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“The End of all our Exploring” in Science and Theology

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Abstract.

The present malaise of religion—and of theology, its intellectual formulation—in Western society is analyzed, with some personal references, especially with respect to its history in the United Kingdom and the United States. The need for a more open theology that takes account of scientific perspectives is urged. An indication of the understandings of God and of God's relation to the world which result from an exploration starting from scientific perspectives is expounded together with their fruitful relation to some traditional themes. The implications of this for the future of theology are suggested, not least in relation to the new phase, beginning in 2003, of the development of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. In a concluding reflection the hope is expressed that the shared global experience and perspectives generated by the sciences might form a more common and acceptable starting point than hitherto for the exploration towards God of the seekers of many religious traditions and of none.
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Keywords: Antje Jackelén; Genesis for the third millennium; Ian Barbour; New Testament scholarship; Philip Hefner; Ralph Burhoe; T. S. Eliot; Ultimate Reality; Wisdom of God; Word (Logos) of God; co-creating creatures/created co-creators; energies of God; evolutionary epic; immanence; inference to the best explanation; open theology; panentheism; postmodernism; sociological surveys; special divine action; theistic naturalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ian Ramsey Centre, Theology Faculty, University of Oxford, UK

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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