Monday, February 27, 2012

Wesleyan Theological Society Paper

This week is the joint conference of the Wesleyan Theological Society and Wesleyan Philosophical Society at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.  This is my first year going to these meetings, and I'm excited to see what they're like.  I'm giving a paper at the Science and Theology Group of the WTS on Saturday morning.  In convoluted jargon typical of conference paper titles, mine is called "The Development and Sustaining of Science among the World's Religions."  The overall theme of the conference is the world's religions, so I thought I'd try to do something in the vein connected with my recent work on science and religion.

I'm making three central claims in the paper:

Claim #1:  Science developed in cultures where the dominate worldview was thoroughly imbued with Christian theism, and elements of Christian theism fostered this development in ways that the religions of other cultures could not.

Claim #2:  The claims often heard today that Buddhism makes a better conversation partner with science are not based on the historical interpretations of Buddhism, but on its lack of metaphysical specificity.

Claim #3:  Science is better, it is more satisfying intellectually, when it is part of a larger system of knowledge that also draws from the metaphysics of Christian theism (particularly of the Wesleyan variety).

The paper isn't quite done yet--that is the task of today and tomorrow.  I'll let you know how it goes.


Jonny Schult said...

This paper sounds great. I look forward to reading it sometime.

Sam said...

Given the Islamic Golden Age and the inclusion of aspects of the Scientific Method by Islamic scientists during that time, would it be fair to argue that Christian theism is better equipped to foster scientific development? In other words, is it possible that, given the right counterfactuals, Islamic theology would have evolved alongside scientific discoveries similar to how Christian theology evolved? Is the historical relationship of Christianity and science accidental in this context?