Conflict, Independence, Dialogue, and Integration: these four categories were proposed by Ian Barbour to describe the field of religion and science. These categories are not just descriptive. Barbour clearly dislikes the conflict mode. Independence is slightly better, as it avoids conflicts, but is inadequate given that our lives do not play out in separate compartments and the biblical conviction that God is Lord of our lives and of nature (Barbour 1990, 16). Thus, dialogue and integration are the way forward. Barbours scheme has widely been used, in academic teaching and public outreach, to plead for a theology in constructive engagement with the sciences. It has also been challenged as being historically not fully adequate (e.g., Cantor and Kenny 2001, response Barbour 2002). Alternatives have been formulated by Mikael Stenmark (2004) and others. Barbours categories are easy to use in teaching and public communication, especially when the audience assumes conflict as the default position. As I see it, the fit is good when secularization is assumed as the context for religion and science. The scheme presents three possible responses to mitigate the forced choice suggested by the conflict position (Drees 2010, 3-6). If the persistence of superstition, pseudo-science, and pseudo-religion would have been the context, there might have been more appreciation for those who stress conflictual dimensions.
This paper both clarifies and broadens the notion of control and its relation to the self. By discussing instances of skillful absorption from different cultural backgrounds, I argue that the notion of control is not as closely related to self-consciousness as is often suggested. Experiences of flow and wu-wei exemplify a nonself-conscious though personal type of control. The intercultural occurrence of this type of behavioral control demonstrates its robustness, and questions two long-held intuitions about the relation between self-consciousness and the experience of control. The first intuition holds that the conscious self initiates and controls actions, thoughts, and feelings. The second is the view that losing this self-conscious type of control is a negative and upsetting experience. By focusing on the paradox of control in these experiences of skillful absorption, I argue that a feeling of control can occur without a self that narratively claims control. Furthermore, this type of control can be a very positive and pleasurable experience. Therefore, the common views of the notion of control are in need of broader conceptualization and further refinement.
control • flow • self • skillful absorption • wu-wei
Valérie De Prycker is a doctoral researcher at the University of Ghent, Department of Philosophy and Moral Science, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium; e-mail: valerie.deprycker @ ugent.be.
The Semantic Structure of Evolutionary Biology as an Argument against Intelligent Design by James A. T. Lancaster
This paper examines the impact of two formalizations of evolutionary biology on the antiselectionist critiques of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement. It looks first at attempts to apply the syntactic framework of the physical sciences to biology in the twentieth century, and to their effect upon the ID movement. It then examines the more heuristic account of biological-theory structure, namely, the semantic model. Finally, it concludes by advocating the semantic conception and emphasizing the problems that the semantic model creates for IDs negative and positive theses.
Michael Behe • Richard Dawkins • William Dembski • Intelligent Design • Imre Lakatos • Alex Rosenburg • Michael Ruse • semantic structure • syntactic structure • theory of evolution • Paul Thompson • Bas Van Fraassen • Mary Williams
James A.T. Lancaster is a doctoral student at The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB, UK; e-mail: james.lancaster @ postgrad.sas.ac.uk.
The Cognitive Science of Religion: Implications for Theism? by David Leech and Aku Visala
Although the Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR), a current approach to the scientific study of religion, has exerted an influence in the study of religion for almost twenty years, the question of its compatibility or incompatibility with theism has not been the subject of serious discussion until recently. Some critics of religion have taken a lively interest in the CSR because they see it as useful in explaining why religious believers consistently make costly commitments to false beliefs. Conversely, some theists have argued for the compatibility of religious belief with basic CSR results. In this article, we contribute to the incipient discussion about the worldview relevance of the CSR by arguing that while a theistic reading of the field only represents one interpretative option at most, antitheistic claims about the incompatibility of the CSR with theism look like they may be harder to maintain than first appearances might suggest.
atheism • by-productism • cognitive science of religion • models of explanation • psychological reductionism • theistic evolution • worldview implications
David Leech is a Research Fellow and Aku Visala a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Anthropology and Mind, University of Oxford. Correspondence can be mailed for both authors to ICEA, University of Oxford, 64 Banbury Rd, Oxford OX2 6PN, UK; e-mail: david.leech @ cantab.net; aku.visala @ anthro.ox.ac.uk.
