Emergence, Theology, and the Manifest Image

Michael Silberstein

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780199543656
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Emergence, Theology, and the Manifest Image


The first section of this article discusses the relevance of emergence to theology. The second section characterizes different varieties of emergence. It argues that only radical mereological/causal emergence and nomological emergence – both of which are forms of ontological emergence – have any real relevance for theology. The third section focuses on the promises and pitfalls of using ontological emergence to argue for the existence of God and divine action. Finally, the last section makes a variety of friendly suggestions to theologians, focusing on the direction of future work in emergence, theology, and the manifest image.

Keywords: theology; manifest image; causal emergence; ontological emergence; divine action; God's existence

Article.  7962 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religion and Science

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