The Impact of Theology on the Natural Sciences

Tapio Luoma

in Incarnation and Physics

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195151893
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834419 | DOI:

Series: An American Academy of Religion Book

 The Impact of Theology on the Natural Sciences

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Torrance's claim that it is Christian theology that has provided the basis for the emergence of the modern natural sciences is another example of the idea of contribution, entertained for various reasons in Christian traditions. Torrance holds that the Incarnation and especially the notion of the homoousion, as used by the Church Father Athanasius, negates any possibility of gaining trustworthy knowledge of God outside the incarnate Logos. Accordingly, he affirms the positive significance of the notion for epistemology both in theology and in the natural sciences. Not only these claims of the relevance of the homoousion for a correct epistemology but also those for a correct ontology of the creation would need more evidence to be convincing. Torrance's way of linking together the patristic understanding of space and time and Albert Einstein's relativity theory faces similar problems.

Keywords: Athanasius; Church Father; Einstein; epistemology; homoousion; logos; ontology; relativity; space and time

Chapter.  20160 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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