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Dancing around the casual joint: challenging the theological turn in divine action theories

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Abstract

Recent years have seen a shift in divine action debates. Turning from noninterventionist, incompatibilist causal joint models, representatives of a “theological turn” in divine action have questioned the metaphysical assumptions of approaches seeking indeterministic aspects of nature wherein God might act. Various versions of theistic naturalism (such as Thomism, panentheistic naturalism, and pneumatological naturalism) offer specific theological frameworks that reimagine the basic God–world relationship. But do these explicitly theological approaches to divine action take scientific knowledge and methodology seriously enough? And do such approaches adequately address the problem of how uncreated, immaterial realities could affect physical, material processes? This article examines various features of the theological turn in divine action—recognizing it as a welcome step in science and religion, while challenging its current adequacy.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-379
Number of pages19
JournalZygon
Volume52
Issue number2
Early online date2 May 2017
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2017

    Research areas

  • Divine action, Laws of nature, Ontology, Panentheism, Philosophy of science, Pneumatology, Theistic naturalism

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