Reviews - What do customers think about Theological and Natural Science?
A fine introduction Oct 31, 2008
So, far, this has been a fine introduction by Torrance to his thought on Theological and Natural Science. Originally written as lectures, they are fairly easy to follow.
Great, but repetitive Oct 2, 2008
Every thinking Christian ought to engage the work of Thomas Torrance at some point. This work is a collection of revised essays and lectures that Torrance has written over the years. It will certainly give you a taste for his work and thoughts on the relationship between theology and science. These essays are impressive and worth reading. However, there is a great deal of overlap between some of the essays at various points.
The Omega Point of Theological and Natural Science Oct 3, 2004
"All sciences are, in a true sense, anthropology, except for Theology...Theology alone exists because there is a word of God to humanity." Karl Rahner, Hearer of the Word
Rise of Modern Science: "Modern science devoted to the investigation of empirical phenomena could not have risen in the classical form given to it by Galileo and Newton if it had been restricted to a purely a priori approach," argues Prof. Thomas Torrance in his book; 'Theological and Natural Science.' He postulates that; "It arose out of the way of the understanding of the universe as created by God and endowed by him with a created or contingent rationality of its own, dependent upon his transcendent rationality. This means that while the contingence of the universe cannot be demonstrated from the world itself, nevertheless scientific understanding of it is reached only through giving attention to the universe itself, apart from God."
Modern Science & Theology: The relationship of the Christian traditions to science from the 'common' era to the late twentieth century, have got their bumps, their intersection suggests a complex interaction rather than inalterable conflict. Tracing the rise of modern science from the renascence through the scientific revolution major shifts, were marked by discoveries of Copernicus, Galileo, etc., and the Catholic church reactions to 'Human sciences' was so negative that the dissecting table in the pioneering anatomy theater in the University of Padova was designed to instantly conceal the corpus, by lifting of a small handle. Torrance makes a very interesting observation, or in his words; the problem as he sees it ; "that coupling and decoupling of the contingent universe with God lies deep in the foundation of our western science, but the decoupling loses its significance when its relation to the coupling of God and science is neglected or severed, as happened in the enlightenment, "Because there is a correlation between patterns intrinsic to the scientist's mind and intelligible patterns embodied in the physical world, science is possible at all, he says. "Just because scientists themselves and the realm of nature have been created alike through the logos or word, the intelligibility inherent in nature and the intelligibility inherent in the structures of human knowing match up. Therefore the realm of nature that science investigates was made through the logos. Then the inner principle of God's mind and being, the rationality of God himself, has been imprinted indelibly on the creation. In short, thanks to creation through the word, there is engraved upon all of nature a rationality, an intelligibility, that reflects the rationality of the Creator's own mind.
Theology & Natural Science: The theological implications of advancing science and contemporary thought on environmentalism, deconstruction, gender studies, and postmodernism, are at the center of current social debates. History, meaning, and implication of science and the technological revolution of the Cyberspace information age, are causing unprecedented theological thought reassessment, since the 'shaking of the foundation' in Vatican II. Torrance starts relating theology to science, defending a case for their compatibility. He then tour Einstein's mind, a model for the perception of advanced mathematical logic. In the following essays, on the interrelation between Christian theology and natural science, he links the genius of his country man James Maxwell to John Philoponus, a philosopher of late antiquity Alexandria, who started the genuine scientific revolution. Prof. Torrance masterfully engaging preface, on the subject lectures, gives us the most compelling 'double edged knowledge,' so wondrous that you wonder, "if he is a mystic story teller or a sophi-Scientist."
The Omega Point: Jaroslav Pelikan, in his 'most engaging and enlightening religious compendium of our time' has selected a Jesuit Paleontologist classic: 'The phenomenon of man,' to give a prophetic vision of the distant future, where human spiritual evolution would attain its divinely destined goal. "After allowing itself to be captivated in excess by the charms of the analysis to the extent of falling into illusion, modern thought is at last getting used once more to the idea of the creative value of synthesis in evolution. It is beginning to see that there is definitely more in the molecule than in the atom, more in the cell than in the molecule, more in society than in the individual, and more in mathematical construction than in calculations and theorems. .. But science is nevertheless still far from recognizing that this something has a particular value of independence and solidity." Teilhard De Chardin.
