Science and Divine Action
We introduce the question of how God might
be thought to act in the world science describes by considering how the great
Newton would have thought of Gods action. After An
Introduction to Divine Action: Isaac Newtons God we show how this thinking
could lead to a God of the gaps model.
Crucial to many modern attempts to discuss
providence is a sense that God works with the interplay between law and chance.
We list different types of attempt in A classification of theories of divine
action. This leads to a discussion of the causal joint - how precisely do
Gods purposes intersect with the causal chains we recognise from the world of
In order to look deeper into the issues
raised by some of the most promising models we next consider Peacocke and Polkinghorne compared. Part of the
comparison concerns the question of miracle and the all-important issue for
Christians of the resurrection of Jesus.
the voluminous literature on the subject we particularly recommend Keith Wards
1990 study Divine Action.The exploration has been taken forward by four collections of essays deriving from
the Vatican Observatory Conferences of 1991, 1993, 1995, and 1997, edited by
R.J.Russell with others, published by the Vatican State Observatory, and
entitled Quantum Cosmology and the Laws
of Nature (1993), Chaos and
Complexity (1995) and Evolution and
Molecular Biology (1999), and Neuroscience
and the Human Person,each with the sub-title Scientific
Perspectives on Divine Action. The first of these is especially important
for its discussion of God and the early universe, the second for its engagement
with questions of providence. The third contains among other things a valuable
updating of Arthur Peacockes position.
For reasons of space we confine this
discussion to the Christian tradition, but the reader is invited to reflect on
the shape the discussion of divine action might have taken in respect of other
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Source: God, Humanity and the
Cosmos (T&T Clark, 1999)