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Unlocking Divine Action: Contemporary Science and Thomas Aquinas Hardcover – September 11, 2012
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Instead, Dodds demonstrates how contemporary scientific theory harkens to a thomistic causal metaphysic which is more robust and wide-ranging than modern Newtonian models. With this causal metaphysic in hand, Dodds shows how efficient, material, formal, and final causes can be evidenced in the world of science, and then utilized analogically when describing God's transcendent action as the cause of being.
I wholeheartedly recommend "Unlocking Divine Action" especially for a Christian readership interested in philosophy, theology, or the physical sciences. The way Dodds weaves together these orders of knowledge into a coherent picture is enlightening, even encouraging!
Dodds shows the damaging effect of the constriction of the language of causality in modernity, and rejecting of final and formal causation in particular. Moreover, even material and efficient causes were reformulated in terms of reductionist agenda of the scientific age and we ended up with causation understood in terms of physical reactions of pushing and pooling, amenable for a mathematical description. This change affected theology of divine action which began to think about God's activity in univocal terms (at the same level with the causation of creatures), and triggered a quest in search of the so-called "causal joint" between God and creatures.
What stands behind all attempts of modern theology to solve this problem (interventionism, deism, liberal theology, process theology, panentheism, theology of divine limitation) is a rejection of Thomistic categories of causation and divine action which were based on 4 causes of Aristotle, and Aquinas' distinctions of primary/instrumental, primary/secondary, univocal/equivocal causation, and his concept of analogy in theology.
Dodds shows how the recent advances in science (quantum mechanics, chaos theory, emergence, evolution, new cosmology) open the way to a more robust theory of causation.Read more ›