Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Theology

Editor-in-Chief: Taliaferro, Charles


Covered by:
Elsevier - SCOPUS
Clarivate Analytics - Emerging Sources Citation Index
ERIH PLUS

CiteScore 2018: 0.37

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.275
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.975

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2300-6579
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Ernan McMullin’s Thought on Science and Theology: An Appreciation

Amerigo Barzaghi / Josep Corcó
Published Online: 2015-11-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2015-0032

Abstract

The thought of Ernan McMullin on the relationship between science and theology can be summarized with a word that he himself used: consonance. We briefly describe this epistemological proposal, and we show a concrete instance of its application by way of a short analysis of one of McMullin’s interdisciplinary works, “Cosmic Purpose and the Contingency of Human Evolution.” With the help of the authoritative comment that William Stoeger has made on this paper, we sketch McMullin’s effort to find a consonance between two different claims: the theological one – humans expected – and the evolutionary one – humans unexpected. In this case, consonance is reached by recurring to the classic Augustinian notion of the atemporality of God. We then show how McMullin’s way of interpreting consonance affects the question of the viability of a natural theology in a scientifically informed era. In fact, his distrust of various kinds of natural theology is another crucial aspect of his epistemological framework for interdisciplinary dialogue.

Keywords: consonance; Ernan McMullin; evolutionary contingency; natural theology

References

  • Allen, Paul L. “An Augustinian Philosopher between Dualism and Materialism: Ernan McMullin on Human Emergence.” Zygon, 48:2 (2013), 294-304. Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Allen, Paul L. Ernan McMullin and Critical Realism in the Science-Theology Dialogue. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006. Google Scholar

  • Allen, Paul L. “McMullin’s Augustinian Settlement: The Consonance between Faith and Science.” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 86:2 (2012), 331-342. Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Alvarez, Walter. T-Rex and the Crater of Doom. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997. Google Scholar

  • Artigas, Mariano. The Mind of the Universe: Understanding Science and Religion. Radnor, PA: Templeton Foundation Press, 2000. Google Scholar

  • Ayala, Francisco J. “Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology.” Philosophy of Science, 37:1 (1970), 1-15. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Barbour, Ian G. Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues. A Revised and Expanded Edition of Religion in an Age of Science. London: SCM, 1998. Google Scholar

  • Bergant, Dianne and Carroll Stuhlmueller. “Creation According to the Old Testament.” In Evolution and Creation, edited by Ernan McMullin, 153-175. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985. Google Scholar

  • Coyne, George V. “Science Meets Biblical Exegesis in the Galileo Affair.” Zygon, 48:1 (2013), 221-229. CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Deltete, Robert J. “Ernan McMullin on Anthropic Reasoning in Cosmology.” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 86:2 (2012), 323-330. CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Drees, Willem B. “Editorial: Informed Intellect and Integrity.” Zygon, 46:2 (2011), 261-264. CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Gould, Stephen Jay. Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989. Google Scholar

  • Hess, Peter M. J. and Paul L. Allen. Catholicism and Science. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008. Google Scholar

  • Lennox, James G. “Darwin was a Teleologist.” Biology and Philosophy, 8:4 (1993), 405-421. Google Scholar

  • Lennox, James G. and Kostas Kampourakis. “Biological Teleology: The Need for History.” In The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators, edited by Kostas Kampourakis, 421-454. Dordrecht: Springer, 2013. Google Scholar

  • McDonald, Patrick J. “Fr. Ernan McMullin on Evolutionary Biology and a Theology of the Human.” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 86:2 (2012), 355-367. CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Biology and the Theology of the Human.” Zygon, 48:2 (2013), 305-328. Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Cosmic Purpose and the Contingency of Human Evolution.” Theology Today, 55:3 (1998), 389-414; reprinted in Zygon, 48:2 (2013b), 338-363. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Cosmology and Religion.” In Cosmology: Historical, Literary, Philosophical, Religious and Scientific Perspectives, edited by Norriss S. Hetherington, 581-606. New York: Garland, 1993. Google Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Darwin and the Other Christian Tradition.” Zygon, 46:2 (2011), 291-316. CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Evolution and Special Creation.” Zygon, 28:3 (1993), 299-335. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Fine-Tuning the Universe?” In Science, Technology and Religious Ideas, edited by George W. Fields and Mark H. Shale, 97-125. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1994. Google Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Galileo’s Theological Venture.” Zygon, 48:1 (2013), 192-220. CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “How Should Cosmology Relate to Theology?” In The Sciences and Theology in the Twentieth Century, edited by Arthur Peacocke, 17-57. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981. Google Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Integral Naturalism. Review of The Mind of the Universe: Understanding Science and Religion by Mariano Artigas.” First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion & Public Life, 110 (2001), 45-49. Google Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Introduction: Evolution and Creation.” In Evolution and Creation, edited by Ernan McMullin, 1-56. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985. Google Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Natural Science and Belief in a Creator: Historical Notes.” In Physics, Philosophy, and Theology: A Common Quest for Understanding, edited by Robert J. Russell, William R. Stoeger, George V. Coyne, 49-79. Notre Dame, IN: Vatican Observatory and University of Notre Dame Press, 1988. Google Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Realism in Theology and in Science: A Response to Peacocke.” Religion and Intellectual Life, 2 (1985), 39-47. Google Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan, “The Impact of the Theory of Evolution on Western Religious Thought.” In Synthesis of Science and Religion, edited by Thoudam Damodara Singh, 76-86. San Francisco, CA: Bhaktivedanta Institute, 1988. Google Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “The Inference that Makes Science.” Zygon, 48:1 (2013), 143-191. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • McMullin, Ernan. “Values in Science.” Zygon, 47:4 (2012), 686-709. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ruse, Michael. Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003. Google Scholar

  • Ruse, Michael. “Evolutionary Biology and Teleological Thinking.” In Functions: New Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology and Biology, edited by André Ariew, Robert Cummins, Mark Perlman, 33-59. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Google Scholar

  • Ruse, Michael. “Science and Values: My Debt to Ernan McMullin.” Zygon, 47:4 (2012), 666-685. CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Sayre, Kenneth M. Adventures in Philosophy at Notre Dame. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2014. Google Scholar

  • Sober, Elliott R. “Progress and Direction in Evolution.” In Creative Evolution?!, edited by J. H. Campbell and J. William Schopf, 19-33. Boston: Jones and Bartlett, 1994. Google Scholar

  • Stoeger, William R. “Ernan McMullin on Contingency, Cosmic Purpose, and the Atemporality of the Creator.” Zygon, 48:2 (2013), 329-337. CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Sweetman, Brendan. “The Dispute between McMullin and Plantinga over Evolution.” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 86:2 (2012), 343-354. Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Van Fraassen, Bas C. “Scientific Realism and the Empiricist Challenge: An Introduction to Ernan McMullin’s Aquinas Lecture.” Zygon, 48:1 (2013), 131-142. Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article


Received: 2015-07-30

Accepted: 2015-09-24

Published Online: 2015-11-06


Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 1, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2015-0032.

Export Citation

©2015 Amerigo Barzaghi, Josep Corcó. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in