Dynamic and Theological Models for Religion and Science
A Dynamic Model for "Science and Religion": Interacting Subcultures by Richard Olson
I argue that for psychological and social reasons, the traditional Conflict Model of science and religion interactions has such a strong hold on the nonexpert imagination that counterexamples and claims that interactions are simply more complex than the model allows are inadequate to undermine its power. Taxonomies, such as those of Ian Barbour and John Haught, which characterize conflict as only one among several possible relationships, help. But these taxonomies, by themselves, fail to offer an account of why different relationships prevail among different communities and how they succeed one another within particular communities—that is, they contain no dynamic elements. To undermine the power of the Conflict Model, we should be seeking to offer alternative models for science and religion interactions that can both incorporate the range of stances articulated by scholars like Barbour and which can offer an account of the process by which differing attitudes succeed one another. As a step toward this goal, I propose a general interacting subcultures model and illustrate its applicability in a small number of mini-case studies from Early Modern Britain and France and with glances toward contemporary America.
Ian Barbour • conflict model • dialog • Richard Hooker • independence • integration • interacting subcultures model • master narratives • Isaac Newton • science and religion interactions
Richard Olson is professor of history and Willard W. Keith Jr. Fellow in Humanities at Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711, USA; e-mail: olson @ hmc.edu.
A Theologians Typology for Science and Religion by David J. Zehnder
A 1991 article by psychologist John D. Carter offers an underdeveloped insight that typologies for relating science and religion might be fruitfully formulated in discipline-specific perspectives. This essay thus covers a specifically theological perspective only briefly outlined in Carter, and it expands four models that theologians have used to relate religion and science. This essay renames these models and expands their implications, especially for addressing the behavioral sciences. (1) The contrarian model generally opposes science, (2) the apologetic makes theology congenial to science, (3) the correlational holds both disciplines in tension, and (4) the synthetic attempts a grand unification of them. Arguing from the theologians perspective, this essay is intended to demonstrate that different models/methods for relating science and religion are really reflections of deeper religious attitudes and argues that the task for which a method is employed ultimately determines its adequacy within that attitudes constraints.
apologetics • contrarian • correlation • methodology • model • religion • science • synthetic • typology
David J. Zehnder is a Ph.D. candidate at Concordia St. Louis currently working in theological library research, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105, USA; e-mail: zehnderd @ csl.edu.
Concepts of individual autonomy underlie much of contemporary self-understanding, including the institutions and ways of living in modern societies. These concepts of autonomy are complex, even contradictory, and may present problems for our future. This overview sketches the narrative arc of a collection of papers addressing these topics. While autonomy and individuality are not fictions, neither do what we take to be individuality or autonomy have an unchanging reality. We are both influenced by and have an influence upon how these concepts are understood and used, and their implications for our history, our morality, our religious life, and the future of our relationships and our communities.
autonomy • community • constructionism • empathy • Ethics • externalism • I-consciousness • individuality • intersubjectivity • intimacy • relationality • self-governance
John A. Teske is Professor of Psychology at Elizabethtown College, One Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, USA; e-mail: teskeja @ etown.edu.
Agency, Freedom, and the Blessings of Opacity by Edwin C. Laurenson
How can the decisions of autonomous individuals provide a rationale for freedom and self-governance if a mechanical and causal sense of the self leads us to question the foundational nature of the individual? If most of our decisions originate in brain function below the level of consciousness, we live in a virtual world produced by mechanisms outside our control, arising from transparent self-models of which we are not aware. Opacity, the gift of not perceiving directly, of not automatically believing what we are experiencing, is precisely what makes it possible for us to question our first-person perspectives. While we do not have direct access to the mechanisms that give rise to our sense of ourselves, our investigation can make it possible for us to analyze and understand those very mechanisms consciously. The deployment of that knowledge in the act of decision making and the infinite regress of interacting conscious individuals underlies our existential freedom.
agency • causality • consciousness • freedom • individuality • mechanism • Thomas Metzinger • narrative self • phenomenology • postmodernism • self • self-governance • self-mode
Edwin C. Laurenson practices corporate and securities law in New York City. His mailing address is 37 Main Street, Apartment 404, Yonkers, NY 10701, USA; e-mail: elaurenson @ mwe.com.
