Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
52 (4), December 2017

Table of Contents


Preparing for an Editorial Transition by Willem B. Drees

In 2008, the Joint Publication Board of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science appointed me as the new editor (or even “editor-in-chief”) of the journal, following in the steps of Ralph Burhoe, Karl Peters, and Philip Hefner; the last one had served in this capacity for twenty years. After a mere ten years, I intend to step down. I have asked the Joint Publication Board to start the search for a new editor. I will still take responsibility for most of the issues in 2018. Change is good for the journal, as a new editor may bring in new authors and reviewers, have an eye for other developments and topics, and even judge certain submissions differently. It is also good for me, as I hope to get to some projects that had to wait because of the work as editor.
I have enjoyed being an editor. Seeing the topics people are working on—even though we have turned down more than half of the submissions—inviting good reviewers and thereby helping some to develop into stronger papers, putting together an issue, discussing plans for thematic sections and book symposia, and so on. It has also been an interesting time to manage the journal from a distance (Netherlands-Chicago), which is easily possible thanks to modern technology, to work with Deb Van Der Molen and David Glover, our staff in Chicago, and with the leadership of LSTC, the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, which graciously provides us hospitality. Speaking with others such as Eric Piper and Julia Bond from Wiley on developments in academic publishing—the rise of open access, the transition toward print and online, and perhaps in the future even toward only online. And, by sustaining and developing a scholarly journal of international reputation, I hope that we are strengthening the quality and reputation of the field. I have brought in more authors from areas that were (and still are) underrepresented, and added colleagues with other backgrounds to the Editorial Advisory Board.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12376


Horace M. Kallen’s use of Evolutionary Theory in Support of American Jews and Democracy by Matthew Kaufman

This article examines the rhetorical deployment of Darwinian natural selection by the Jewish social philosopher Horace M. Kallen (1882-1974), in what is now widely regarded as the first articulation of cultural pluralism, “Democracy versus the Melting-Pot” (1915). My analysis proceeds in two steps. First, I identify specific strategies by means of which Kallen endeavored to insert his ideas more deeply into national discourse. I also trace reactions to his essay in the Jewish press, and argue that these indicate ongoing conversations concerning Kallen’s ideas, and they also reveal how he was reinterpreted for different reading audiences. Second, I argue that Kallen’s strategy was to stress the survival value of cooperation rather than competition in natural selection, and he believed that this view supported both the natural biological inclinations of social groups and reflected American democratic values. Kallen’s intervention serves as a striking example of how Darwinian natural selection was deployed to support Jewish participation in American life.
American Jews • Judaism and science • Horace Kallen • natural selection • social Darwinism
Rabbi Matthew Kaufman is an independent humanities scholar living in Toronto, Canada who is interested in the engagement of Judaism and science; email: rabbimatthew @ gmail.com.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12364

Biology Teachers’ Conceptions about the Origin of Life in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay: A Comparative Study by Heslley Machado Silva, Pierre Clément, Isabela Maria Silva Leão, Tiago Valentim Garros and Graça Simões Carvalho

Teachers’ conceptions about the origin of life in three Latin American countries with contrasting levels of secularism were analyzed: Argentina (Catholic constitution), Brazil (formally secular but not in practice), and Uruguay (consolidated secularism). A European survey questionnaire was used and the interpretation of the results drew on Barbour’s four categories concerning the relationships of science and religion. A large majority of Argentinian and Uruguayan teachers were clearly evolutionist, even when believing in God (Independence or Dialogue category), with no difference between Argentina and Uruguay. The majority of Brazilian teachers assumed a religious position about the origin of life, being creationist (Conflict or Independence categories) or evolutionary creationist (Dialogue or Integration categories). Differences of Brazilian teachers’ conceptions may result from the higher percentage of evangelicals and lower proportion of agnostics/atheists. Brazilian Catholic teachers were more creationist than their Catholic colleagues in Argentina and Uruguay. Distinct patterns were found, but further research is needed to understand possible classroom impacts.
beliefs • creationism • evolution • Latin America • origin of life • school teachers
Heslley Machado Silva is Professor and Researcher at the Formiga University Center, MG, Brazil; e-mail: heslley @ uniformg.edu.br. Pierre Clément is Invited Retired Professor at the Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille- ADEF, France; e-mail: clement.grave @ free.fr. Isabela Maria Silva Leão is a student and researcher at the Formiga University Center, MG, Brazil; e-mail: isabela.leao94 @ hotmail.com. Tiago Valentim Garros is a PhD Candidate in the Theology, Faculdades EST, São Leopoldo-RS, Brazil; e-mail: tiagogarros @ gmail.com. Graça Simões Carvalho is Full Professor and Head of the Research Center on Child Studies at the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal; e-mail: graca @ ie.uminho.pt.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12371

