Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Theology

Abstract

In the classical Christian theological understanding, God and time are tightly interwoven (e.g. time and eternity, the Incarnation, and liturgy) and inform how we comprehend the presence and absence of the Incomprehensible in our day-to-day lives. Yet the classical Christian understanding does not take into account scientific discoveries pertaining to time and how this influences our experience of time. It is within the fabric of God and time that this dissertation will argue that the concept of time contained within contemporary genetics provides a significant and innovative way of considering the Classical Christian theological notion of the presence and absence of God, thus providing an original approach to how we think about God today in a culture that seeks answers from science as well as theology.

This project employs a theological fundamental hermeneutical method outlined by David Tracy that brings together Christian fact and common human knowledge in critical correlation in three broad steps. The first step articulates the notion of time found in classical Christianity by surveying how Augustine understands God as outside of time, while created humanity thinks in terms of past, present, and future, and how this influences Augustine's doctrine of God (God's hiddenness). The second step explores the common human knowledge of time as seen in contemporary genetics, developing a philosophy of time in genetics. This concept of time will then be "translated" through the phenomenology of Claude Romano in order to build a heuristic that will bridge the lexicon of science and the lexicon of theology. The third step brings the new heuristic developed in the second step into dialogue with the classical Christian understanding of God and time established in step one in order to discover the similarities and differences between the two and will culminate in the formation of a genetic-event model of temporality that will allow for new thinking about the presence and absence of God.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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