Science and Theology: Toward a Steinian Perspective
The complementarity of science and theology, as opposed to a rather commonly held perception that the two fields strongly conflict or the view that theology is simply useless, are the focus of much discussion today. I consider this discussion about science and theology to be very important, for scientific work enjoys such a wide reception, stirs up much interest, and exerts great influence in our world. Theologian John Haught has been writing in this area, and his book, Christianity and Science: Toward a Theology of Nature (Haught, Christianity and Science: Toward a Theology of Nature (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2007). Hereafter parenthetically cited in this article as H.), raises several issues that easily relate to some of Edith Stein’s perspectives. Even though she herself did not directly address this topic, I maintain that Stein’s work has something to contribute in this area and that a constructive exposition of several of her views demonstrates that her thought remains relevant in the contemporary discussion on science and theology. This essay first discusses some considerations regarding the rationale for bringing Stein into this conversation. It then goes on to highlight a few important distinctions that Haught makes which resonate with Stein’s thought. Finally, it focuses more specifically on a few topics raised by Haught to which Stein’s work can contribute, namely, a universe in process, the influence of an “ontology of death,” the issue of dualism, and the question of meaning related to the universe.
KeywordsNatural Theology Christian Theology Meaningful Existence Emergent Universe Divine Providence
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