Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
50 (1), March 2015

Table of Contents


Half a Century of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science by Willem B. Drees

With this issue, Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science enters its fiftieth year of publication. In the first issue, in March 1966, the first lines of the first editorial were as follows:      Zygon, the Greek term for anything which joins two bodies, especially the yoking or harnessing of a team which must effectively pull together, is a symbol for this journal whose aim it is to reunite the split team, values and knowledge, where co-ordination is essential for a viable dynamics of human culture. (Burhoe and Tapp 1966, 1) Values and knowledge are envisaged as a team that should work for the common good. Religion and science are respected as powers that have their own characteristics. However, they coexist as facets and fruits of human culture, and they should both be drawn upon as resources to work for a healthy, sustainable future. In recent contributions, Zygon’s second editor Karl Peters reflected on the original vision for the journal and for IRAS, one of the founding organizations (Peters 2014), while the third editor, Philip Hefner, wrote on Ralph Burhoe, the founder, “and his vision of yoking religion and science” (Hefner 2014). On each of the three previous editors, a virtual issue with a selection of their contributions to Zygon has been composed, available online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9744.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12157


Andrew Dickson White and the History of a Religious Future by Richard Schaefer

Andrew Dickson White played a pivotal role in constructing the image of a necessary, and even violent, confrontation between religion and science that persists to this day. Though scholars have long acknowledged that his position is more complex, given that White claimed to be saving religion from theology, there has been no attempt to explore what this means in light of his overwhelming attack on existing religions. This essay draws attention to how White’s role as a historian was decisive in allowing him to posit a future for religion purified of dogma by science. It argues, furthermore, that this effort is better understood as religious innovation, rather than a plea for strictly secular science. In so doing it hopes to lay the foundation for a more fruitful historical treatment of White, and a range of other figures whose devotion to science has otherwise been difficult to grasp.
Christianity • John Draper • history • narrative • religion • science • A. D. White
Richard Schaefer is Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies at the State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh, 101 Broad St., Plattsburgh, NY 12901, USA; e-mail: schaefr @ plattsburgh.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12148

Confucian Environmental Ethics, Climate Engineering, and the “Playing God” Argument by Pak-Hang Wong

The burgeoning literature on the ethical issues raised by climate engineering has explored various normative questions associated with the research and deployment of climate engineering, and has examined a number of responses to them. While researchers have noted the ethical issues from climate engineering are global in nature, much of the discussion proceeds predominately with ethical framework in the Anglo-American and European traditions, which presume particular normative standpoints and understandings of human-nature relationship. The current discussion on the ethical issues, therefore, is far from being a genuine global dialogue. The aim of this article is to address the lack of intercultural exchange by exploring the ethics of climate engineering from a perspective of Confucian environmental ethics. Drawing from the existing discussion on Confucian environmental ethics and Confucian ethics of technology, I discuss what Confucian ethics can contribute to the ethical debate on climate engineering.
climate engineering • Confucian environmental ethics • hubris • the “playing god” argument
Pak-Hang Wong is associate fellow in the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society and Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, 64 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PN, UK; e-mail: pak.wong @ insis.ox.ac.uk.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12151

“Fill and Subdue”? Imaging God in New Social and Ecological Contexts by Jason Roberts

While the social and ecological landscape of the twenty-first century is worlds away from the historical-cultural context in which the biblical myth-symbols of the image of God and the knowledge of good and evil first emerged, Philip Hefner’s understanding that Homo sapiens image God as created co-creators presents a plausible starting point for constructing a second naïveté interpretation of biblical anthropology and a fruitful concept for envisioning and enacting our human future.
biocultural • created co-creator • Enuma Elish (EE) • image of God • knowledge of good and evil • Philip Hefner • Paul Ricoeur • second naïveté • transhumanism • wholesomeness
Jason P. Roberts is a Lecturer in Christian Theology at the Department of Religion, University of Georgia, Peabody Hall, Athens, GA 30602, USA; e-mail: robertsj @ uga.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12152

New Religious Movements and Science: Rael’s Progressive Patronizing Parasitism by Stefano Bigliardi

