Echoes of Coinherence

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Echoes of Coinherence

Trinitarian Theology and Science Together

This book re-imagines the universe (and the scientific study of it) through the lens of a triune Creator, three persons of irreducible identity in a perichoretic or coinherent communion. It modestly proposes that Trinitarian theology, and especially the coinherent natures of the Son in the incarnation, provides the metaphysic or ""theory of everything"" that manifests itself in the subject matter of science. The presence of the image of the triune God in humanity and of traces of this God in the non-human creation are discussed, highlighting ontological resonances between God and creation (resonances between the being of God and his creation), such as goodness, immensity-yet-particularity, intelligibility, agency, relationality, and beauty. This Trinitarian reality suggests there should be a similarity also with respect to how we know in theology and science (critical realism), something reflected in the history of ideas in each. These resonances lead to the conclusion that the disciplines of theology and science are, in fact, coinherent, not conflicted. This involves recognition of both the mutuality of these vocations and also, importantly, their particularity. Science, its own distinct guild, yet finds its place ensconced within an encyclopedic theology, and subject to first-order, credal theology.

CONTENTS

Acknowledgments ix

Introducing the Relationship between Theology and Science 1

Chapter 1 Communicating Coinherence: Anns, Meaning, and Scope 16

Chapter 2 Coinherence in the Theology/Science Tradition 37

Chapter 3 The Coinherent History of Ideas 60

Chapter 4 The Coinherent Epistemologies of Theology and Science 95

Chapter 5 The Coinherent Ontologies of Theology and Science: The Being of God and the Being of Creation, Part One 122

Chapter 6 The Coinherent Ontologies of Theology and Science: The Being of God and the Being of Creation, Part Two 142

Chapter 7 The Coinherent Ontologies of Theology and Science: Humanity in the Image of God as Intelligent, Personal and Relational, and Vocationally Significant 169

Chapter 8 Trinitarian Theology as the "Theory of Everything" and Its Practice: Bringing Epistemology and Ontology Together 203

Bibliography 225

Name/Subject Index 241

WHAT OTHER SCHOLARS ARE SAYING ...

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Amos Yong

Author of The Spirit of Creation: Modern Science and Divine Action in the Pentecostal-Charismatic Imagination

“‘Trinitarian theology as a “theory of everything”’!? Unlike Raimon Panikkar or David Bohm, Ross Hastings’ vision of triune coinherence between reality and our faithful knowledge of it is deeply rooted in the classical Christian tradition. Here, historic orthodoxy meets late modern science in a mutually indwelling and illuminating encounter.”

Deborah Haarsma

President of BioLogos

“Many have read Ian Barbour’s four modes of relating science and theology: conflict, independence, dialogue, or integration. Theologian Ross Hastings reflects on another mode: coinherence. Drawing on the coinherent nature of the Trinity itself, Hastings brings an explicitly Christ-centered approach to a conversation that too often degenerates to mere deism. Hastings’ in-depth theological work, informed by his background in chemistry, is a valuable and welcome resource for understanding science in light of Christian faith.”  

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Alan J. Torrance, Professor, University of St. Andrews

“This is a courageous and thought-provoking discussion of the significance of God’s Triune identity for how we think about the nature of the contingent order. Ross Hastings’ unique cross-disciplinary abilities as an academic theologian who is also a highly qualified scientist facilitate analysis that is not only informed but profound in the insights it offers.”

FULL LENGTH REVIEWS OF THE BOOK

  1. Chino, Taido. “Echoes of Coinherence: Trinitarian Theology and Science Together.” International Journal of Systematic Theology 20, no. 3 (July 2018): 431–34.

  2. Larracas, Hanna. “Echoes of Coinherence: Trinitarian Theology and Science Together.” Pneuma 40, no. 1–2 (2018): 243–45.

  3. Tan, Tobias. “Echoes of Coinherence: Trinitarian Theology and Science Together.” Scottish Journal of Theology 72, no. 3 (2019): 351–52.