Thomas Torrance: Second to theology, science is his great intellectual interest. In the past three decades Torrance has written over ten books on the interrelations between science and theology. He has been one of the pioneers in the new and burgeoning discipline of Science and Religion; and in 1978 the Duke of Edinburgh awarded him the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, given to "those who through original and pioneering ways advanced the knowledge and love of God." Yet, throughout Torrance's more scientific writings, theological passion remains his primary driving force. " (Dictionary of Modern Western Theology)
Scientific Theology from John Philoponus to J. Clerk Maxwell May 29, 2004
Science and Theology: An anonymous saying was iterated secretively in the time of Dr. Inge, popularly known as the Gloomy Dean, that read: 'A graduate student at Trinity..Computed the square of infinity. But it gave him the fidgets.. To put down the digits, So he dropped math and took up divinity.' (Anon.) That was not the trend in Late Antiquity Alexandria, the City of Mathematics, were a heroic figure, John Philoponus, a sixth century science philosopher astonishingly broke through Aristotelian science, while steadfastly defending the genuine Orthodox Christology of Alexandria.
Cambridge philosopher Scientists: Led by Sir Arthur Eddington, in the early 1930s, a group of Cambridge eminent scientists exploring the depth of 20th century physics, came to a conclusive world view that the staff of the Cosmos is a mathematical 'mind-stuff.' Eddington, Jeans and Whitehead came to the same conclusions on the 'Mathematical Cosmic Mind,' through different approaches of thought. Sir James Jeans argued that, "If the universe is a universe of thought, then its creation must be an act of thought." Dr. Forster suggests that the void is God's 'mental space,' supported by Einstein's matter-tensor, giving mathematics a mass-energy substance of 'shaping of the void.'
Torrance Theological Science: In nine lucent addresses on the interrelation between Christian theology and natural science, that linked the genius thought of J. Clerk Maxwell and a remarkable anticipation of his medieval predecessor who caused the scientific tension to erupt a millennia later into revolution as per Kuhn's terminology, Prof. Torrance masterfully gives us the most compelling 'double edged knowledge' that leaves you in awe. His engaging preface, on the subject lectures, is so personal that I thought he was telling me his story, meeting with my heroic toil lover, the Alexandrine sophi-Scientist. Torrance introduces readers, anew to many thinkers, whom I thought I really knew!
Torrance's TheoLogos: My own unqualified assumption, that the launching of T. Torrance TheoLogos move that broke 'officially' in Edinburgh at its fourth centennial inauguration of the great Northern Scottish thought Castle, where J. Clerk Maxwell's mathemagical genius in his epoch making work on the electromagnetic field was published has started a huge centennial wave of authentic reality that swept the anathema off the 'toil lover' John, setting his rational soul free. His theological pilgrimage interfacing Cyril's Orthodox Christology is a remedy for the Orientals' abuse by Aristotelian Byzantines, and a patristic encounter with St. Basil's "De Opificio Mundi' through the Neoplatonist's commentary.
Einstein & God: T.T. starts his case of unity of reality, science and theology, by a tour in Albert's noia, the center of perception of Divine Wisdom. His exposition understandably includes a curved space universe, a new mathesis but also Spinoza and Freud. He mentions Einstein later funny claim that "Only an Ox eats strictly kosher," a statement that insinuates he read "Moses and monotheism. There is an assurance that he conversed with M. Buber, about his own faith. In chapter eight; Michael Polanyi and the Christian faith, his personal report is so touching that I felt for the first time his multi talented and genuinely personal Christianity. T.T. was born to missionary parents, served as moderator of the assembly of the Church of Scotland, and converted John Emory McKenna from a Princeton physicist to a Philoponoi Christologist, John's theognostic language moved from Hebrew to Syriac, a big price for a unique encounter of Christ's Wisdom in the Grammarian.
Thanks John McKenna for advising me to read this theognostically metanoic, an inner thought changing insight for the Theo-minded.
Excellent! May 13, 2004
Be prepared to enter into a deeper and more meaningful understanding and relationship with God. Professor Torence lends great insight into the deep things of God. His insight into the nature of scientific activity and the nature of truth are highly commendable. Though it will take some time to ponder the wealth of information found in this book it's well worth it to the patient and willing.