Philosophical and Religious Origins of the Private Inner Self by Phillip Cary
The modern concept of the inner self containing a private inner world has ancient philosophical and religious roots. These begin with Platos intelligible world of ideas. In Plotinus, the intelligible world becomes the inner world of the divine Mind and its ideas, which the soul sees by turning into the inside. Augustine made the inner world into something merely human, not a world of divine ideas, so that the soul seeking for God must turn in, then up: entering into itself and then looking above itself at the intelligible light of God. In modernity, ideas become the immediate object of every act of mental perception, the essential inner objects of the minds eye. Locke makes the inner space inescapably private, excluding the divine inner light. Postmodern attempts to reconceive the relation of mind and world, rejecting the modern conception of a private inner self, will need to deal with lingering Platonist intuitions about the immediacy of the minds vision.
Augustine • external world • ideas • inner • inner self • inner world • intelligible world • Locke • Plato • Plotinus • self • soul
Phillip Cary is Scholar-in-Residence, Templeton Honors College, and Professor of Philosophy, Eastern University, 1300 Eagle Rd., St. Davids, PA 19087-3696, USA; e-mail: pcary @ eastern.edu.
The Enigma of I-Consciousness by Anindita N. Balslev
Does reflection on the phenomenon of I-consciousness only lead to a reaffirmation that what is closest to us is furthest from our understanding? This enigmatic theme has been addressed in Indian and Western philosophical traditions from various perspectives, with different intents. Why do philosophers disagree while accounting for this phenomenon, although they seem to generally accept the indubitability of I-consciousness? The discussion focuses on the kind of philosophical issues that are raised and how differently these are dealt with. In the process, the reader will be acquainted with various types of analyses from the history of Indian thought, where one comes across many renditions of contrasting views about Self as a well as of No-Self. The focus is in how these enquiries gradually assume not only epistemological and metaphysical but also important ethico-religious dimensions. Beginning with naturalistic interpretations in the Indian context, it will be outlined why mainstream traditions reject naturalism as an explanatory model.
cross-cultural • epistemology • ethics • I-consciousness • Indian philosophy • mind-body problem • naturalism • no-self • physicalism • reductionism • self • soteriology • subjectivity
Anindita N. Balslev is a philosopher based in India and Denmark and is the initiator of the forum entitled Cross Cultural Conversation (CCC), Elsdyrvaenget 52, 8270 Hojbjerg, Denmark; e-mail: aninditabalslev @ hotmail.com.
The Cultural Development of Three Fundamental Moral Ethics: Autonomy, Community, and Divinity by Lene Arnett Jensen
In this essay, I describe my Cultural-Developmental Template Approach to moral psychology. This theory draws on my research with the Three Ethics of Autonomy, Community, and Divinity, and the work of many other scholars. The cultural-developmental synthesis suggests that the Ethic of Autonomy emerges early in peoples psychological lives, and continues to hold some importance across the lifespan. But Autonomy is not alone. The Ethic of Community too emerges early and appears to increase in importance across the life course. Then, it also seems that in most places and at most times, the Ethic of Divinity has found a voice—and in some traditions this ethic may become audible in adolescence. Ethics of Autonomy, Community, and Divinity, then, may have universal roots in the human condition. However, they are also clearly culturally and historically situated. Cultural communities—whether defined by religious, national, or other boundaries—vary in how they prioritize the three ethics and the extent to which they reinforce their development.
autonomy • collectivity • community • culture • cultural-developmental template • cultural psychology • developmental psychology • divinity • ethics • individuals • moral reasoning • plurality • religious conservatives • religious liberals • universality
Lene Arnett Jensen is an associate professor of psychology at Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA, 01610, USA; e-mail: LJensen @ Clarku.edu.
