Time in Eternity
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According to Robert John Russell, one of the foremost scholars on relating Christian theology and science, the topic of “time and eternity” is central to the relation between God and the world in two ways. First, it involves the notion of the divine eternity as the supratemporal source of creaturely time. Second, it involves the eternity of the eschatological New Creation beginning with the bodily Resurrection of Jesus in relation to creaturely time. The key to Russell's engagement with these issues, and the purpose of this book, is to explore Wolfhart Pannenberg’s treatment of time and eternity in relation to mathematics, physics, and cosmology.

Time in Eternity is the first book-length exposition of Russell’s unique method for relating Christian theology and the natural sciences, which he calls “creative mutual interaction” (CMI). This method first calls for a reformulation of theology in light of science and then for the delineation of possible topics for research in science drawing on this reformulated theology. Accordingly, Russell first reformulates Pannenberg’s discussion of the divine attributes—eternity and omnipresence—in light of the way time and space are treated in mathematics, physics, and cosmology. This leads him to construct a correlation of eternity and omnipresence in light of the spacetime framework of Einstein’s special relativity. In the process he proposes a new flowing time interpretation of relativity to counter the usual block universe interpretation supported by most physicists and philosophers of science. Russell also replaces Pannenberg’s use of Hegel’s concept of infinity in relation to the divine attributes with the concept of infinity drawn from the mathematics of Georg Cantor. Russell then addresses the enormous challenge raised by Big Bang cosmology to Christian eschatology. In response, he draws on Pannenberg’s interpretation both of the Resurrection as a proleptic manifestation of the eschatological New Creation within history and the present as the arrival of the future. Russell shows how such a reformulated understanding of theology can shed light on possible directions for fundamental research in physics and cosmology. These lead him to explore preconditions in contemporary physics research for the possibility of duration, copresence, retroactive causality, and prolepsis in nature.



Publié par
Date de parution 15 juin 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780268091774
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

