A Christian Theology of Science: Reimagining a Theological Vision of Natural Knowledge

A Christian Theology of Science: Reimagining a Theological Vision of Natural Knowledge

A Christian Theology of Science: Reimagining a Theological Vision of Natural Knowledge

A Christian Theology of Science: Reimagining a Theological Vision of Natural Knowledge


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An author on the cutting edge of today's theology and science discussions argues that creedal Christianity has much to contribute to the ongoing conversation. This book contains an intellectual history of theology's engagement with science during the modern period, critiques current approaches, and makes a constructive proposal for how a Christian theological vision of natural knowledge can be better pursued. The author explains that it is good both for religion and for science when Christians treat theology as their first truth discourse. Foreword by David Bentley Hart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781540965516
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/16/2022
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 840,835
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Paul Tyson (PhD, Queensland University of Technology) is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland, Australia, where he serves as a principal investigator and the project co-coordinator for the After Science and Religion Project. His books include Returning to Reality, Kierkegaard's Theological Sociology, and Theology and Climate Change.

Table of Contents

Foreword David Bentley Hart xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: A Christian Theology of Science 1

The Difference between And and Of

Naming the Uneasy History of Science and Christian Theology




Failed Strategies of War and Peace between Science and Religion

The Challenge of Making a New Start

1 Starting Definitions of Christian Theology and of Science 11

1.1 What Is Christian Theology?

1.2 What Is Science?

1.3 Prescriptive Theology and Descriptive Science

1.4 Christian Theology and Science?

2 Viewing Christian Theology through the Truth Lens of Science 18

2.1 Empiricism and Christian Theology

2.2 Rationalism and Christian Theology

2.3 Physical Reductionism and Christian Theology

2.4 Are Modern Science and Christian Theology Incompatible?

3 Christian Theology as a First Truth Discourse 26

3.1 Secularization and Interpretation

3.2 The Primary Interpretive Commitments of Christian Theology

3.2.1 God

3.2.2 God as the Source of All Created Essence and Existence

3.3 Theocentric Foundations versus Egocentric Foundations

4 Viewing Science through the Truth Lens of Christian Theology 40

4.1 Christian Theology and Empiricism

4.2 Christian Theology and Rationalism

4.3 Christian Theology and Physical Reductionism

4.3.1 Nominalism and Physical Reductionism

4.3.2 Voluntarism and Physical Reductionism

4.3.3 Pure Matter and Physical Reductionism

4.4 Physical Reducrionism Is a Useful and Dangerous Abstraction

5 The Remarkable Reversal-Revisiting History 74

5.1 Modern Scientific Historiography and Christian Theology

5.2 The Social Sciences and Christian Theology

5.1 "Science and Religion" and Christian Theology after the 1870s

5.3.1 Functional Demarcation

5.3.2 Autonomous Overlap

5.3.3 Integration

5.4 The Unremarkable Remarkable Reversal

6 Thinking "After" Science but Not "After" Christian Theology 91

6.1 "After" Science

6.1 Not "After" Christian Theology

7 Rediscovering Christian Theological Epistemology 99

7.1 The Fall, the Foundations of Science, and Two Theological Anthropology Trajectories

7.2 Is Nature Knowable?

7.3 Can Fallen Humanity Know Nature?

7.4 Complexity Issues regarding Natural Light and Divine Light

7.5 Distinguishing and Integrating Natural Light and Divine Light

7.6 An Integrative Zone for "Science and Religion" Today?

7.7 Ockham's Pincer

7.8 Christian Theological Epistemology and Post-Victorian Science

8 Myth and History-the Fall and Science 131

8.1 Myth and History in Christian Theology

8.2 Eternity and Time

8.3 Myth Defines Norms

8.4 The Myth of Secular Progress Falters

8.5 Ricæur on the Four Basic Mythic Archetypes

8.5.1 The Mythos of Original Violence

8.5.2 The Fall Mythos

8.5.3 The Tragic Mythos

8.5.4 The Mythos of Exile

8.6 Ricæur on Myth, Time, and Power

8.7 What Stands and Falls with the Edenic Fall?

8.8 On Finding What You Are Looking for-the "Myth" of Epistemic Neutrality

8.9 Eden and the Shibboleth Dynamic

8.10 Myth and History-Adam and the Fall

8.11 Myth and Christian Theological Epistemology

9 Recovering an Integrative Zone 157

9.1 The "Myth" of the Autonomy of Science from Theology

9.2 Obstacles to Recovering the Integration of Knowledge and Understanding

9.3 Christian Theology's Need for an Integrative Zone for Knowledge and Understanding

9.4 Rejecting the Sublimation of Understanding into Knowledge

9.5 Obstacles to Integrating Christian Theological Understanding with Scientific Knowledge

9.6 What a Working Integrative Zone for Christian Theology and Modern Science Might Look Like

9.7 A Confident and Uncomfortable Stance

Epilogue: The Future? 177

Glossary 183

Bibliography 195

Index 205

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