A study proposing dialogue between natural science and theology : an investigation into the cosmological and theological theories of beginning

Dissertation, University of South Africa ()
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Abstract

The nature of existence, which science seeks to investigate, is dynamic as novel discoveries are constantly presented. To explain such a dynamic existence, science itself needs to be dynamic. Methodological differentiation is one way in which science expresses dynamism. Such differentiation led to the theological and the natural sciences, and conflicting views regarding the nature of existence: the theological worldview versus the natural worldview. This study is a comparison of the conflicting worldviews of the theological and cosmological theories of the beginning of existence. The study compares them in an attempt to redress the conflict and encourage dialogue between the two methods for a better representation of existence. The study exposes the limits of the theological and the natural worldviews. It proposes a relationship of dialogue between them so that they transcend their individual limits and are able to grow. Dialogue involves the interchange of ideas to broaden perspectives, which leads to growth. A relationship of dialogue emphasises similarities in presuppositions, methodology and content, and exploits these to attain a greater degree of certitude. Theology and natural science can be viewed analogically as two sides of the same coin, two aspects to one reality, that can collaborate, albeit independently, to reveal a broader view of reality. They can converse through dialogue, exchange ideas and share views, even though they remain methodologically exclusive, independent worldviews. Finally, dialogue involves a transformation of reason in that it expects theologians and natural scientists to change the way they view reality. If we were to transform our reasoning into something more complete, our worldview should represent a more complete representation of existence. This means that the theologian and the scientist can, occasionally, go beyond their scope and method and push their knowledge towards progress through dialogue. This makes “transformed reason” the method of dialogue, which redresses the conflict between theology and natural science and encourages interchange between them.

Author's Profile

Lionel Fynn
University of South Africa

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