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Science, Religion, and the Human Experience$
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James D. Proctor

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195175325

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195175328.001.0001

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Kabbalah and Contemporary Cosmology: Discovering the Resonances

Kabbalah and Contemporary Cosmology: Discovering the Resonances

(p.129) 7 Kabbalah and Contemporary Cosmology: Discovering the Resonances
Science, Religion, and the Human Experience

Daniel C. Matt

Oxford University Press

This essay considers the possible resonances between contemporary physical cosmology and the kabbalistic tradition of Jewish mysticism. Matt begins by suggesting that common views of science and religion as distinct or separable are themselves limited in not suggesting possibilities for fruitful interaction. Religion, for example, gives science wonder, and science gives religion a view of knowledge as provisional, thus leading to humility in light of realities such as the nature of God. Matt then recapitulates the scientific theory of the Big Bang; yet perhaps in the Big Bang one can recapture mythic depth and meaning, as the Big Bang indicates that we are made out of the same stuff as all creation. Kabbalah and physical cosmology, in fact, make parallel statements as to the singularity of the origin of the universe and its resultant unfolding. Other physical theories such as broken symmetry find kabbalistic parallels, in spite of their widely differing methodologies, and suggest that science and spirituality are complementary. Matt argues that utimately, this fractured world needs mending, and that God needs us to mend it — God being best understood as infinite and hidden, yet as close to us as is our connection with the Big Bang.

Keywords:   Big Bang, cosmology, Kabbalah, mysticism, science, spirituality

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