The opening lines of the book of Genesis have been the subject of debate for centuries: In one form of translation from the Aramaic, it reads “With wisdom God created the heavens and the earth.” It doesn’t actually say “in the beginning,” despite that commonplace rendition. God’s initial act of creation is stated: “God said ‘Let there be light’, and there was light.” It was the creation of light that started everything off. This bit of physics actually has a major relevance to our most basic understanding and notions about God. Continue reading
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A year after ordination, I had a homily on the Ascension, so I tried really to “get into” the scene. I walked with Jesus and the others to Bethany, smelled their sweat, felt the dust between my toes. Jesus blessed us, then began to rise. Then what? I got him suspended mid-air, as in paintings, but …. So my imagination kept him going. Hm. Did he go through the Van Allen Belt? Was he radioactive? Did he soar through endless space and come to the thin membrane between the physical universe and heaven, then slip through—Booop—like a self-sealing tire? Right. Continue reading
I have been interested in astronomy all my life; and I have been aware of God all my life.
Sputnik orbited the Earth the year I started school. People landed on the Moon during my last year of high school. So astronomy was literally “in the air” when I was growing up. And with an Italian father and Irish mother, my religion was also something I just grew up with. There really wasn’t any sense of one coming before the other. In fact, one of the hardest things for me to do is to try to explain my faith, or my enthusiasm for astronomy, to people without that faith or that enthusiasm. It is like trying to explain music to someone who is tone-deaf. Usually I don’t even try. Continue reading
We can find in Teilhard’s writings many points of interest for the dialogue between science and religion. I have selected three of them in his understanding of science, matter and human evolution. The first is his high esteem for science and its role in human history. Science for him represents the line along which evolution progresses at our human level and it prepares people to find the profound and hidden meaning of reality. This understanding of science may serve as a good starting point in the science-religion dialogue, since it recognizes a potentiality in science to be interpreted in religious terms. The second is his understanding of matter which surpasses all matter‑spirit dualism. Matter for him has an internal dynamism, which led it to the spirit, through the process of cosmic evolution. The third is his conception of human evolution as a part of cosmic evolution. By this, the consciousness of man (noosphere), progresses along the line of increasing unity to finally converge into an Omega Point, where it finds its ultimate fulfillment. Continue reading