The article examines the concoction of religion and “science” contained in the revelation that substantiates a new religion: Raelianism, founded and led by the prophet Claude Vorilhon/Rael after having received a revelation in 1974. After a detailed examination both of Rael’s prophetic message and his/the Raelians’ interpretative practices, an ad hoc model is presented to describe such concoction (“progressive patronizing parasitism”), and it is compared to other models. It is in particular claimed that Rael, while seemingly talking about “science,” is actually constructing a science-fictional and even pseudoscientific narrative. The article finally raises the question whether the discussion of the science-religion interaction from the viewpoint of traditional religions can be considered to be immune to the usage of such rhetorical devices.
new religious movements • pseudoscience • Rael • Raelianism • science fiction • UFO religions • Claude Vorilhon
Stefano Bigliardi is an affiliated postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), Lund University, Finngatan 16, 223 62, Sweden, and a lecturer in ethics and contemporary philosophy at Tec de Monterrey CSF in Mexico City, Mexico; e-mail: stefano.bigliardi @ cme.lu.se.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12162

Matrix Thinking: An Adaptation at the Foundation of Human Science, Religion, and Art by Margaret Boone Rappaport and Christopher Corbally

Intrigued by Robinson and Southgate’s 2010 work on “entering a semiotic matrix,” we expand their model to include the juxtaposition of all signs, symbols, and mental categories, and to explore the underpinnings of creativity in science, religion, and art. We rely on an interdisciplinary review of human sentience in archaeology, evolutionary biology, the cognitive science of religion, and literature, and speculate on the development of sentience in response to strong selection pressure on the hominin evolutionary line, leaving us the “lone survivors” of complex, multiple lines of physical and cultural evolution. What we call Matrix Thinking—the creative driver of human sentience—has important cognitive and intellectual features, but also equally important characteristics traced to our intense sociability and use of emotionality in vetting rational models. Scientist, theologian, and artist create new cultural knowledge within a social context even if alone. They are rewarded by emotional validation from group members, and guided by the ever present question, “Does it feel right?”
aesthetics • anthropology • creativity • emotion • evolutionary biology • Matrix Thinking • semiotics • sentience • theology and science
Margaret Boone Rappaport, née Margaret S. Boone, is an anthropologist and Co-Founder of The Human Sentience Project, 400 E. Deer’s Rest Pl., Tucson, AZ 85704, USA; e-mail: msbrappaport @ aol.com. Christopher J. Corbally, SJ, is an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory and Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA; e-mail: Corbally @ vaticanobservatory.org.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12161

The Dispositionalist Deity: How God Creates Laws and Why Theists Should Care by Ben Page

How does God govern the world? For many theists “laws of nature” play a vital role. But what are these laws, metaphysically speaking? I shall argue that laws of nature are not external to the objects they govern, but instead should be thought of as reducible to internal features of properties. Recent work in metaphysics and philosophy of science has revived a dispositionalist conception of nature, according to which nature is not passive, but active and dynamic. Disposition theorists see particulars as being internally powerful rather than being governed by external laws of nature, making external laws in effect ontologically otiose. I will argue that theists should prefer a dispositionalist ontology, since it leads them toward the theory of concurrentism in divine conservation, rather than occasionalism, and revives the distinction between internal and external teleology. God on this view does not govern the world through external laws of nature, but rather through internal aspects of powerful properties.
concurrentism • dispositions • God • laws of nature • metaphysics • occasionalism • ontology • philosophy of science • powers • teleology
Ben Page is a final year student in Philosophy and Theology at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TD, UK; e-mail: benjamin.page @ hmc.ox.ac.uk.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12150

Theism Reconsidered: Belief in God and the Existence of God by Ilkka Pyysiäinen

This article develops a new perspective on theism that (1) makes the simple juxtaposition of theism and atheism problematic, (2) and helps bridge philosophy of religion and the empirical study of religious phenomena. The basic idea is developed inspired by Terrence Deacon’s book Incomplete Nature and its description of “ententional” phenomena, together with some ideas from the cognitive science of religion, especially those related to agency and “theological correctness.” It is argued that God should not be understood as a “homunculus” that stops an otherwise infinite regress of arguments.
consciousness • cosmology • fideism • God • theism
Ilkka Pyysiäinen is Docent in the Study of Religions, Department of the Study of Religions, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 59, 00014 Helsinki, Finland; e-mail: ilkka.pyysiainen @ helsinki.fi.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12163

