The Life and Works of a Bottom-Up Thinker
Author: Polkinghorne, John
Source: Zygon, Volume 35, Number 4, December 2000 , pp. 955-962(8)
Abstract:A brief account is given of the author's life as a physicist and then a priest. The twin foundations of the author's theological endeavors have been a respect for traditional Christian thinking, though not exempting it from revision where this is needed, and a style of argument termed bottom-up thinking, which seeks to proceed from experience to understanding. The diversity of the world faith traditions is perceived as a major source of perplexity. A revised and modest natural theology and the issue of divine action have been at the top of a science and theology agenda. A defense is sketched in realist terms of the metaphysical strategy of using an ontological interpretation of the unpredictabilities of chaos theory to support a notion of top-down causality through active information. The success of Christian theology as a resource of total explanation depends on a credible account of eschatological hope. Reference is made to practical experience of ethics in the public square.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Cambridge University
Publication date: December 1, 2000