Dialectical Critical Realism in Science and Theology: Quantum Physics and Karl Barth

Ross H. McKenzie, Benjamin Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In order to illuminate the similarities and differences between science and theology, we consider an epistemology and methodology for each that can be characterised as a dialectical critical realism. Our approach is deeply indebted to the work of the Swiss theologian, Karl Barth. Key points are (i) that the object under study determines the method to be used, the community of investigators and the nature of the possible knowledge to be gained; (ii) the necessity of a posteriori, rather than a priori reasoning; and (iii) that the dialogue between theology and science should account for both the similarities and differences between the two disciplines. The counterintuitive nature of quantum physics is used to illustrate how in science (i) the dialectic element should lead to a critical dimension to realism, and (ii) one is forced to engage with reality on its own terms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-66
Number of pages18
JournalScience and Christian Belief
Volume20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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