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Stages of ThoughtThe Co-Evolution of Religious Thought and Science$
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Michael Horace Barnes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195396270

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396270.001.0001

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Religious Responses to Modern Science

Religious Responses to Modern Science

(p.200) 10 Religious Responses to Modern Science
Stages of Thought

Michael Horace Barnes

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the status of religious thought today as a result of developments in science and its cognitive style. One convenient division identifies three major types of religious truth-claims: the miraculous, the cosmological, and the metaphysical. The history of modern science presents an obvious challenge to the plausibility of the belief in miracles. The range of knowledge of natural causality has expanded until supernatural interventions have been squeezed into a few gaps. Science has defined the boundaries of plausibility for religious beliefs. Many theologians have in fact accepted those boundaries, even though they sometimes seem to say otherwise. Science has discovered an enormous amount of fundamental intelligibility to the universe, and has vindicated the hopes of generations that such intelligibility exists. Religious thought which does not accept this may find in it a fundamental reason to affirm the ultimate and religious validity of being a knower in the world.

Keywords:   community tradition, formal operational theologies, reflexive thought, religious truth-claims, miracles, religious beliefs, deconstruction

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