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The Life and Works of a Bottom-Up Thinker

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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.

Keywords: EPR effect; John Polkinghorne; Nicene Christianity; bottom-up thinking; chaos theory; divine action; dualism; eschatology; natural theology; realism; science and religion; world faiths

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9744.00325

Affiliations: Cambridge University

Publication date: 2000-12-01

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