Document Type : Original Article


PhD in Comparative Philosophy and Researcher


Divine action is one of the most important issues in theology during history. In contemporary theology and science discussions, this issue becomes more important in the light of modern science’s achievements. Is it a reasonable way for believing in God’s providence that is also far from the god of the gaps strategy? John Polkinghorne, the famous English Physicist and Priest, is one of the pioneers of theology and science discussions in Christian doctrine. In addition to brilliant achievements in theoretical physics, he has some outstanding theories also in theology and science (In both methodology and contents). One of these theories is the specific picture he presents for modelling divine action in nature. This picture, rests on some bases: critical realism in scientific discovery, specific role of metaphysics, defeating naturalism, specific notion of causality and a top-down model of causation based on chaos theory. In this article, after a review on Polkinghorne’s academic life, his main ideas in general and his specific notion of divine action in nature in particular is described. In criticizing his ideas, it is shown that his notion, although has some powerful points, is not strong enough for philosophical analysis. At the end, I emphasis in the role of a strong coherence philosophical system for generate an acceptable picture for divine action. Islamic philosophy systems, I think, can play this role in contemporary discussions.


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