Thursday, April 10, 2008

Moltmann on Science and Theology

Jürgen Moltmann, Science and Wisdom:

A theological doctrine of creation is not a religious cosmology which enters into lists in competition with the cosmologies of physics. But it has to be compatible with physical cosmologies.

The theological account of experiences of God is different from the scientific account of experiences of nature. If we bring them into dialogue with each other, two things soon emerge. First, theologians have a predilection for the ‘great scientific narratives’, with their unique and unrepeatable histories, because these narratives correspond to God's histories.... Second, theologians have a particular interest in a natural phenomenon for which scientists have no great liking: ‘contingency’.... So in developing a theology of nature, we have to ask about God's presence in the history of nature and in the chance events that herald a future which cannot be extrapolated from the past and present of the cosmos. (pgs. 54-55)


Anonymous said...

Quick observation since I have not read this book: Interesting use of the term "religious cosmology" rather than "cosmogony". I say that because Genesis 1 is a mythic narrative form called cosmogony. Is that the direction that Moltmann takes this?

Ken Brown said...

I've only just begun reading it myself, but his focus in this particular essay is on kenosis - the self-emptying of God. I can't say whether he would claim Genesis 1 is cosmogony, but the more important point is that it is not scientific cosmology.

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