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Time in Eternity By Robert John Russell

Time in Eternity by Robert John Russell

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Summary

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.

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Time in Eternity Summary

Time in Eternity: Pannenberg, Physics, and Eschatology in Creative Mutual Interaction by Robert John Russell

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.

Time in Eternity Reviews

"Time in Eternity is the first book-length exposition of Russell's approach to the 'creative mutual interaction' between theology and the natural sciences. This approach 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." -- Interpretation: Journal of Bible and Theology
"Time in Eternity bridges the fields of philosophical theology, systematic theology, and the science-religion debate. It makes a distinctive and original contribution to the field of theology and science, as well as being significant for scholars and students in the other two disciplines. The book not only meets high standards for scholarship in this field; it actually sets new standards for future work."
"A gripping and nuanced tale emerges from these pages.... [This] is a study that can be recommended without reservation to the widest possible audience." -- American Historical Review
"This book is impressive for its breadth as well as the author's solid knowledge in both Pannenberg's theology and science. . . . In illustrating theological concepts with scientific theories, it makes theology seem more sensible and credible in a scientific age." -- Reviews in Religion and Theology
"This is a solid work of scholarship that provides a creative and important contribution. The amount of learning, understanding, and depth of research in both theology and physics is impressive. Future scholars interested in God, time, and eternity, or looking for a solid example of theology and science in mutual interaction, will want to study it carefully." -- Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
"Using his distinctive method of relating science and theology by 'Creative Mutual Interaction,' Robert Russell explores an immense range of contemporary thought about the Big Bang, relativity, quantum physics, creation, and eschatology, leading to many intriguing suggestions for future research. This will be a model for future writers to emulate." -- Ian G. Barbour, author of When Science Meets Religion
"The author of this study masterfully narrates the history of the imprisonment, trial, and condemnation of the Beguine, Marguerite Porete, and of her book (which are two separate processes, as he shows). Sean L. Field lays out both the book's fate at the hands of the late thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century religious authorities and Marguerite's persistent refusal to accept negative judgments against it, a refusal that ended with her being given over to secular authorities and put to death by fire at the Place de Greve in Paris on June 1, 1310. . . . By attending to everything from the nature of the document from which came much of the evidence for Marguerite's and Guiard's trials, to the writings of the Masters of Theology called in to judge excerpts from Marguerite's book, to the near simultaneity with which events effecting Marguerite, Guiard, and the Templars occurred, Field provides a handbook for the writing of history." -- The Historian
"Time in Eternity bridges the fields of philosophical theology, systematic theology, and the science-religion debate. It makes a distinctive and original contribution to the field of theology and science, as well as being significant for scholars and students in the other two disciplines. The book not only meets high standards for scholarship in this field; it actually sets new standards for future work." -- Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology
"Robert Russell is the world's leading scholar on relating issues surrounding the resurrection of Jesus, such as prolepsis and eschatology, to physics and cosmology, and I imagine this book will be well received throughout the science and religion community and beyond. In Time in Eternity, Russell engages more fully with Pannenberg than ever before. He has also expanded his work on the way physical cosmology can be enhanced by engaging theological issues. This is the most important book on Pannenberg, physics, and eschatology to date." -- LeRon Shults, University of Agder

About Robert John Russell

Robert John Russell is professor of theology and science, and founder and director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

Additional information

NLS9780268040598
9780268040598
0268040591
Time in Eternity: Pannenberg, Physics, and Eschatology in Creative Mutual Interaction by Robert John Russell
New
Paperback
University of Notre Dame Press
2012-06-19
456
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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