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By Peter E. Hodgson

The recent discoveries in physics through the twentieth century have motivated severe debate approximately their relevance to age-old theological questions. perspectives diversity from these preserving that smooth physics presents a surer highway to God than conventional religions, to people who say that physics and theology are incommensurable and so don't relate. a minimum of, physics has prompted renewed theological discussions. during this severe advent to the science-theology debate, Peter E. Hodgson attracts on his event as a physicist to provide the result of smooth physics and the theological implications. Written for people with very little medical heritage, Hodgson describes connections among physics, philosophy and theology after which explains Newtonian physics and Victorian physics, the theories of relativity, astronomy and quantum mechanics, and distinguishes the particular result of sleek physics from speculations. The connections with theology are explored all through. The concluding part attracts discussions jointly and makes a massive new contribution to the talk.

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Extra resources for Theology And Modern Physics (Ashgate Science and Religion Series)

Sample text

Christian faith had undermined all its essential principles; observational science, or at least the only observational science that was somewhat developed – astronomy – had rejected its consequences. The ancient monument was about to disappear; modern science was about to replace it. The demolition of Aristotelian physics was not a sudden collapse; the construction of modern physics did not take place on a terrain where nothing was left standing. From one to the other the passage took place by a long sequence of partial transformations of which each pretended to retouch or enlarge some piece of the edifice without changing anything of the ensemble.

Christian faith had undermined all its essential principles; observational science, or at least the only observational science that was somewhat developed – astronomy – had rejected its consequences. The ancient monument was about to disappear; modern science was about to replace it. The demolition of Aristotelian physics was not a sudden collapse; the construction of modern physics did not take place on a terrain where nothing was left standing. From one to the other the passage took place by a long sequence of partial transformations of which each pretended to retouch or enlarge some piece of the edifice without changing anything of the ensemble.

Some changes were due to direct contradictions between Aristotelian physics and Christian revelation. Thus the unique Incarnation of Christ replaced the concept of eternal recurrence or circular time by linear time with a beginning and an end, and the belief that the universe was created in time forced the abandonment of Aristotle’s view that the universe was eternal. Other changes were due to observations made by Galileo and other scientists. Some of these, such as the discovery of sunspots, the mountains on the moon and supernovae directly contradicted Aristotle’s view of the immutability of the celestial realm.

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