JIS VI 1994
RELIGIOUS RESURGENCE IN
THE MODERN WORLD
JIS VI 1994: 1-23
SCIENCE AND RELIGION:
THE MISSING LINK *
Institute for Interdisciplinary Research
Contemporary natural science is returning to the question of First Principles concerning the origin, nature, and destiny of man and the universe, while the social sciences bracket man and the question of values, and theologians largely concede factual pronouncements about the world to scientists. This essay proposes that man himself is the missing link between science and religion, nature and spirit. And that the main challenge for science and religion today is to find a common, intersubjectively transmissible language which could bridge the conceptual gap between these two fields of inquiry. A genuine science-theology dialogue would have to “unbracket” man and encompass the totality of human experience via a global approach to all knowing, seeking to rediscover the interconnectedness and complementarity between facts and values, knowledge and faith, science and religion.
* Templeton Award for best published paper on science and religion, 1994.
JIS VI 1994: 24-40
FRANK LLYOD WRIGHT:
THE ARCHITECT AS PREACHER
Debra A. Meyers
University of Rochester
Frank Lloyd Wright is widely recognized as one of America’s most creative architects. His influence continues around the world. Since Wright’s death in 1959, his impact on architecture and social reform has remained an important topic for historians. Wright’s genius has been attributed to his mentor Louis Sullivan, his father’s love of classical music, or his preschool training with Froebel developmental toys. Although these factors may have played a part in Wright’s development, his religious beliefs were central to his social theory and Organic Architecture. Wright’s life and work was a concerted effort to convert the world to his strong Unitarian religious beliefs.
JIS VI 1994: 41-66
THE SEARCH FOR AMERICAN SOUL:
CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY VS. SECULAR AUTHORITY *
Culminating a process that began with modernity, Americans now face a breakdown in society’s moral consensus. Questions of an ethical nature long thought settled have risen to usurp the Western tradition of moral continence. This tradition is firmly anchored in the Judeo-Christian virtues brought to America and cultivated during the Colonial period. These virtues reflected a Christian authority internalized in conscience and practiced in community. But this authority came under assault with modernity’s creeping secularization. One reason for this is the rise and pervasiveness of secular social theories that have concluded in a socializing theodicy.
* Oleg Zinam Award for Best Essay in JIS, 1994.
JIS VI 1994: 67-86
CIVIL WRONGS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
University of South Carolina-Columbia
The civil rights movement has broken away from its religious roots which once provided it firm support and, indeed, it has become a threat to those roots. In fact, the past thirty years evidence two civil rights movements. The original civil rights movement promoted equal opportunity and presupposed a constrained vision of human possibilities compatible with Christianity. The revised civil rights agenda, which had replaced it by 1971, promoted preferential policies dubbed “affirmative action” based on an unconstrained vision incompatible with both Christianity and the American founding. The most visible threat to religious liberty is the expansion of civil rights protections to include homosexuals despite the overwhelming rejection of homosexuality as a lifestyle by the majority of Americans, including Christians.
JIS VI 1994: 87-108
ETHNOPOLITICS AND THE NEW WORLD DISORDER
Joseph M. Dondelinger
National and ethnic resurgence has dampened post-Cold War optimism. Predictions of the end of history and democratic universalism confront ideas of a coming clash of civilizations and a new Cold War between secular and religious nationalisms. At this critical juncture in history, America suffers from leadership fatigue, lacks a coherent vision, and faces significant domestic weaknesses including ethnic, cultural, intellectual, and moral Balkanization. America’s global leadership requires a viable and enviable model capable of effectively translating power into legitimate authority. Such a model, in turn, presupposes a moral-spiritual renewal and democratic institutions and practices.
JIS VI 1994: 109-128
TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS IN RUSSIA
Russia is a strategic research site for studying the deconstruction of idolatries. Idolatry remains a powerful social scientific and popular concept, more so than the modern, unified concept of ideology. Russians themselves have regularly invoked the vocabulary of idolatry. IRIVC public opinion surveys in Moscow, 1990-93, indicate that a majority believe that the Biblical commandments against idolatry are very important for contemporary man and would improve the world if obeyed. To Russians, idolatry means blindly either worshipping anything or believing in leaders. Between April 1990 and April 1991, there was a 183 percent increase in the number of people expressing certainty in the existence of God. Belief in a transcendent God is associated with a dramatic decrease in various idolatries such as obsessive concern with wealth and New Age cults such as astrology, EST, UFOism, and the like
JIS VI 1994: 129-146
THE CHALLENGE OF ISLAM IN AFRICA
Cheltenham & Gloucester College-UK
At present, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. In Africa, as elsewhere, militant, fundamentalist Islam is at the heart of this contemporary resurgence. Perhaps the major characteristic of resurgent Islam is its quest to establish states governed by the Sharia’ah law. There is no sacred/secular dichotomy, and each area of life is taken seriously in terms of Islamisation. With its inherent opposition to the secular privatisation of religion, resurgent Islam presents a challenge to Christians to explore the relationship between their own faith and all areas of life and think through the implications of societal pluralism in an integral Christian way.
JIS VI 1994: 165-179
THE COSMOLOGICAL GOD
Eastern Nazarene College
God and the New Cosmology: The Anthropic Design Argument. By Michael A. Corey. Savage, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1993. Paper. 332 p. $22.50.
Reason and Reality: The Relationship Between Science and Theology. By John Polkinghorne. Hauppauge, NY: Trinity Press International, 1991. Paper. 119 p.
Dreams of a Final Theory: The Search for the Fundamental Laws of Nature. By Steven Weinberg. New York: Pantheon Books, 1992. Cloth. 334 p. $25.
JIS VI 1994: 180-186
NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY AND THE BIBLE
California Institute of Theological & Social Sciences
Sacred Eyes. By L. Robert Keck. Indianapolis, IN: Knowledge Systems, 1992. Cloth. 297 p. $18.95.