Review Articles on Religion and Science around the World

Glocalization: Religion and Science around the World by Willem B. Drees

This essay explains the rationale behind a series of reviews on interactions between knowledge and values, science and religion, in different countries or regions around the world. The series will run in Zygon for the whole of 2015 and beyond. In the literature, it may seem that discussions in the United States and to a lesser extent the United Kingdom are typical of the issues, but they need not be. David Livingstone showed that the reception of evolution differed, even among Calvinists in different countries. Thus, rather than an export model, we should take time to learn from scholars rooted in different contexts how in their situation issues on knowledge and values arise and are dealt with. In this interplay of global processes and local contexts, indicated with the term glocalization, we should be alert to the migration of concepts and the transformations that ideas undergo.
1966 • Ian Barbour • Ralph Burhoe • contextualization • globalization • glocalization • David Livingstone • migration of concepts • religion and science
Willem B. Drees is editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and Professor of Philosophy of the Humanities and Dean, Tilburg School of the Humanities, Tilburg, The Netherlands; e-mail: w.b.drees @ tilburguniversity.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12155

Śūnyatā and Kokoro: Science-Religion Dialogue in the Japanese Context by Seung Chul Kim

When we read books or essays about the dialogue between “religion and science,” or when we attend conferences on the theme of “religion and science,” we cannot avoid the impression that they actually are dealing, almost without exception, not with a dialogue between “religion and science,” but with a dialogue between “Christianity and science.” This could easily be affirmed by looking at the major publications in this field. But how can the science-religion dialogue take place in a world where conventional Christian concepts of God, religion, and science are foreign and unfamiliar? Is the critique that the scientist plays God still valid when there is no “God” at all? This article tries to answer the questions mentioned above, and seeks to sketch out some aspects of the science-religion dialogue in Japan which I believe could contribute a new paradigm for understanding and describing ultimate reality.
Buddhism • circuminsessional integratation • God • and Kokoro • Keiji Nishitani • religion (shūkyō) • science-religion dialogue • > Śūnyatā • Paul Swanson
Seung Chul Kim is a Professor at Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, Nanzan University, 18 Yamazato-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya, 466-8673, Japan; e-mail: sechkim@gmail.com.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12153

The Interaction between Religion and Science in Catholic Southern Europe (Italy, Spain and Portugal) by Lluis Oviedo and Alvaro Garre

Reviewing the last fifty years of interaction between religion and science in Catholicism in Southern Europe, common traits are clearly evident: a late awareness of the importance of this interaction and a theological reluctance to address science or to account for its progress. Early signs of the engagement between religion and science appear as a consequence of the work of the French anthropologist and theologian Teilhard de Chardin. In Italy and Spain in the last fifteen years, we see a substantive growth in the rise of research centers and academic activities devoted to exploring the common ground between science, philosophy, and theology. However, despite all these efforts and the many positive signs, there remains a long way to go for theology to consider science as a true challenge and an inspiration and to integrate it into the theological curriculum.
Mariano Artigas • Teilhard de Chardin • Italy • Portugal • Spain
Lluís Oviedo is Professor, Faculty of Theology, Pontificia Universitá Antonianum, Via Merulana 124, Roma 00185, Italy; e-mail: loviedo @ antonianum.eu. Alvaro Garre is a PhD researcher in Theology, Instituto Teologico Murcia, Murcia, Spain; e-mail: alvarogarre @ gmail.com.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12159

