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The Historicity of Nature

Essays on Science and Theology

Wolfhart Pannenberg

Edited by Niels Henrik Gregersen

Known as one of the most outstanding theologians of the twentieth century, Wolfhart Pannenberg is also considered a great interdisciplinary thinker. Now, essays and articles on science and theology that are central to understanding Pannenberg's theories have been collected into one volume.

Niels Henrik Gregersen, a former student of Pannenberg and now professor of systematic theology at Copenhagen University, has compiled the writings in four sections: Methodology, Creation and Nature's Historicity, Religion and Anthropology, and Meaning and Metaphysics. Included in this volume are:

  • Translations of Pannenberg's principled argument for the consonance between science and religion, including contingency and laws of nature, field theories and space-time, and divine action
  • Translations of Pannenberg's theory of theology as a rational hypothetical science, including his discussions with leading British and American scholars such as A. N. Whitehead, John Cobb, and Langdon Gilkey
  • Previously unpublished articles on the problems between science and theology in the course of modern history, explaining why chance may be more important for theology than design
  • Translations of seminal articles that articulate Pannenberg's understanding of the role of religion in human nature
  • One of the few theological articles on aggression as a psychological and social phenomenon

With this collection, the essays of this important contemporary theologian and his illuminating views are presented in one convenient volume.

Introduction: Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Contributions to Theology and Science / vii
by Niels Henrik Gregersen

Part One. Methodology

1. Theology Examines Its Status and Methodology / 3

2. Is There Any Truth in God-Talk? The Problem of Theological Statements from the Perspective of Philosophy of Science / 11

Part Two. Creation and Nature’s Historicity

3. The Theology of Creation and the Natural Sciences / 25

4. Problems between Science and Theology in the Course of Their Modern History / 41

5. Providence, God, and Eschatology / 49

6. A Dialogue: God as Spirit—and Natural Science / 61

Part Three. Religion and Anthropology

7. Religion and Human Nature / 75

8. Human Life: Creation Versus Evolution? / 87

9. Consciousness and Spirit / 101

10. The Human Being as Person 119

11. Aggression and the Theological Doctrine of Sin / 129

Part Four. Meaning and Metaphysics

12. Meaning, Religion, and the Question of God / 147

13. Eternity, Time, and Space / 163

14. Atomism, Duration, Form: Difficulties with Process Philosophy / 175

15. A Liberal Logos Christology: The Christology of John Cobb / 187

16. A Modern Cosmology: God and the Resurrection of the Dead / 205

Acknowledgments / 213

Notes / 215

Index / 235