This morning I made a note on a quote by Philip Hefner, from his “The Human Factor” (p. 86): “Jesus caressed and pressed things until they began to resist, and at that point, his experience moved him to utter “Abba, Father” — the significance being not that “Father” is masculine, but that “Father” is personal….
The Way We Were: Why Remembering Matters
I wrote a new blogpost for the group-blog of the Anthropos Research Group. What I try to do, is to suggest a link between an evolutionary perspective on the development of cultural traditions, and a theological perspective on tradition. You can read the full post here, of course. Or you could just skip to the part where…
The Beauty of Theology
Using academic vocabulary is sometimes perceived as being elitist, ‘ivory tower talk’. And sometimes such criticism is justified. But then there’s this perspective on theological jargon… Source: Vítor Westhelle, Zygon, vol. 39, no. 4 (December 2004), p. 750. What do you think? Do you regard the vocabulary of your discipline, or concepts specific to it, as…
Hefner on Meaning Making
What do we want to accomplish by bringing theology and science together? Lutheran theologian Philip Hefner offers us an answer in an article of just over ten years ago. In this blogpost I summarize the main points of the article. Hefner argues that the significance of the interaction between science and theology lies in the meaning…
Group Selection and Religion: Some Theological Remarks
One of the key lectures today, on the Schillebeeckx Centenary Conference, was delivered by Siobhán Garrigan. Her hermeneutics of the notion ‘home’ struck me as relevant for a theological reflection on evolutionary studies of religion that assume group selection to be an important factor. In short, group selection theories argue that religion supports social cohesion…
Schillebeeckx on Religion and Science: Beyond Opposition
I presented my paper on Schillebeeckx and the perspectives he offers on the relation between evolutionary accounts of religion and theology. The audience was rather small in numbers, but I received some excellent questions and feedback. This is the presentation I used to present the paper (link) Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires…
“What Is Man That You Are Mindful of Him?” by Jacob Thielman
Good review of an interesting book on theological anthropology, and a touching testimony that shows why the book is relevant to anyone of us.
Philip Hefner on Experience
This blogpost offers a summary and review of “Theology and Science: Engaging the Richness of Experience“. Philip Hefner argues that the significance of the relation between science and theology is to be found in the meaning that emerges from this relation. This meaning is both expressed and recreated through language. Hefner sees theology’s role as interpretative….
To the extent that we do not know the circumstances of origin and the original functions of religion, we do not understand our symbols, myths, and rituals.
(Philip Hefner, The Human Factor, p. 159) Just a thought for those who believe evolutionary explanations of religion are irrelevant, or even threatening, for theology.
Cultural Evolution and a Rubber Band
– Tom Uytterhoeven – I disagree with two points in this article on biological, cultural, and technological evolution: (1) it suggests that biological, cultural and technological evolution are separate processes, while I see them as deeply connected; (2) it suggests cultural evolution/history must be read as the emergence of different 'stages', leading to ever greater…