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Philip Clayton- emergence from physics to theology
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EMERGENCE FROM PHYSICS TO THEOLOGY: TOWARD A PANORAMIC VIEW
Author: Clayton, Philip1

Source: Zygon, Volume 41, Number 3, September 2006, pp. 675-688(14)

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing

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Abstract:

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At its best, the emergence debate provides a helpful model of what religion-science scholarship can and should involve. (At its worst it represents the faddishness and bandwagon effects to which our field is also prone.) Those involved in the debate must pay close attention to concrete theories and results in the natural sciences. They rely on the careful conceptual distinctions that philosophers of science draw concerning complexity, novelty, and organization. The resulting views about human mentality and consciousness are tested against these results and checked for their adequacy to the phenomena of human experience. Emergentist theories of nature and personhood have entailments for one's theory of religion and for theological reflection; conversely, theological accounts may constrain one's interpretation of emergent phenomena. In my response to the four symposiasts I draw out these deeper dimensions of the emergence debate.
Keywords: Terrence Deacon; divine action; emergence; God-world relation; Stuart Kauffman; neuroscience; phenomenology; philosophy of science; physicalism; theological anthropology; theory of evolution; transcendence versus immanence

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2005.00768.x

Affiliations: 1: Ingraham Professor at the Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California. During the 2006-2007 academic year, he is visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, 42 Francis Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.




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