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Torrance: Theology Cohabiting With Natural Science

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Chapter Summary

Galileo's heliocentric theory appeared as such a threat because it threatened both the Bible and Aristotle thus undermining both poles of the Thomist synthesis. Theology must learn to 'live with' whatever culture it finds itself in, firstly because it has no option, but also because it is religiously undesirable for Christian believers to retreat into a self-referential sect. Torrance's favourite and most successful example of a development in twentieth century science which has positive implications for theology is Einstein's development of relativity theory - in particular general relativity theory. Quantum mechanics also marks a logical and conceptual departure from classical physics. Like relativity theory it needs complex mathematical techniques and counter-intuitive leaps to understand. Torrance is more concerned with metaphysical issues within quantum theory which realign the relations of object and subject, set limits of human knowing, and demand that even logic is justified posterially in the Lesbian manner.

Keywords: Aristotle; Bible; Einstein; Galileo; natural science; quantum mechanics; relativity theory; theology; Torrance



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