The Entangled Trinity
Quantum Physics and Theology
Publication Year: 2014
The Doctrine of the Trinity is an exercise in wonder. It is drawn from the wonder of our own existence and the diverse experiences of the divine encountered by the early Christian community. From the earliest days of Christianity, theologians of the church have drawn upon the most sophisticated language and understandings of their time in an attempt to clarify and express that faith and this task is no different today.
But how should we attempt to articulate that faith today? In this volume, Ernest Simmons engages precisely that question by asking what the current scientific understanding of the natural world might contribute to our reflection upon the relationship of God and the world in a Triune fashion.
The result is a fruitful engagement between the ancient and the current, the theological and the scientific.
Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Series: Theology and the Sciences
Title Page, Copyright
The doctrine of the Trinity is an exercise in wonder. It is drawn from the wonder of our own existence and the diverse experiences of the divine encountered by the early Christian community. That pluriform experience eventually gave rise to the doctrine of the Trinity as Christian thinkers attempted to coherently place the Christian experience of the divine somewhere...
PART I Foundational Concepts
The camel snorted and moaned gently as it made its way along the starlit gravel path. The Bedouin camel driver sang gently to his charge to keep him moving. As I gently rocked back in forth in the tight camel saddle, I gazed up at the desert night sky, moonless, with stars so bright, numerous, and appearing so close that one was tempted to reach up and pluck one down. As my gaze...
The human question of why always hangs suspended between the finite and the infinite. Juxtaposed between time and eternity, humans seek meaning before our own beginnings and after our demise. Human beings are meaning-seeking creatures. It is quintessentially human to ask the question why? Why, for example, is there any correlation between the human mind and external reality?...
From the beginning of the Enlightenment (c. 1648), with its emphasis on reason alone, through the middle of the twentieth century, it became common to speak of a separation between fact and value, science and religion, nature and history. Nature, as object, had no intrinsic development but was rather to be understood through scientific analysis in a value-free inquiry, where...
PART II Trinitarian Development
4 Bible to Nicaea
The doctrine of the Trinity uniquely expresses God’s accessibility to all of creation, humanity in particular. Encountering Jesus as the Messiah, the anointed one of God, early Christians also experienced the creative and sustaining activity of God. Reflection on the Trinity moved from three to one, the early Christian community giving priority to the diversity of their spiritual...
5 Constantinople to the Reformation
The Council of Nicaea did not settle the early church’s issues of the experience of God as Trinity. Indeed, debates carried on and alternative positions continued to be promoted. Constantine even reversed himself on the status of Arius and exiled Athanasius for a period of time. Theodosius I, emperor in 380 ce, seeking to clarify Nicene Christianity regarding the nature of Christ,...
6 Contemporary TrinitarianDevelopment
The motto of the Renaissance was ad fontes, “to the sources,” and this signified a return to the original sources of Western thought in their original languages. It was a return to what we would refer to today as “primary” sources. This return opened up new avenues of thought and especially deepened understanding of all things human, including the powers of reason. Conflict was inevitable. With...
PART III Science and the Trinity
7 Theology, Science, and QuantumTheory
The human quest for meaning and purpose draws on both our inner and outer experiences and reflects on them with both intuitive insight and rational thought—in other words, through the creative interaction of faith and reason. Throughout most of the Christian theological tradition, faith and reason have been companions on this journey of life; they have been seen as complementary...
8 Perichoretic Trinitarian Panentheism
What are we a part of that we might not even be aware of? That was the question Loren Eiseley took away from his encounter with the web of the yellow and black orb spider discussed in chapter 1, spider thoughts circumscribing a spider universe. How do we develop our own understanding, and how different are we in circumscribing our own universe? That is the focus...
9 The Entangled Trinity
Theologians of the church have always attempted to draw on the most sophisticated language and understandings of their time in an attempt to clarify and express the Christian faith. That task is no different today. In this final chapter, then, we turn to unpack the threefold nature of the Trinity in more detail, drawing on the earlier work in this volume. We will apply the model...
As observed earlier, the human question of, “Why?” always hangs suspended between the finite and the infinite. Between logos and ethos we exercise our pathos, as we seek meaning before our own beginnings and after our demise. We encounter God through “masks,” the masks of self-restriction, for that is the only way the infinite can enter into the finite without displacing it. It has been...