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Incarnation and PhysicsNatural Science in the Theology of Thomas F. Torrance$
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Tapio Luoma

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151893

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195151895.001.0001

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The Impact of the Natural Sciences on Theology

The Impact of the Natural Sciences on Theology

The Idea of Reminder

(p.105) 5 The Impact of the Natural Sciences on Theology
Incarnation and Physics

Tapio Luoma

Oxford University Press

Torrance holds that the scientists James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein remind theology of its ontological basis in the Incarnation and the Trinity, a basis largely neglected in modern theology. Torrance's view of the indeterminism of Maxwell's theory of the electromagnetic field as well as Einstein's theory of relativity is grounded on his understanding of the tension between causal relations and inherent relations. Torrance sees a deep epistemological integration taking place in the modern natural sciences, e.g., between noumenal and phenomenal as held by Immanuel Kant and between subject and object as entertained in Cartesianism, all features that cannot but have a positive effect on theology. Torrance is detected to use the natural sciences for programmatic purposes, first, to regard theology as an empirical science, whether it deals with Christology and the Trinity or Biblical interpretation, and, second, to provide the ecumenical movement with insights resulting from a major paradigm shift in the Western culture.

Keywords:   Biblical interpretation, ecumenical movement, Einstein, electromagnetic field, empirical science, indeterminism, Kant, Maxwell, modern theology, object, subject

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