Science and Religion in the Kraków School by Barosz Brożek and Michael Heller

This article outlines the contributions of the Kraków School to the field of science and religion. The Kraków School is a group of philosophers, scientists, and theologians who belong to the milieu of the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. The members of the group are engaged in inquiries pertaining to the relationship between theology and various sciences, in particular cosmology, evolutionary theory, and neuroscience. The article includes a presentation of the historical background of the School, as well as its main original contributions pertaining to the history of the interactions between science and religion, the rationality and mathematicity of the universe, theology of science, and the role of logic in theology.
cosmology • creation • laws of nature • logos • theology and science • theology of nature
Bartosz Brożek is Professor, Department for the Philosophy of Law and Legal Ethics, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Bracka Str. 12, 31-005 Kraków, Poland; and Deputy-Director, Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Sławkowska Str. 17, 31-017 Kraków, Poland; e-mail: bbroze @ yahoo.com. Michael Heller is Director, Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Sławkowska Str. 17, 31-017 Kraków, Poland; and Professor, Philosophical Faculty, Pontifical University of John Paul II, Kanonicza Str. 25, 31-002 Kraków, Poland; e-mail: mheller @ wsd.tarnow.pl.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12160

Higher Education as a Context for “Religion and Science”

Galileo Still Goes to Jail: Conflict Model Persistence within Introductory Anthropology Materials by Thomas Aechtner

Historians have long since rejected the dubious assertions of the conflict model, with its narratives of perennial religion versus science combat. Nonetheless, this theory persists in various academic disciplines, and it is still presented to university students as the authoritative historical account of religion-science interactions. Cases of this can be identified within modern anthropology textbooks and reference materials, which often recapitulate claims once made by John W. Draper and Andrew D. White. This article examines 21st-century introductory anthropology publications, demonstrating how such works perpetuate religion-science myths and the notion that history has been replete with inevitable religion versus science warfare. In particular, this study reveals how such introductory materials propagate discord narratives associated with the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. Affiliated with these anecdotes are oversimplified accounts of religious responses to heliocentrism and evolutionary theory, as well as claims that science has invariably led to the usurpation of religious belief and secularization from Galileo onwards.
anthropology • conflict model • Charles Darwin • Galileo • pedagogical materials • reference texts • social sciences • textbooks
Thomas Aechtner is Lecturer in History of Religious Thought, University of Queensland, School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He may be contacted at E322, Forgan Smith Building, School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia QLD 4072, Australia; e-mail: t.aechtner @ uq.edu.au.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12149

Why Religion Matters and the Purposes of Higher Education: A Dialogue with Huston Smith by Garrett Kenney

This article examines Huston Smith’s critique of and remedy for modernity from the perspective of a college professor who adopted “Why Religion Matters” (2001) as required reading for undergraduates. Smith’s heartfelt plea to consider, if not embrace, the common wisdom of traditional religious worldviews deserves a hearing. But Smith’s approach is also in need of qualification, supplementation, and critique. This article, ironically, finds the needed qualification, supplementation, and critique in Huston Smith’s much earlier publication, The Purposes of Higher Education (1955). This article provides the dialogue.
atheism • education • Huston Smith • religion • science • theism
Garrett Kenney is Associate Professor of English/Religious Studies, Eastern Washington University, Patterson 229 G, Cheney, WA 99004, USA; email: gkenney @ ewu.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12154


Books from the Kraków School reviewed by Willem B. Drees

Professor of Philosophy of the Humanities, Dean; Tilburg School of Theology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands; w.b.drees @ tilburguniversity.edu
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12156

The Age of Scientific Naturalism: Tyndall and His Contemporaries by Bernard Lightman and Michael S. Reidy, reviewed by James C. Ungureanu

The University of Queensland; jcungureanu @ gmail.com
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12147

Flourishing: Health, Disease, and Bioethics in Theological Perspective by Neil Messer, reviewed by Christoffer H. Grundmann

John R. Eckrich University Professor in Religion and the Healing Arts; Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN, 46383; Christoffer.grundmann @ valpo.edu
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12164

The Philosophy of Human Evolution by Michael Ruse, reviewed by Paul G. Heltne

Director, The Ethopoiesis Project; President Emeritus of the Chicago Academy of Sciences; 4001 N. Ravenswood, #401; Chicago, IL, 60613; heltne @ chias.org
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12146

Evolutionary Religion by J. L. Schellenberg, reviewed by Ebrahim Azadegan

Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy of Science; Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran; Ebrahimazadegan @ gmail.com
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12158

Tables of Contents, Articles & Abstracts