The Fire Each Time: Dark Energy and the Breath of Creation

Mary-Jane Rubenstein

in Cosmology, Ecology, and the Energy of God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780823238958
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823238996 | DOI:
The Fire Each Time: Dark Energy and the Breath of Creation

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This chapter finds its point of departure in the 1998 discovery of “dark energy”: the counter-gravitational pressure of spacetime itself, which is accelerating the expansion of the universe. Ontologically speaking, what seems so threatening about dark energy is the excess of proödos over êpistrophê that it seems to announce; in our runaway universe, we seem to have a creative outpouring which cannot, or will not, gather itself back. The chapter explores two different endtime cosmologies that physicists have proposed to try to come to terms with this discovery: the gradual unraveling of the universe along the inflationary model and the endless cosmic recycling of the ekpyrotic model. It does not seek to adjudicate between these scenarios, but rather to listen out for their theological resonances—in particular, their apophatic metaphorics—in conversation with the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of the “energies” of God.

Keywords: dark energy; cosmology; ekpyrosis; divine energies; inflation; apophatic theology

Chapter.  6851 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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