Science and Wisdom

Science and Wisdom

Science and Wisdom

Science and Wisdom

Excerpt

From very early on, the theological discussion with scientists fascinated me. When I was a schoolboy I dreamed of studying mathematics and physics. When I was called up in 1943, at the age of 16, I was just reading Louis de Broglie's book Matière et Lumière, which had recently appeared in German with a foreword by Werner Heisenberg. But then experiences of life and death in war and captivity overwhelmed me. Existential questions became more important than scientific ones, and these existential questions led me to theology. But for all that, the scientific questions were never forgotten. Unfortunately I never found the time to study physics thoroughly, either parallel to theology or afterwards. So in this respect I remained a dilettante, and am still so today — an amateur in the double sense of the word: though lacking professional expertise in the scientific field, science is nevertheless for me a subject of interest and delight. Later, I took every opportunity of entering as theologian into dialogue with scientists, read standard scientific books with interest, and tried to understand them. All this convinced me that theologians can learn something about God not just from the Bible but from 'the book of nature' too.

For a long time, in the wake of Karl Barth's famous — or notorious — 'no' to natural theology in 1934, any expectations of this kind were deeply suspect in German Protestant theology. It was the discovery of the ecological crisis of the environment, among living things other than ourselves and in nature as a whole, which for the first time provoked a new theology of nature, and called to life a new creation spirituality. It sounds . . .

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