarkable parallels as well as distinctive differences between Sorokin’s and Teilhard’s ideas on love as the highest form of human energy.
Keywords:
altruism • amitology • amorization • Thomas Berry • cosmic love • divine love • Harvard Research Center in Creative Altruism • Institute for Research on Unlimited Love • love and science • love-energy • noosphere • Sermon on the Mount • Pitirim A. Sorokin • tangential and radial energy • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Ursula King is Professor Emerita and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, England. She was Visiting Professor in Feminist Theology at the University of Oslo, 1998-2001. She is an Associate Member of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol and a Professorial Research Fellow of the Centre for Gender and Religions Research at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her address is 1 Salisbury Road, Redland, Bristol BS6 7AL, England; e-mail: uking @ blueyonder.co.uk.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00560.x

Paul Tillich and Pitirim A. Sorokin on Love by Mary Montgomery Clifford

Abstract:
An analysis of Paul Tillich’s three-volume Systematic Theology and Pitirim A. Sorokin’s The Ways and Power of Love: Types, Factors, and Techniques of Moral Transformation reveals how a metaphysical dialogue on God and love contributes to scientific and theological scholarship on altruism. This article focuses on similarities and differences in Tillich and Sorokin. Similarities include a belief in the importance of the ontological/love connection and the conclusion that a special state, ecstasy, is integral to the experience of genuine love. Differences serve to complement rather than negate. For example, Tillich’s recognition that ecstatic connections with the divine within finitude are fragmentary balances Sorokin’s view that these ecstatic peaks are reached only by the few. The similarities give resonance and point to the overall creation, while the differences often serve as counterpoint to balance the ideas of the scientist and the theologian.
Keywords:
altruism • dynamic power of life • ecstatic connections • “energy” of love • five dimensions of love • fragmentary connections • integral knowledge • love • metaphysical dialogue • ontological/love connection • supraconscious • systematic method • unlimited love
Mary Montgomery Clifford is a doctoral student at Chicago Theological Seminary, 5757 S. University Ave., Chicago, IL 60637.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00561.x

C. S. Peirce as Resource for a Theology of Evolution

Continuity, Naturalism, and Contingency: A Theology of Evolution Drawing on the Semiotics of C. S. Peirce and Trinitarian Thought by Andrew J. Robinson

Abstract:
The starting point for this article is the question of the relationship between Darwinism and Christian theology. I suggest that evolutionary theory presents three broad issues of relevance to theology: the phenomena of continuity, naturalism, and contingency. In order to formulate a theological response to these issues I draw on the semiotics (theory of signs) and cosmology of the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. Peirce developed a triadic theory of signs, underpinned by a threefold system of metaphysical categories. I propose a semiotic model of the Trinity based on Peirce’s semiotics and categories. According to this model the sign-processes (such as the genetic “code”) that are fundamental to life may be understood as vestiges of the Trinity in creation. I use the semiotic model to develop a theology of nature that addresses the issues raised by evolutionary theory. The semiotic model amounts to a proposal for a new metaphysical framework within which to understand the relationship between God and creation and between theology and science.
Keywords:
creation • evolution • metaphysics • Charles Sanders Peirce • semiotics • Trinity
Andrew J. Robinson is a medical practitioner in Newton Abbot, Devon, U.K., and an Honorary Fellow in Theology at the University of Exeter. His mailing address is 11 Forde Park, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 1DB, U.K.; e-mail: a.j.robinson @ doctors.org.uk.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00562.x

Reconsidering Thomas Huxley

Evolution, Ethics, and Equivocation: T. H. Huxley’s Conflicted Legacy by David Goslee

Abstract:
Recent debates over evolutionary ethics have often circled around T. H. Huxley’s late claim that “Social progress means a checking of the cosmic process at every step.” In writing “Evolution and Ethics” and its long Prolegomena, however, Huxley may instead be wrestling with the nature and origin of human agency. Early in his career he saw evolution and social progress as converging, but as he came to find cosmic process alien to human welfare, he found moral agency more essential but more problematic. Within “Evolution and Ethics,” evolution retreats into a cyclical stasis while ethical challenges end up submitting to it. Huxley implies, however, that in acknowledging these cycles as “natural,” ancient sages begged the question of whether resistance to them were possible. And when evolutionary ethicists delimit humanity’s potential by its simian origins, Huxley invokes Hume’s “naturalistic fallacy,” asking them how factual evidence can support their prescriptive conclusions. Both his naturalist and idealist reviewers then drove him to turn his Prolegomena into a rebuttal to the original essay. Here, advocating a balance between altruism and selfishness, Huxley works to relegate agency to a question of degree. In both essays, Huxley’s epigrammatic prose demarcates the dead ends of much Victorian thought and points toward alternate paths not explored until the twentieth century.
Keywords:
agency • cycles • ethics • evolution • “Evolution and Ethics” • heuristic • Thomas Henry Huxley • idealism • naturalism • “naturalistic fallacy” • process • Prolegomena • reflexivity • sociobiology
David Goslee is Professor and Associate Head in the Department of English, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-0430; e-mail: dgoslee @ utk.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00563.x

