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Religious traditions shape, and are shaped by, culture as they seek to respond to fundamental questions about the meaning and purpose of life. Today more than ever, these questions are being catalyzed by the discoveries of science and the new scientific perspective on the universe. Fortunately, we live in a special period in which these great scientific discoveries and the enduring wisdom, truth and values of the diverse religious traditions are together finding ways to enter into a new relationship of genuine respect and mutually critical dialogue. This conference and its proceedings offer a remarkable opportunity to strengthen this relationship and advance the dialogue. In the process, it can make an important contribution to the public awareness that the options for science and religion are not restricted to unmitigated conflict or sterile isolation.

Arguments in support of this dialogue, though, are not widely known outside the specialized scholarly field of “science and religion”, though they have been rigorously developed by four decades of such scholarship. It will be important then, to include an initial section summarizing some of these key methodological arguments, and I will take this opportunity to offer a new approach that might facilitate the dialogue. The bulk of this short paper will then be a brief analysis of the extensive discussions of ‘God and cosmology’ when the scientific model was the standard Big Bang cosmology. I will then turn to very recent discussions of this question in the context of its replacement, inflationary and quantum cosmologies. The closing section points to future directions for the dialogue. I would add that I am speaking from the perspective of a Protestant theologian with a background in physics, and I am grateful that other voices representing other religious traditions and perspectives included are included in this volume.

Contributed by: Dr. Robert Russell

Cosmic Questions

Did the Universe Have a Beginning? Topic Index
Is the Universe the Creation of God?


Methodology in Science and Religion
Scientific Methodology
Theological Methodology as Analogous to Scientific Method
An Interaction Model of Theology and Science.
God, Creation and Science
Prospectus for the Future Dialogue


Robert Russell

Related Media:

Did the Universe Have a Beginning?
Was the Universe Designed?
Are we Alone?
Interview Index
Hubble Deep Field Animation
  Media Index

Other Resources:

Physics and Theology
Theology and Science: Current Issues and Future Directions...
Big Bang Cosmology and Theology
Glossary Terms
Bonus Material Home...