Panentheism and Natural Science: A Good Match?

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Abstract

Is panentheism a metaphysical and religious understanding of the divine and of the world that aligns better with science than classical theism? In order to address this question, I’ll present brief descriptions of theism, pantheism, and panentheism, and of religious visions as integrating models of the world and models for the world. In this respect, science has its limitations. The conclusion that I will argue for is that naturalistic varieties of theism, pantheism, and panentheism do equally well with respect to the natural sciences, and hence that there is no argument from science that favors a panentheistic metaphysics. There may be philosophical or religious arguments that make one prefer one position over another. Science can be involved in the choice for one interpretation of a religious-metaphysical view such as panentheism. Thus, sciencemight play a role in the development of positions, once chosen, and hence in intra-religious competition, even though it cannot be decisive on fundamental choices in metaphysics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1060-1079
Number of pages20
JournalZygon: Journal of Religion and Science
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2017

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natural sciences
metaphysics
science
interpretation
Panentheism
Natural Science
Religion
present
Theism
Metaphysical
Metaphysics
Pantheism

Keywords

  • agnosticism
  • limits of science
  • naturalism
  • panentheism
  • science
  • theism

Cite this

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title = "Panentheism and Natural Science: A Good Match?",
abstract = "Is panentheism a metaphysical and religious understanding of the divine and of the world that aligns better with science than classical theism? In order to address this question, I’ll present brief descriptions of theism, pantheism, and panentheism, and of religious visions as integrating models of the world and models for the world. In this respect, science has its limitations. The conclusion that I will argue for is that naturalistic varieties of theism, pantheism, and panentheism do equally well with respect to the natural sciences, and hence that there is no argument from science that favors a panentheistic metaphysics. There may be philosophical or religious arguments that make one prefer one position over another. Science can be involved in the choice for one interpretation of a religious-metaphysical view such as panentheism. Thus, sciencemight play a role in the development of positions, once chosen, and hence in intra-religious competition, even though it cannot be decisive on fundamental choices in metaphysics.",
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}

Panentheism and Natural Science: A Good Match? / Drees, W.B.

In: Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, Vol. 52, No. 4, 26.11.2017, p. 1060-1079.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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PY - 2017/11/26

Y1 - 2017/11/26

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KW - naturalism

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