Connections between theology and the sciences can be explored

Mark Vernon explains that John Polkinghorne is not a god of the gaps theist-scientist. He’s a nature is underdetermined theist-scientist. That’s much more sensible, apparently.

…there is a possibility of giving an account of divine action within nature, which is compatible with science. It relies neither upon a God who intervenes outside the usual play of nature, nor seeks low-level causal gaps. Rather, God’s action could be viewed as analogous to top-down, emergent causation – particularly when it implies signs of purpose or intentionality.

He doesn’t explain why “God” is the right name for top-down, emergent causation, or how one is to reconcile that with the familiar “God” of the people who pray to it, but never mind – it’s all worthwhile, because it introduces us to the Ian Ramsey Centre for science and religion in the University of Oxford. I didn’t know there was such a place, and now I do. Guess who has given it money? I bet you can’t.

The Ian Ramsey Centre is part of the Theology Faculty in the University of Oxford. It has the special aim of promoting high quality teaching and research in the exciting field of science and religion. Within the University the Centre runs a regular seminar series, bringing scientists, philosophers and theologians together to explore interests they have in common. The seminars are open to students and informed members of the public. In addition, the Centre sponsors regional conferences to encourage new networks through which connections between theology and the sciences can be explored. International workshops are organised to enhance the quality of courses on science and religion that are taught worldwide.

See, there’s another outfit with global reach.

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