Philosophy, Science and Divine Action


One of the most important and controversial themes in the contemporary dialogue among scientists and Christian theologians is the issue of "divine action" in the world. This volume brings together contributions from leading scholars on this topic, which emerged out of the Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action project, co-sponsored by the Vatican Observatory and the Center for Theology and Natural Science. This multi-year collaboration involved over 50 authors meeting at five international conferences. The essays collected here demonstrate the pervasive role of philosophy in this dialogue.

Contributors include: Ian Barbour, Philip Clayton, George F. R. Ellis, Nancey Murphy, Arthur Peacocke, John Polkinghorne, Robert John Russell, F. LeRon Shults, William Stoeger, Thomas F. Tracy and Wesley Wildman.
Restricted Access


EUR €181.00USD $245.00

Biographical Note

F. LeRon Shults, Professor of Theology and Philosophy, Institute of Religion, Philosophy and History, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway.
Nancey Murphy, Ph.D. (1980) in Philosophy, U.C. Berkeley; Th.D. (1987) Graduate Theological Union, is Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, California, USA. She has published on Anglo-American postmodern philosophy; theology and science; and neuroscience, philosophy of mind, and Christian anthropology.
Robert John Russell, Ian G. Barbour Professor of Theology and Science in Residence, Graduate Theological Union, and Founder and Director, The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley, California, USA.

Table of contents

A Philosophical Introduction to “Divine Action”, F. LeRon Shults ... 1

Chapter One Five Models of God and Evolution, Ian G. Barbour ... 17
Chapter Two The Sound of Sheer Silence: How does God Communicate with Humanity?, Arthur Peacocke ... 53
Chapter Three The Metaphysics of Divine Action, John Polkinghorne ... 97
Chapter Four Describing God’s Action in the World in Light of Scientific Knowledge of Reality, William R. Stoeger ... 111
Chapter Five Evaluating the Teleological Argument for Divine Action, Wesley J. Wildman ... 141
Chapter Six Constraint and Freedom in the Movement from Quantum Physics to Theology, Philip Clayton ... 191
Chapter Seven Creation, Providence and Quantum Chance, Thomas F. Tracy ... 227
Chapter Eight Divine Action in the Natural Order: Buridan’s Ass and Schrödinger’s Cat, Nancey Murphy ... 263
Chapter Nine Ordinary and Extraordinary Divine Action: The Nexus of Interaction, George F.R. Ellis ... 305
Chapter Ten Divine Action and Quantum Mechanics: A Fresh Assessment, Robert John Russell ... 351

Appendix: Overview of the CTNS/VO Series ... 405
About the Authors ... 427
Index ... 429


Participants in the international science and religion dialogue, scientists and theologians interested in the question of divine action, and advanced students desiring to become familiar with this debate.


Collection Information