Upholding the humanum: Science and theology's foundational character

Heythrop Journal 47 (3):367–386 (2006)

Paul Allen
Concordia University
Theologians in the liberal tradition have developed the distinctive method of critically correlating Christian revelation with critical interpretations of history, texts and social realities. Non‐foundationalists react to this stance by developing theological anthropologies for which interdisciplinary correlation is deemed unnecessary. In response, this paper argues for a retrieval of a philosophical anthropology that address the advances made in the fields of genetics and evolutionary biology, though aware of the secularizing failings of theological liberalism. In contrast to the anti‐religious materialism of scientists such as Daniel Dennett and Steven Pinker, human freedom needs to be argued on the basis of complexity science and the emergent systems it explains. Both correlationist and non‐foundationalist theological strategies are unable to respond to the threat to human freedom posed by scientific materialism. The science of emergent complex structures is the most plausible research programme for constructing a viable theological anthropology. To uphold the humanum is to uphold human freedom based on a scature. This leads me to suggest that theology is best characterized as foundationalist in the general sense of its universal scope
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-2265.2006.00291.x
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Science and Complexity.Warren Weaver - 1948 - American Scientist 36 (536–544).

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