Saturday, April 18, 2009

Interview with a Physicist Theologian

Christian thinkers have long employed insights from sociology, literature, and other fields to augment their ideas of how God works in the world.

Yet despite the world-changing insights of science, very few theologians have drawn on physics, biology or geology in the same way.

Renowned Anglican physicist-theologian John Polkinghorne wants to change all that. His new book, "Theology in the Context of Science," examines what topics like space and time can teach us about God, and how a scientific style of inquiry can benefit theologians.

Polkinghorne, who was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2002 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his work reconciling science and faith, spoke about his new book from his home in England. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Q: Theology and science are highly specialized, often complex disciplines. Is it feasible for someone to become fully versed in both?

A: I'm not saying that every theologian has to approach theology through the context of science any more than a liberation theologian would say that everyone has to live in base community in South America.

I wrote the book to encourage theologians to take the context of science more seriously ... without having to master all of the technical details.

Q: You write that theologians should be happy to operate in the "questioning" context of science, but they are often not. Why is that?

A: I'm puzzled by that. That kind of thinking impoverishes theology.
Science and theology are cousins on a quest for truth. The insight of science is to move from evidence to understanding, not to start with general principles that will control the whole discussion. Scientists learn that the world is quite often surprising and doesn't match our expectations. I am very happy to practice my religious beliefs in that sort of way.

More here-

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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