Date of Award

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Theological Studies PhD

First Advisor

Fernando L. Canale

Second Advisor

John T. Baldwin

Third Advisor

Randall W. Younker

Abstract

Problem . The purpose of this dissertation is to address the problem of the use of science in theology in the writings of Thomas F. Torrance and Langdon B. Gilkey. Chapter 1 introduces the problem in terms ofdefinitions of science and theology, and thehistory of the use of science in theology. Attention is given to definitions of science as exclusive or inclusive of theology; and to definitions of theology as the study of God and/or the study of divine revelation. Thehistorical background to the problem is surveyed in terms of premodern, modern, and postmodern shifts in science and in the use of scientific theory and method in theology.

Methodology . Chapters 2 and 3 analytically describe Torrance's and Gilkey's models for the use of science in theology. The following questions are addressed. Who are Torranceand Gilkey? Do they propose models for the use of science in theology? Are their models responsive to the postmodern shift in science, theology, and the use of science in theology? Are their models Christocentric, bibliocentric, or cosmocentric? Is a dialogical or dialectic/correlational model indicated intheir references to the uses and the limits of the use of science in theology? Are thepostmodern, dialogical, and dialectical elements of their models controlled by theChristocentric and cosmocentric structure oftheir models? Chapter 4 compares and contrasts their models. Chapter 5 summarizes the dissertation, its conclusions, and recommendations for further study.

Conclusions . In response to the postmodern shift, Torrance proposes a Christocentric-dialogical model for the use of science in theology while Gilkey proposes a cosmocentric-dialectical model. There is comparison and contrast between the models in each area evaluated in this study. From each other's perspectives, contrasting elements and elements of comparison may indicate non-viability or viability of parts oftheir models. Another perspective would result from the use of a comprehensively revelational model based on biblical revelation. Such a model could provide a biblical interpretation of divine revelation inChrist and the cosmos and also be responsive to the postmodern shift in the use of science in theology.

Subject Area

Religion and science, Bible and science, Gilkey, Langdon, 1919-2004, Torrance, Thomas Forsyth, 1913-.

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