Causation, Dispositions, and Physical Occasionalism by Walter J. Schultz and Lisanne D’Andrea-Winslow

Even though theistic philosophers and scientists agree that God created, sustains, and providentially governs the physical universe and even though much has been published in general regarding divine action, what is needed is a fine-grained, conceptually coherent account of divine action, causation, dispositions, and laws of nature consistent with divine aseity, satisfying the widely recognized adequacy conditions for any account of dispositions.1 Such an account would be a basic part of a more comprehensive theory of divine action in relation to the fundamental concepts of science and of mathematics. Our aim in this article is simply to present such a theory.
aseity • causation • concurrentism • dispositions • divine action • laws of nature • mechanism • occasionalism
Walter J. Schultz is Professor of Philosophy, Department of Biblical and Theological Studies, University of Northwestern-St Paul, St Paul, MN, USA; e-mail: wjschultz @ unwsp.edu. Rev. Lisanne D’Andrea-Winslow is Professor of Biology, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Northwestern-St Paul, St Paul, MN, USA; e-mail: ldwinslow @ unwsp.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12372

A Randomness-Based Theodicy for Evolutionary Evils by Jordan Wessling and Joshua Rasmussen

We develop and knit together several theodicies in order to find a more complete picture of why certain forms of (nonhuman) animal suffering might be permitted by a perfect being. We focus on an especially potent form of the problem of evil, which arises from considering why a perfectly good, wise, and powerful God might use evolutionary mechanisms that predictably result in so much animal suffering and loss of life. There are many existing theodicies on the market, and although they offer helpful resources, we combine and further develop several proposals to produce a composite theodicy that avoids certain shortcomings of the individual theodicies. An important element of our project is locating a role for randomness in cosmic and biological evolution. In particular, we show how randomness might enhance or enable certain goods, including everlasting goods, at the risk of temporary evils.
animal suffering • autonomy of creation • chance • evolution • problem of evil • randomness • theodicy
Jordan Wessling is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, USA; e-mail: jordanwessling @ fuller.edu. Joshua Rasmussen is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, USA; e-mail: jrasmus1 @ gmail.com.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12370

Naming the Human Animal: Genesis 1-3 and Other Animals in Human Becoming by Arthur Walker-Jones

Recently the paleoanthropologist Pat Shipman has proposed what she calls the animal connection as the human trait that connects all other traits. Theologians and biblical scholars have proposed many relational, functional, and ontological interpretations of the image of God in humans and human nature, but have generally not included a connection with animals. Genesis 1-3, however, weaves human and animal creation in a variety of ways, and Adam’s naming of other species implies they are understood as family or kin. Thus Genesis 1-3 understands a relationship with other animals as integral to human becoming and uses family or kinship as a root metaphor for human-animal relations.
Adam animals • Bible • domestication • dominion • human nature • Genesis 1-3 • Genesis 1:18-20 • Genesis 1:26-28 • image of God (imago Dei)
Arthur Walker-Jones is United Church of Canada Research Chair in Contemporary Theology and Professor of Biblical Literature, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; e-mail: a.walker-jones @ uwinnipeg.ca.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12375

The Many Faces of Panentheism

The Many Faces of Panentheism: An Editorial Introduction by Harald Atmanspacher and Hartmut von Sass

A well-known difficulty of the interdisciplinary dialogue beyond the limits of particular disciplines is the lack of common ground regarding their metaphysical and methodological assumptions and commitments. This is particularly evident for the precarious relationship between science and religion. In a 2016 conference entitled “The Many Faces of Panentheism” held in Zurich, and now in this introduction as well as this section, we try to counteract this situation by choosing a focus theme located at the interface between nature and the divine. Thus, key perspectives, arguments, and implications of panentheism are introduced not only from one selected point of view but in relation to others. This allows us to explore territory beyond the boundaries of disciplinary backgrounds and to address intellectual and practical consequences for current debates.
creation • emergence • metaphysics • mind-body duality • panentheism • science and religion
Harald Atmanspacher is Physicist and Scientific Researcher at the Collegium Helveticum, Zurich, Switzerland; e-mail: atmanspacher @ collegium.ethz.ch Hartmut von Sass is Theologian and Philosopher as well as Deputy Director of the Collegium Helveticum, Zurich, Switzerland; e-mail: vonsass @ collegium.ethz.ch
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12373

How Radically Can God be Reconceived before Ceasing to be God? The Four Faces of Panentheism by Philip Clayton

