Progress, theology, and climate change: Creating pandaemonium when working for paradise

Bethany Sollereder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter challenges the notion that we have progress in theology or in science. For early scientists, one of the goals of science was to restore the conditions in the Garden of Eden: conditions of peace, plenty, predictability, and immortality. Progress in science was a return, not a journey forward into the unknown. As science secularized, the sense of a return was lost, but a majority of scientific research continues to pursue the abovementioned goals, although without limitation or a sense of arrival since there is no return. Ironically, our limitless search for Paradise through science has created the conditions where the Holocene climactic norms have been overturned, imperilling the possibilities of creaturely flourishing for much of the biosphere. In light of that frame of reference, can we call the works of science progress? Similarly, I argue that theology changes in relation to the culture, but like music, it would be impossible to call newer forms of theology progress just as it would be impossible to call contemporary music progress over Mozart or Bach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Theology
Subtitle of host publicationDoes the Queen of the Sciences Advance?
EditorsGijsbert van den Brink, Rik Peels, Bethany Sollereder
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter14
Pages219-237
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781040089422
ISBN (Print)9781032623214
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2024

Publication series

NameRoutledge Science and Religion Series
PublisherRoutledge

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