United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



Science and Faith: Partners or Rivals? Special Issue of SEARCH Out Soon

The summer issue of the Church of Ireland journal, Search, edited by Canon Ginnie Kennerly, will be available shortly. This issue will concentrate on science and faith to help readers engage in a conversation, rather than an altercation, in this area, seeing the two as complementary in our understanding of reality. The leading article is by Keith Ward, former Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and noted writer in this field: his latest book, Love is His Meaning, is reviewed in this issue by the Archbishop of Armagh.

Theodicy is a key area for pondering in the conversation, since so often the question arises ‘How can God – if he exists – allow suffering in his creation?’ There is no neat answer to the question, as is pointed out by Cathriona Russell in her article ‘Creation: an invitation to share God’s love’. However William Olhausen in his ‘Christian apologetics and the challenge of science’ shares some helpful observations, as does Keith Ward.

Engaging both head and heart in this area is not easy, and the  contributors have done so in different ways. Michael Fuller of Edinburgh University puts his passion into insisting on conversation, not conflict, reminding us that many scientists are also faithful Christians. Mark Russell, recently graduated from CITI, chides church people for making little attempt to engage  scientists in discussion, relating to the symbol and metaphor of scientific discourse.  Gillian Straine, a cancer survivor herself, brings her own experience to bear on how prevailing metaphors surrounding cancer help or hinder the sufferer to understand themselves as made in the image of God.

Moving outside the specifically Christian sphere of thinking, the Muslim cosmologist M. Basil Altaie of Yarmouk University in Jordan reflects on modern cosmological thinking in relation to the Qu’uran and developments in Islamic philosophy are enlightening.

This issue concludes with an In Retrospect by Professor John Bartlett on his onetime mentor in TCD, Professor H F Woodhouse, and a Liturgica page by the Dean of Leighlin, the Very Revd Tom Gordon.