Sunday, August 28, 2005

Science & Theology

I have been tremendously busy this past week or so. Busy-ness explains why I haven't posted in awhile. It is a glorious Sunday morning here in SLC. The light is beginning to look like Fall due to the Northern movement of the Sun. The colors look clearer and crisper as we move into Indian Summer. All-in-all a good day to worship our Creator.

On that note (that of a Creator), I offer this link God's Chance Creation to an article by Jesuit Fr George Coyne, the astrophysicist quoted by John Allen in his 22 July column, published in the English Catholic newsweekly The Tablet . Fr Coyne's article demonstrates even further the necessity for theologians and scientists, especially those sharing the same faith, to dialogue. Theology is by its very nature a synthetic (i.e., multi-disciplinary) undertaking. Taking account of consensus views among natural, physical, and social scientists is necessary for a credible theology. If theology has "raw data" with which to work it is revelation. However, revelation, as a form of communication (i.e., a communicator, a message, and one to whom it is communicated), always stands in need of interpretation if it is to be understood. If revelation is interpreted in such a way that it either refuses to take account of "what scientists tell us" , or is articulated in a way that it cannot account for or accommodate such information, it is simply bad theology and erroneous interpretation. There is, of course, a lot more to be written on the matter. As the great French theologian of the last century, Henri de Lubac, pointed out "grace builds on nature." This axiom seems a good starting point for an ever more meaningful dialogue between theology and science.

John F. Haught, a theologian at Georgetown University, is a leader in this dialogue both in the U.S. and internationally. He has written two books that are worthy of note and highly recommended for anybody interested in faith perspectives on evolution: "God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution" and "Deeper Than Darwin: The Prospect for Religion in the Age of Evolution."

More soon . . .

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