Physics, Philosophy, Theology & the Pope

In a publication entitled Our Knowledge of God and Nature: Physics, Philosophy and Theology (1988), the late Pope John Paul II outlined what he thought might be a good road for the church and for science to follow (to avoid catastrophe): one of unity and diversity. No religiously absolutizing science; no pseudo-scientific or isolating religion. This is an interesting and short work, and a good read for any who are interested in both science and theology. As a budding information and computer scientist and theologian and philosopher myself, I find the author’s commitment to unity a bit naive (and vague), but his honesty regarding the dangers of either science or theology overstepping what the methods of each warrant a good indication of where things have continued to move in the last 25 years since this was written (unfortunately). Particularly his note that we should seek to not embarrass or shame our future selves by what we now profess as truth based on current scientific understandings, nor should we ignore or fear those current understandings, and that even current understandings that are misapprehensions of reality may still shed light on other areas of knowledge including theology.

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