The American dream of the self-made man is as central to the functioning of our capitalist society as Wall Street and as familiar as the Statue of Liberty. According to this dream, the tired masses have a shot at making it on their own if they have the will power, stamina, and intestinal fortitude to survive and compete. What do we do now that we are faced with scientific evidence that this very strategy is driving society into disconnection, despair, and even poor health? Relational-cultural theory states that growth happens through and toward relationships not toward increased separation and autonomy. Relational-cultural theory describes empathy and mutuality as key components to healthy relationships. This essay will focus on the latest research in the neuroscience of relationships—the development of the capacity to connect within relationships, the systems that help us read and empathize with others, the adaptability and plasticity of the central nervous system, and the destructive nature of isolation.
attachment • community • emotional regulation • empathy • inauthenticity • isolation • mutuality • neocortex • neuroimaging • neuroplasticity • relational-cultural theory • relational images • relational zest • separation-individuation • social rejection
Amy Banks, M.D., is the Director of Advanced Training at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at Wellesley College and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is in private practice at 114Waltham Street, Suite #17, Lexington, MA 02421, USA; e-mail: Abanks14 @ gmail.com.
Externalism, Relational Selves, and Redemptive Relationships by John A. Teske
The dangerous level of individuality in contemporary Western culture is informed by a conception of mind, self, and soul as internal to the central nervous system. The historical development of this view has produced a bounded and self-contained individual at odds with communal life. Happily, scientific and philosophical studies of mind are coming to view the human mind as embodied, enactive, encultured, and embedded in social and technical networks, and as a construction not limited to the boundaries of the individual organism. Mental phenomena are hybrids of events in the head and events in the world to which they are often coupled, not least of which are with other people. There are mutual and reciprocal implications of this externalism for a number of religious themes. Our understanding of redemption might better be bound to our relationships with others, including our bodies and our sexuality, rather than to a private, individual relationship with the sacred.
cognition • community • empathy • externalism • history • individuality • intentionality • interdependency • intersubjectivity • memory • part-whole • relationality • sexuality • social construction • technology
John A. Teske, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Elizabethtown College, One Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, USA; e-mail: teskeja @ etown.edu.
From Moral Autonomy to Relational Responsibility by Kenneth J. Gergen
Given that the conception of the person as an autonomous agent is a cultural construction, inquiry is directed to its potentials and shortcomings for cultural life. While such a conception contributes to sustaining the moral order, it also supports an individualist ideology and social divisiveness. As an alternative to the conception of moral autonomy, I explore the potentials of relational being, an orientation that views relational process (as opposed to individual agents) as the wellspring of all meaning. Such an orientation sees all moral concepts and action as issuing from coordinated action. However, at the same time that relational process generates moral orders, so does it establish the grounds for immorality and social conflict, which undermines the relational process of creating moral order. Thus, a concept of second-order morality is advanced, which seeks to reestablish a more inclusive first-order morality. Responsibility for productive processes of relationship is invited. Recent innovations in dialogic practices lend themselves to relational responsibility.
action • agency • autonomy • causality • collaboration • cultural construction • dialogic practice • discourse • individualism • intelligibility • justice • meaning • moral order • relational coordination • relational ontology
Kenneth J. Gergen is a Senior Research Professor in the department of Psychology, Swathmore College, 500 College Ave. Swathmore, PA 19081, USA and the President of the Taos Institute; e-mail: kgergen1 @ swarthmore.edu.
Reimagining Democratic Theory for Social Individuals by Steven L. Winter
The Western conception of the individual as a rational, self-directing agent is a mythology that organizes and distorts religion, science, economics, and politics. It produces an abstracted and atomized form of engagement that is fatal to collective self-governance. And it turns democracy into the enemy of equality. Considering the meaning of democracy and autonomy from a perspective that takes the subject as truly social would refocus our attention on the constitutive contexts and practices necessary for the production of citizens who are capable of meaningful self-governance. Under modern conditions, it is in the development of sexual autonomy that we learn how to take initiative with respect to our well-being and do so in concert with others. Where the view of rational agency as the defining characteristic of humanity yields a deracinated view of autonomy, a more realistic, humanistic view that we are, necessarily, social beings yields a view of freedom and self-governance as social phenomena that require empathy, negotiation, compromise, cooperation, and mutual recognition and respect.
agency • autonomy • choice • collectivity • commodification • consumerism • democracy • dependency • equality • individualism • rationality • self-governance • sexuality • social construction • social fragmentation
Steven L. Winter is the Walter S. Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law at the Wayne State University Law School, 471 West Palmer Street, Detroit, MI 48202, USA; e-mail: swinter @ wayne.edu.
The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, reviewed by Varadaraja V. Raman