Natural Sciences as a Contemporary Locus Theologicus

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Theologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2024 | Viewed by 2387

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Humanities, Institute of History, Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce, Poland
Interests: history of relations between science and religion; science and theology studies; theology of science; the-ology of technology

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Philosophy, Pontifical University of John Paul II, Krakow, Poland
Interests: science and religion relations in methodological perspective; science and theology studies; theology of science; philosophy of science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The particular role of science in the modern world provokes many questions about its relation to the spheres of faith and religion, but there is still a lack of deeper theological reflection on science itself.  The title of this Special Issue refers to the famous theological treatise De locis theologicis (1563) by Melchior Cano. In this work, the Spanish theologian innovatively developed a concept of sources of theological reflection and argumentation. Among the auxiliary sources of theology based on reason, he included, for example, philosophy and history.

In this Special Issue we would like to explore how modern natural sciences can serve as sources of theological reflection (locus theologicus). The issue would not deal with the methodological and historical issues concerning the relationship between science and religion (theology).

We would like to encourage authors to contribute to theological reflection on the very existence of the natural sciences as a special form of human cognitive activity. We welcome contributions that broaden or deepen our theological understanding of the existence, role, and value of the natural sciences.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to initiate a broader theological discussion concerning the role of the sciences as an important source of theological reflection. So far, this question has only been sketched, as in the concept of theology of science formulated by Templeton Prize laureate Michael Heller. The development of this question seems to be an important stimulus for contemporary theology.

This Special Issue welcomes original research articles and reviews. Areas of research may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Natural sciences as a form of human cognitive activity in the light of theology
  • The very existence of the natural sciences
  • The philosophical and theological conditions of scientific knowledge (especially scientific rationality)
  • Science as value and values in the sciences from a theological perspective
  • Goals of the natural sciences from a theological perspective
  • Theological uses and abuses of the scientific worldview (past and present)

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of between 150–200 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the Guest Editors, Prof. Dr. Jacek Rodzeń (jacek.rodzen@ujk.edu.pl) and Prof. Dr. Paweł Polak (pawel.polak@upjp2.edu.pl), and CC the Assistant Editor, Ms. Joyce Xi (joyce.xi@mdpi.com). Abstracts will be reviewed by the Guest Editors for the purpose of ensuring the manuscript will fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer review.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Jacek Rodzeń
Prof. Dr. Paweł Polak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • science and religion
  • natural sciences
  • theology
  • scientific rationality
  • science as a value
  • aim(s) of science
  • scientific worldview
  • theology of science

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

31 pages, 471 KiB  
Article
The Agencies of God’s Word and Spirit: Modern Science as a “Sacred Reminder”
by Christopher Barina Kaiser
Religions 2024, 15(3), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030367 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 781
Abstract
In this essay, I argue that modern science can function as a source of “sacred reminders” for aspects of Christian theology, like the doctrine of the Trinity, that are not normally engaged with in the empirical world. This approach is an alternative to [...] Read more.
In this essay, I argue that modern science can function as a source of “sacred reminders” for aspects of Christian theology, like the doctrine of the Trinity, that are not normally engaged with in the empirical world. This approach is an alternative to the usual ways of relating scientific and theological endeavors in terms of conflict, separation, or consonance. I demonstrate this by beginning with the thoughts of two representative physicists (John Archibald Wheeler and Steven Hawking), particularly focusing on a fundamental distinction they make about the underlying ideal of the physical sciences. Noting a striking similarity of this distinction with some of the biblical imagery of God’s Word and Spirit, I review biblical texts along these lines to show partial continuity with the groundbreaking ideas of our physicists, and to show how they can be generalized to include (a) levels of organization beyond those of physics; (b) intensive, localized agencies of Word and Spirit as well as the more extensive agencies suggested their ideas; and (c) the commissioning agency of God the Father. A review of the theology of Irenaeus shows that these distinctions in biblical imagery were developed in the early Church and played an important role in early Trinitarian theology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Sciences as a Contemporary Locus Theologicus)
19 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
Theology of Science as an Intertextual Reading: The Bible, the Book of Nature, and Narrative Paradigm
by Tadeusz Sierotowicz
Religions 2024, 15(3), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030293 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 747
Abstract
The paper addresses the question of the identity of theology of science, fostering its interpretation as an intertextual narration. The starting point is the consideration of the domain of theology of science, which is viewed as a third domain of truth, according to [...] Read more.
The paper addresses the question of the identity of theology of science, fostering its interpretation as an intertextual narration. The starting point is the consideration of the domain of theology of science, which is viewed as a third domain of truth, according to Hans Urs von Balthasar. An analysis of the Swiss theologian’s perspective on this subject and the concept of God’s unknowability presents a strong counterargument to the claim that the natural sciences serve as a locus theologicus. Theology of science, nonetheless, exists and is engaged in a lively dialogue between science and theology, encompassing both the Revelation of God and the natural world or the Bible and the Book of Nature. What kind of discourse is this? This question concerns the position of theology of science within the field of science, specifically its objectivity and rigour, according to Evandro Agazzi’s analogical notion of science. Both the Bible and the Book of Nature ensure the objectivity of theology of science, while its rigour is established by the narrative paradigm. Therefore, theology of science can be seen as an intertextual narrative that engages both the Bible and the Book of Nature. The narrative paradigm of theology of science is subsequently elucidated, with particular emphasis on its cognitive aspects, narrative reasoning, the corresponding verification method, and Jewish corrective. The conclusion outlines a special task for theology of science in the modern age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Sciences as a Contemporary Locus Theologicus)
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