Emergence, Energy, and Openness: A Viable Agnostic Theology

Whitney Bauman

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:
Emergence, Energy, and Openness: A Viable Agnostic Theology

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Closed systems lead toward entropy, while open ones toward more complexity. Every time we move toward over-simplification through certainties, we are cut off from the life-force of continuous creation that is an emergent phenomenon. What, then, is the role of theology? This chapter argues that any theology, if it is to remain viable, should remain agnostic to some extent. In other words, ultimate origins and definite ends in our knowledge claims both reify life and therefore participate in a type of necrophilia. As we can only see, smell, taste, touch, feel, and think so far into the past and future, we must admit our experiential horizons in theology and resist the urge to posit certainties where they fade off into uncertainties. Only in this way will the entropic forces of conceptual necrophilia be opened up toward a non-equilibrium thermodynamics within the ever-emerging and evolving planetary contexts of which we are always already a part.

Keywords: non-equilibrium thermodynamics; emergence; creation; complexity; agnostic theology

Chapter.  6497 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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