Panentheism has often been put forward as a means for bringing theology and science into dialogue, perhaps even resolving some of the major tensions between them. A variety of “faces” of panentheism are distinguished, including conservative, metaphysical, apophatic, and naturalist panentheisms. This series of increasingly radical panentheisms is explored, each one bringing its own core commitments, and each describing very different relationships between religion and science. We consider, for example, the diverse ways that the radical panentheisms construe emergent phenomena in the natural world. In the end, comparing the increasingly radical forms of panentheism yields a new understanding of the state of the religion/science dialogue today.
apophatic theology • Robert Corrington • ecstatic naturalism • emergence • David Ray Griffin • Catherine Keller • metaphorical theology • naturalism • panentheism • pantheism • radical theologies
Philip Clayton is Ingraham Professor of Theology at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA, USA; e-mail: pclayton @ cst.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12368

Panentheism and Natural Science: A Good Match? by Willem B. Drees

Is panentheism a metaphysical and religious understanding of the divine and of the world that aligns better with science than classical theism? In order to address this question, I’ll present brief descriptions of theism, pantheism, and panentheism, and of religious visions as integrating models of the world and models for the world. In this respect, science has its limitations. The conclusion that I will argue for is that naturalistic varieties of theism, pantheism, and panentheism do equally well with respect to the natural sciences, and hence that there is no argument from science that favors a panentheistic metaphysics. There may be philosophical or religious arguments that make one prefer one position over another. Science can be involved in the choice for one interpretation of a religious-metaphysical view such as panentheism. Thus, science might play a role in the development of positions, once chosen, and hence in intra-religious competition, even though it cannot be decisive on fundamental choices in metaphysics.
agnosticism • limits of science • naturalism • panentheism • science • theism
Willem B. Drees is Dean of the Tilburg School of Humanities and Professor of Philosophy of the Humanities at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He also serves as the editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. He can be reached at w.b.drees @ tilburguniversity.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12377

The Experience of God and the World: Christianity’s Reasons for Considering Panentheism a Viable Option by Jan-Olav Henriksen

What reasons and resources can Christian theology find for developing a panentheist position that is also able to engage with contemporary science? By taking its point of departure in basic human experiences, Christian theology can, even in a Trinitarian fashion, be developed as a way to understand God’s presence in the world as a presence where the actual occurrences point towards God’s own work. This point is especially related to the experience of love. Furthermore, God’s presence can be understood as sacramental in the Augustinian sense. Moreover, the contributions of the Danish philosopher of religion Knud E. Løgstrup on God’s presence and transcendence, as well as Niels Henrik Gregersen’s elaborations on deep incarnation. Prove to offer important reasons for considering panentheism a viable option for the articulation of Christian theology.
emergence • Niels Henrik Gregersen • Knud E. Løgstrup • love • panentheism • sacrament • semiotics
Jan-Olav Henriksen is Professor of Theology and Philosophy of Religion, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo, Norway; email: jan.o.henriksen @ mf.no.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12374

Panentheism and the Undoing of Disenchantment by Roderick Main

In this article, I draw on historical and conceptual arguments to show, first, that disenchantment and the influential view of the relationship between science and religion to which disenchantment gives rise are rooted in the metaphysics of theism. I then introduce the alternative metaphysical position of panentheism and identify Jungian psychology as an important, if implicit, mid-twentieth-century instance of panentheistic thought. Using the example of Jungian psychology, I demonstrate how the viewpoint of panentheism undoes the implications of disenchantment for the relationship between science and religion, promoting greater opportunities for dialogue and reconciliation between science and religion. I note, however, that these closer relations may depend on understanding science and religion differently from how they are understood under disenchantment. While the original tension between science and religion is eased, another tension—between panentheistic and disenchanted understandings of science and religion—is exposed. I conclude by reflecting on some implications of this discussion for sociology.
disenchantment • Carl Gustav Jung • Jungian psychology • metaphysics • panentheism • religion • science • sociology • theism • Max Weber
Roderick Main is Professor in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, Colchester, UK; e-mail: rmain @ essex.ac.uk.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12365

Panentheism, Neutral Monism, and Advaita Vedanta by Michael Silberstein

It is argued that when it comes to the hard problem of consciousness neutral monism beats out the competition. It is further argued that neutral monism provides a unique route to a novel type of panentheism via Advaita Vedanta Hinduism.
Advaita Vedanta • neutral monism • panentheism
Michael Silberstein is Professor of Philosophy, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA, USA; email: silbermd @ etown.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12367


Eschatology and the Technological Future by Michael S. Burdett reviewed by Willem B. Drees

Willem B. Drees; Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University, The Netherlands; w.b.drees @ tilburguniversity.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12369

God in Cosmic History: Where Science and History Meet Religion by Ted Peters reviewed by Gayle Woloschak

Gayle Woloschak; Professor of Radiation Oncology and Radiology, Northwestern University School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Religion and Science, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Chicago, IL; g-woloschak @ northwestern.edu.
DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12366

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