Reconsidering Fundamental Issues

Emergent Monism and the Classical Doctrine of the Soul by Joseph A. Bracken

Abstract:
Traditional Christian belief in the existence of human life after death within a transformed material universe should be capable of rational justification if one chooses carefully the philosophical scheme underlying those claims. One should not have to appeal simply to the power of a loving God to justify one’s beliefs. A revision of Whitehead’s metaphysical scheme is proposed that allows one to render these classical Christian beliefs at least plausible to a broad range of contemporary thinkers as a consequence of a cosmology based on the principle of universal intersubjectivity and the need for a common ground between opposing subjectivities.
Keywords:
actual occasion • field • God-world relationship • intersubjectivity • matter/spirit dichotomy • soul/body relation • (Whiteheadian) societies
Joseph A. Bracken, S.J., is a retired professor of theology at Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45207-1049.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00564.x

Intelligent-Design Theory: An Argument for Biotic Laws by Uko Zylstra

Abstract:
A central thesis of intelligent-design theorists is that physical and chemical laws and chance are insufficient to account for irreducibly complex biological structures and that intelligent design is necessary to account for such phenomena. This assertion, however, still implies a reductionist ontology. We need to recognize that reality displays multiple modes of being beyond simply chemical and physical modes of being, each of which is governed by laws for that mode of being. This essay argues for an alternate framework for understanding life phenomena that is neither philosophical materialism nor intelligent-design theory.
Keywords:
Michael Behe • biotic laws • William Dembski • enkapsis • intelligent design • naturalism • reductionism
Uko Zylstra is Professor of Biology at Calvin College, 3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546; e-mail: zylu @ calvin.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00565.x

Shamanism as the Original Neurotheology by Michael Winkelman

Abstract:
Neurotheological approaches provide an important bridge between scientific and religious perspectives. These approaches have, however, generally neglected the implications of a primordial form of spiritual healing—shamanism. Cross-cultural studies establish the universality of shamanic practices in hunter-gatherer societies around the world and across time. These universal principles of shamanism reflect underlying neurological processes and provide a basis for an evolutionary theology. The shamanic paradigm involves basic brain processes, neurognostic structures, and innate brain modules. This approach reveals that universals of shamanism such as animism, totemism, soul flight, animal spirits, and death-and-rebirth experiences reflect fundamental brain operations and structures of consciousness. The shamanic paradigm can contribute to a reconciliation of scientific and religious perspectives by providing a universalistic biopsychosocial framework that explicates the biological underpinnings of spiritual experiences and practices and provides a basis for neurotheology and evolutionary theology approaches.
Keywords:
consciousness • evolutionary theology • metatheology • mystical experience • neurotheology • shamanism
Michael Winkelman is Director of the Ethnographic Field School, Ensenada, Mexico, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Arizona State University, Box 872402, Tempe, AZ 85287-2402.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00566.x

Embodied and Embedded Morality: Divinity, Identity, and Disgust by Heather Looy

Abstract:
Our understanding of human morality would benefit from an integrated interdisciplinary approach, built on the assumption that human beings are multidimensional unities with real, irreducible, and mutually interdependent spiritual, relational, emotional, rational, and physiological aspects. We could integrate relevant information from neurobiological, psychosocial, and theological perspectives, avoiding unnecessary reductionism and naturalism. This approach is modeled by addressing the particular limited role of disgust in morality. Psychosocial research reveals disgust as a universal emotion that enables evaluation and regulation of certain moral behaviors and is involved in cultural identity. Theologically, many religious traditions, including the Judeo-Christian, use disgust in conjunction with moral codes designed to preserve purity and communal identity as the people of God. The concept of natural moral law suggests that morality is embodied in human nature. Neurobiology is beginning to trace the neural circuitry involved in disgust and in moral evaluation, suggesting that emotions are a necessary basis for moral judgment and revealing intriguing relationships between disgust, morality, and other aspects of the psyche. Several problems that arise within these disciplines and at their intersections are identified. Extension of the model to other aspects of human morality would further illuminate our understanding of morality without sacrificing its complexity and richness.
Keywords:
disgust • emotions • human nature • interdisciplinary • morality • natural moral law • neurobiology • psychology • theology
Heather Looy is Associate Professor of Psychology at The King’s University College, 9125 - 50th Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6B 2H3; e-mail: heather.looy @ kingsu.ca.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00567.x

Accessing the Eternal: Dreaming “The Dreaming” and Ceremonial Performance by Lynne Hume

Abstract:
Australian Aboriginal cosmology is centered on The Dreaming, which has an eternal nature. It has been referred to as “everywhen” to articulate its timelessness. Starting with the assumption that “waking” reality is only one type of experienced reality, we investigate the concept of timelessness as it pertains to the Aboriginal worldview. We begin by questioning whether in fact “Dreaming” is an appropriate translation of a complex Aboriginal concept, then discuss whether there is any relationship between dreaming and The Dreaming. We then discuss Aboriginal ceremonial performance, during which actors are said to become Dreaming Ancestors, using as a frame of reference the “flow” experience explicated by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi together with Alfred Schutz’s “mutual tuning-in relationship.”
Keywords:
Aboriginal ceremony • alternate realities; consciousness • flow • ritual time • timelessness
Lynne Hume, an anthropologist, is Associate Professor in the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics at The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Australia 4072; e-mail: l.hume @ uq.edu.au.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00568.x

Reviews

Darwinian Natural Right: The Biological Roots of Human Nature by Larry Arnhart, reviewed by Gregory R. Peterson

Gregory R. Peterson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion, South Dakota State University, Scobey 336, Box 504, Brookings, SD 57007
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00569.x

The Fifth Miracle by Paul Davies, reviewed by James F. Moore

James F. Moore, Professor of Theology, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN 46383; e-mail: James.Moore @ valpo.edu
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2004.00569.x



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