Theological methodology, classical theism, and "lived time" in Antje Jackelén's time and eternity

Zygon 44 (4):951-964 (2009)
Abstract
Antje Jackelén's Time and Eternity successfully employs the method of correlation and a close study of the question of time to enter the dialogue between science and theology. Hermeneutical attention to language is a central element of this dialogue, but we must be aware that much science is untranslatable into ordinary language; it is when we get to the bigger metaphysical assumptions of science that true dialogue begins to happen. Thus, although the method of correlation is a useful way to approach this dialogue, there is not a strict equivalence in this relationship. Theology needs science more than science needs theology. In speaking of time and God we must keep in mind the relational nature of classical Christian theism, even in its most austere forms. We should not read Enlightenment ideas of God back into the classical Christian tradition or neglect the apophatic emphasis in Christian theism, which warned against assuming knowledge of the divine nature. God's relation to time always lies beyond our understanding. Studying the effects of either the Newtonian or Einsteinian concepts of time on our theological concepts should not detract our attention from the "lived time" that characterizes human experience. Consideration of the notion of time in the Madhyamaka Buddhist tradition reminds us that we cannot control the inner reality of time and that for humans time is something to be considered pragmatically.
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