October 2019
volume 31 (2)

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Articles

Editorial

Keith Fox
Pages: 110-111

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Embodied and Socially Embedded ‘Self’: Understanding Jesus’s Bodily Resurrection and Believers’ Post Mortem Identity and Continuity

DAVID S. MUTHUKUMAR
Pages: 112-130

Abstract

Are human beings mere souls with disposable bodies or just physical bodies with no souls? While Cartesian dualism propounded the former, contemporary science promulgates the latter. The purpose of this paper is to engage with these notions and to steer away from such dualistic / reductionist tendencies towards a nonreductive account, to construct an embodied and socially embedded identity of ‘human self’. This paper will argue that Jesus’s post-resurrection self-identity and continuity were constituted by his embodied and socially embedded relationship and hence believers’ post mortem identity and continuity also should be an embodied and socially embedded reality. For this purpose, the author will engage with cognitive neuroscientific understanding and phenomenological consciousness.

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The Dissolving Self? Dementia and Identity in Philosophical Theology

ANDREW SLOANE
Pages: 131-150

Abstract

Dementia has been the focus of significant work in pastoral theology, but has received relatively little attention in (impractical?) philosophical theology. Yet dementia raises acute questions in philosophical theology to which we must give an answer, such as the nature of personhood, death and its encroaching on life, physicality, resurrection and hope, and the like. This paper focuses on questions relating to memory and identity. What does it mean to be a ‘self’? How does that relate to memory and personal narrative? What happens to us, to our identity, when memory, the ability to remember the stories we use to define ourselves, fades? Do the acids of dementia dissolve our very selves? These questions, valid in their own right, are seen in sharp and deeply personal focus in the experience of those who endure dementia. I will outline a particular response to these questions in critical conversation with John Swinton’s practical theology of dementia, and suggest ways in which practical theology and ethics and philosophical theology can engage in mutually enriching conversation.

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Untangling the Cords of Sheol: Dementia and the Eschatology of the Physical Universe

ANDREW SLOANE
Pages: 151-167

Abstract

Dementia raises important theological questions regarding human identity and hope. In this piece I propose that we understand dementia as an instance of cosmic entropic processes impinging on human neural systems. Theologically, such entropic decay can be seen as death encroaching on life – the cords of Sheol entangling the sufferer’s brain, with devastating consequences. Psalm 88 presents us with a lens through which to reflect on the nature of death encroaching on life, and so the problem that Christian hope needs to address. Resources for dealing with both cosmic entropy and its all-too-human effects can be found in David Wilkinson’s Christian Eschatology and the Physical Universe. He gives an account of space, time and matter that addresses the cosmic futility of entropy, and which can, in turn, ground a meaningful resurrection hope for people with dementia.

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The Bible and Ancient Science: A Reply to Andrew Loke

DENIS O. LAMOUREUX
Pages: 168-193

Abstract

In his October 2018 Science and Christian Faith paper, Andrew Loke criticizes my view that Scripture has an ancient understanding of the natural world. Rooting his views in the hermeneutics of G.K. Beale, he contends that the Bible has no “scientific errors” and it features what he terms is “unrestricted inerrancy.” To reply, this paper begins with a brief review of cosmology in the ancient Near East. It then turns to Scripture to demonstrate that the Holy Spirit accommodated in revelatory process and allowed the biblical authors to use the science-of-day in ANE as an incidental vessel to deliver inerrant spiritual truths. Next, I criticize the concordist and figurative hermeneutics of Loke and Beale. The paper closes by proposing a view that biblical inerrancy with regard to statements about nature in the Word of God.

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Book reviews

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Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?

Ian Hutchinson (Rodney Holder)
Pages: 194-195


The Curious Science Quest: Greek adventure: Who were the first scientists?

Julia Golding Andrew Briggs Rodger Wagner (Ben Jordan)
Pages: 195-196


Fragile World: Ecology and the Church

William T. Cavanaugh (ed.) (Robert Sluka)
Pages: 196-197


The Great Mystery: Science, God and the Human Quest for Meaning

Alister McGrath (Paul Marston)
Pages: 197-199


Creation ex nihilo: Origins, Development, Contemporary Challenges

Gary A. Anderson (ed.) Markus Bockmuehl (ed.) (The Revd Dr Ernest C. Lucas)
Pages: 199-201


The Evolution of Human Wisdom

Celia Deane-Drummond (ed.) Agustín Fuentes (ed.) (Marc Cortez)
Pages: 201-202


Environmental Attitudes Through Time

R.J. Berry (Revd Margot R Hodson)
Pages: 202-204


It Keeps Me Seeking. The Invitation from Science, Philosophy and Religion

Andrew Briggs Hans Halvorson Andrew Steane (Alexei Nesteruk)
Pages: 204-206


The robots are coming: us them and God

Nigel Cameron (Peter Robinson)
Pages: 206-208


Finding Ourselves after Darwin: Conversations on the Image of God, Original Sin, and the Problem of Evil

Stanley P. Rosenberg (General Editor) Michael Burdett (assoc. ed.) Michael Lloyd (assoc. ed.) Benno van den Toren (assoc. ed.) (Denis O. Lamoureux)
Pages: 208-211


Are There Limits to Science?

Gillian Straine (ed.) (Malcolm S. Buchanan)
Pages: 211-213


Theology in a Suffering World: Glory and Longing

Christopher Southgate (Jonathan W. Chappell)
Pages: 213-216


Natural Novelty: The Newness Manifest in Existence

Richard Boyle (Kevin Ralley)
Pages: 216-217


The Brain, the Mind and the Person Within: The Enduring Mystery of the Soul

Mark Cosgrove (Peter Hampson)
Pages: 217-218


Does Science Undermine Faith?

Roger Trigg (Ben MacArthur)
Pages: 219-220