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A.V. Nesteruk

Light from the East: Theology, Science, and the Eastern Orthodox Tradition

In this unique volume, a new and distinctive perspective on hotly debated issues in science and religion emerges from the unlikely ancient Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition. Alexei Nesteruk reveals how the Orthodox tradition, deeply rooted in Greek Patristic thought, can contribute importantly in a way that the usual Western sources do not. Orthodox thought, he holds, profoundly and helpfully relates the experience of God to our knowledge of the world. His masterful historical introduction to the Orthodox traditions not only surveys key features of its theology but highlights its ontology of participation and communion. From this Nesteruk derives Orthodoxy's unique approach to theological and scientific attribution. Theology identifies the underlying principles (logoi) in scientific affirmations.Nesteruk then applies this methodology to key issues in cosmology: the presence of the divine in creation, the theological meaning of models of creation, the problem of time, and the validity of the anthropic principle, especially as it relates to the emergence of humans and the Incarnation. Nesteruk's unique synthesis is not a valorization of Eastern Orthodox thought so much as an influx of startlingly fresh ideas about the character of science itself and an affirmation of the ultimate religious and theological value of the whole scientific enterprise.

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Patristic Theology and Natural Sciences: Elements of History
  • What Makes Theology Unique among Sciences: The Patristic Vision Versus Modern Understanding
  • Toward a Theological Methodology of Mediation with Science
  • Creation in Cosmology and Theology
  • Irreversibility of Time and the logos of Creation
  • Humanity as Hypostasis of the Universe

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