A physicist’s belief. John Polkinghorne’s consonance of theology and science

Losch, Andreas (2018). A physicist’s belief. John Polkinghorne’s consonance of theology and science. Rocznik Filozoficzny Ignatianum, 24(1), pp. 97-116. Akademia Ignatianum w Krakowie

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When popular physicist Stephen Hawking dreams at the end of his best-selling Brief history of time of a Great Unifying Theory (GUT) which would be able to merge the major physical theories describing the laws of nature, he goes on to say: However, if we discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable by everyone, not just by a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God. John Polkinghorne, Hawking’s colleague at Cambridge University, is on the one hand critical of such an approach. “What is God doing in the book at all?”. On the other hand, he is himself searching for his own very particular version of a GUT. “There is indeed a Theory of Everything, but a theory that is much grander and more comprehensive and intellectually satisfying than any Grand Unified Theory of Particle Physics could ever be”. For former particle physicist Polkinghorne, this theory is his new field of work: theology. How does he come to this? In order to understand this, this article aims first to present Polkinghorne’s key ideas in their basic development, before looking more closely at his creed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

UniBE Contributor:

Losch, Andreas


200 Religion > 230 Christianity & Christian theology
500 Science




Akademia Ignatianum w Krakowie




Andreas Losch

Date Deposited:

12 Sep 2018 09:46

Last Modified:

04 Nov 2019 00:44





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