Ineffable Cosmos, Ineffable Love: Divine Action and the 'Laws of Nature' in the Theology of William R. Stoeger, S.J.
The writings of Jesuit astronomer William R. Stoeger offer compelling resources for speaking of divine action in light of contemporary science and amid the ecological crisis facing Earth and Earth’s creatures today. Beginning from his philosophical triad of experience, knowledge, and validation and his discussions of the relational constitution of the cosmos and the twofold operation of the ‘laws of nature,’ this dissertation presents Stoeger’s contributions to an evolutionary, heuristic-retroductive theological realism as a basis for doing theology in the present day. These contributions culminate in Stoeger’s hermeneutics of the full flourishing of life, which validate theological claims on the basis of their ability to promote the flourishing of all creatures according to their own kind. These distinctive developments establish Stoeger’s position in the field and ground his commitment to “critical dialogue” between theology and the sciences, rejecting any attempt at full integration or synthesis between the disciplines. With these foundations in place, Stoeger’s theology of creation and divine action in the ‘laws of nature’ emerges as the key outcome of his approach. This, in turn, provides the basis for an ‘ecopolitical’ theology that follows the trajectory of Stoeger’s thought, seeking to address the challenges posed by the contemporary ecological crisis, taking seriously its enmeshment within the sociopolitical, cultural, and economic structures that constitute contemporary reality.
Schutz, Paul J, "Ineffable Cosmos, Ineffable Love: Divine Action and the 'Laws of Nature' in the Theology of William R. Stoeger, S.J." (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10621484.