Title

Chaos theory and theology: Scientific perspectives on divine action

Date of Publication

2000

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education Major in Religious Education and Values Education

Subject Categories

Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

College

College of Liberal Arts

Department/Unit

Theology and Religious Education

Thesis Adviser

Manuel C. Belino

Defense Panel Chair

William Garvey, FSC

Defense Panel Member

Daniel Kroger
Blessilda P. Raposa
Eduardo L. Domingo
Erlinda H. Bragado

Abstract/Summary

This study gives an analysis of the elements of chaos theory that may lead to new insights into traditional Christian beliefs particularly divine action. It also discusses how an honest dialogue between scientists and theologians can give rise to a community of interchange in an environment of rapid growth in the sciences and a growing thirst on the part of the faithful to understand the faith better. The study also attempts to draw a series of changing backgrounds starting with the deterministic worldview of Newton's era, to the revolutionary theories of relativity by Einstein, to the quantum theory of Planck and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, and finally to the upsurge of interest in chaos theory. The methodology used in descriptive analysis along historical and philosophical lines of inquiry. Both theological and scientific inquiries are brought into focus to gain new insights in the form of similarities, differences, and implications. The study reveals that chaos theory brings about revolutionary influences on established principles in the different fields of science leading to changes on how scientists think about determinism and predictability. Chaos theory research leads also to new ways of understanding and richness and complexity of God's creative work and providential ordering to the physical universe. This finding also emphasizes that chaos theory does not present itself as a threat to Christian beliefs but instead provides an opportunity for enrichment in terms of knowledge and understanding of nature. It also provides an opportunity for scientists and theologians to engage in dialogue. The study ends with some proposed ways of understanding or interpreting the attitudes of God like omniscience and omnipotence in the light of changing worldviews especially in the dialogue between scientists and theologians.

Abstract Format

html

Language

English

Format

Print

Accession Number

TG03096

Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

253 numb. leaves, 28 cm. ; Computer print-out

Keywords

Chaos (Christian theology); Creation; Beginning; Biblical cosmology

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