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Time in Eternity
Pannenberg, Physics, and Eschatology in Creative Mutual Interaction
University of Notre Dame Press
Notre Dame, Indiana
Copyright © 2012 by University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556 www.undpress.nd.edu -->
All Rights Reserved
E-ISBN 978-0-268-09177-4
This e-Book was converted from the original source file by a third-party vendor. Readers who notice any formatting, textual, or readability issues are encouraged to contact the publisher at ebooks@nd.edu Manufactured in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Russell, Robert J. Time in eternity : Pannenberg, physics, and eschatology in creative mutual interaction / Robert John Russell. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. ISBN-13: 978-0-268-04059-8 (pbk. : alk. paper) ISBN-10: 0-268-04059-1 (pbk. : alk. paper) E-ISBN: 978-0-268-09177-4 1. Religion and science. 2. Pannenberg, Wolfhart, 1928–3. Space and time—Religious aspects—Christianity. 4. Eternity. 5. Eschatology. 6. Cosmology. I. Title. BL240.3.R877 2012 261.5'5—dc23 2012015584 ∞ The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources. -->
I dedicate this book to Wolfhart Pannenberg for his extraordinary contributions to the constructive dialogue between the natural sciences and systematic theology. I thank him for the Christian hope in the Resurrection of Jesus that he has helped me more deeply grasp professionally as well as personally. I am honored to call him both theological mentor and friend.
Appendix to the Introduction: Background Material
A. Three Issues Involving Creation, Cosmology, and Evolution
B. New Testament Issues Concerning the Bodily Resurrection
C. Eschatology and Cosmology
D. CMI: The Method of Creative Mutual Interaction with Eight Paths between Theology and Science
E. Guidelines for New Research in Eschatology and in Scientific Cosmology
F. Special Note: Wolfhart Pannenberg and the New Testament Debates
Revising Pannenberg’s Trinitarian Conception of Eternity and Omnipresence and Its Role in Eschatology in Light of Mathematics, Physics, and Cosmology
CHAPTER 1 The Trinitarian Conception of Eternity and Omnipresence in the Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg
A. Pannenberg’s Trinitarian Conception of Eternity in Relation to the Time of Creation
B. Pannenberg’s Trinitarian Conception of Omnipresence in Relation to the Space of Creation
C. Space, Time, Omnipresence, and Eternity: Recent Insights and Summary
D. The Trinity as Crucial to the Relations between Time and Eternity and between Space and Omnipresence
E. The Role of Infinity in Pannenberg’s Doctrine of God
F. Eschatology: The Causal Priority of the Future and the Proleptic Character of Eschatology
CHAPTER 2 Co-presence and Prolepsis in Light of Mathematics, Physics, and Cosmology
A. A Defense of Pannenberg’s Assumption of Flowing Time and Its Implicit Ontology
B. Co-presence: Time in Eternity
C. Prolepsis: Eternity in Time
CHAPTER 3 From Hegel to Cantor: New Insights for Pannenberg’s Discussion of the Divine Attributes
A. Cantor’s Set Theory, Transfinite Numbers, Absolute Infinity, and the Theological Reaction during Cantor’s Life
B. Employing Cantor’s Theory of the Transfinites and Absolute Infinity in Pannenberg’s Articulation of the Divine Attributes and Eschatology
CHAPTER 4 Covariant Correlation of Eternity and Omnipresence in Light of Special Relativity
A. Overview of Special Relativity
B. Reflections on Pannenberg’s Comments on Special and General Relativity
C. A Covariant Correlation of Eternity and Omnipresence in Light of Special Relativity
The Theological Reconstruction of Pannenberg’s Views in Light of Mathematics, Physics, and Cosmology as Offering Suggestions for New Research Programs in the Philosophy of Time and in Physics
CHAPTER 5 A New Flowing Time Interpretation of Special Relativity Based on Pannenberg’s Eternal Co-presence and the Covariant Theological Correlation of Eternity and Omnipresence
A. Debates over the Interpretation of SR: Flowing Time or the Block Universe?
B. A New Flowing Time Interpretation of Special Relativity Based on Pannenberg’s Eternal Co-presence and the Covariant Theological Correlation of Eternity and Omnipresence
C. The Real Lessons of SR: “Relativity ≠ Relativism,” the “Simultaneity Richness” of the Elsewhen, and the “Austere Paucity” of the Anthropocentric Classical Present
CHAPTER 6 Duration, Co-presence, and Prolepsis: Insights for New Research Directions in Physics and Cosmology
A. Introduction: Resurrection as Transformation and the Preconditions for the Possibility of Duration, Co-presence, and Prolepsis in Creation
B. Duration: SRP 1, the Search for Duration in Physics
C. Co-presence: SRP 2, the Search for Non-separability in Time
D. Eschatology: SRP 3, the Search for the Retroactive Causality of the Immediate Future and the Topology of Eschatological Causality in Physics and Cosmology
E. Time versus Eternity: A Theological Justification for the Physical Hiddenness of Eternal Time within Creaturely Time
Notes Index 431 -->
This project has been wonderfully and critically influenced by numerous friends and colleagues around the world and at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. I took advantage of the opportunity afforded by participating in a variety of international conferences over the past decade to develop materials for this book. I also have had several occasions to try out portions of this material in doctoral and seminary courses at the GTU. There are thus many more people than I can possibly thank here. Nevertheless I wish to mention some to whom I am most indebted.
I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to teach a doctoral seminar in the spring of 2010 with Ted Peters based on drafts of this volume as well as on the historical and contemporary material in physics, cosmology, mathematics, philosophy, and theology that serve as background to this volume. Feedback from students in the seminar was very helpful, particularly from Fady El Chidiac, Junghyung Kim, John King, and Oliver Putz. I am also very grateful for extensive written comments from, and many detailed conversations with, Johanne Stubbe Teglbjaerg, a postdoctoral fellow from Copenhagen University in residence at the GTU during the summer and fall of 2011. And I appreciate the written responses to earlier versions of the book from Philip Clayton, LeRon Shults, and Dean Zimmerman.
I want to offer particular thanks to Ted Peters, whose prolific writings on theology and science have taught and inspired me over the past three decades. I am grateful for the many conversations we have had and for the experience of teaching a variety of doctoral seminars with him on theology and science in general and on Pannenberg in particular.
I am especially grateful to Joshua Moritz, for editing the entire manuscript with extraordinary care, for his many valuable suggestions about the text, and for our extensive and fruitful conversations over the past decade. He is also the gifted artist who created most of the volume’s figures and diagrams; I am particularly delighted with those in chapters 2 and 4.
Finally I want to thank my daughters Christie Lavigne and Lisa Galicia for their constant encouragement of and interest in my work. Most of all I want to thank my wife Charlotte for her abiding faith, love, and support during the—seemingly endless!—process of writing this volume.
This project was funded in part by a grant from the Metanexus Institute. Their funding in turn came from the John Templeton Foundation. I am grateful for the financial support of both of these organizations.
Frequently cited works of Wolfhart Pannenberg are indicated by the following abbreviations.
“Eternity, Time and Space.” In The Historicity of Nature: Essays on Science and Theology , ed. Niels Henrik Gregersen. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press, 2007. 163–74.
“Eternity, Time and the Trinitarian God.” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 39, no. 1 (2000): 9–14.
Jesus—God and Man . Trans. Lewis L. Wilkins and Duane A. Priebe. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1977; originally published in German as Grundzuge der Christologie , 1964.
Metaphysics and the Idea of God . Trans. Philip Clayton. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1990.
Systematic Theology . Vol. 1. Trans. G.W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991.
Systematic Theology . Vol. 2. Trans. G.W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994.
Systematic Theology . Vol. 3. Trans. G.W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998.
Theology and the Kingdom of God . Ed. Richard John Neuhaus. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1969.

Thy reign come
—Matthew 6:10

Is there conceivable any positive relation between the concept of eternity and the spatio-temporal structure of the physical universe? . . . This is one of the most arduous, but also one of the most important questions in the dialogue between theology a

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