The Impact of the Natural Sciences on Theology

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 the Natural Sciences on Theology

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Torrance holds that the scientists James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein remind theology of its ontological basis in the Incarnation and the Trinity, a basis largely neglected in modern theology. Torrance's view of the indeterminism of Maxwell's theory of the electromagnetic field as well as Einstein's theory of relativity is grounded on his understanding of the tension between causal relations and inherent relations. Torrance sees a deep epistemological integration taking place in the modern natural sciences, e.g., between noumenal and phenomenal as held by Immanuel Kant and between subject and object as entertained in Cartesianism, all features that cannot but have a positive effect on theology. Torrance is detected to use the natural sciences for programmatic purposes, first, to regard theology as an empirical science, whether it deals with Christology and the Trinity or Biblical interpretation, and, second, to provide the ecumenical movement with insights resulting from a major paradigm shift in the Western culture.

Keywords: Biblical interpretation; ecumenical movement; Einstein; electromagnetic field; empirical science; indeterminism; Kant; Maxwell; modern theology; object; subject

Chapter.  22128 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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