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Bringing together theology, philosophy, and literature, his work can be read as part of an ecotheological tradition mediated through poets like S. From these writers, Larkin has developed a microscopic approach to the cosmic that focuses on the locality and specificity of landscapes that do not obviously connote the sacred.

But for Larkin, the broken and ruined landscape reveals and gives forth more of the divine than the pastoral, connected as it is with a sense of scarcity shared by the trees that survive within it and the God to which they reach. Larkin creates the space for this to play out in an almost perichoretic dance in which the trees sway into a co-eternal and consubstantial relationship that evokes the dynamism of the Trinity.

This assemblage is rhizomatic and interwoven, a structure that offers a series of co-ordinates by which the hidden connections between all matter—nature, society, God—can be determined. The abundance of the language in which he relates this scarcity transforms the sites he describes into dwelling places in which the reader might turn from the page to the specificity of trees and plants, prayer, and revelation.


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In an ecological sense, the image is brutal, indicating a graveyard of piled-up tree corpses cut down by the human for the use of humans in an era defined by its excessive consumption. But Larkin marries this ecological sense with a religious thinking in which the trees take off from the horizontal ground in which they are rooted to rise vertiginously but slowly upwards.

The Entangled God: Divine Relationality and Quantum Physics, by Kirk Wegter-McNelly

As presences with which humans engage, the vegetal also decentres the human to create an alternative religious ecology in which the fir trees map a struggle to reach the edge of the divine also encountered by the human Latour , p. In a syntax that tirelessly repeats and rethinks forests, woods, plantations and plant life, he answers material and spiritual limitation with linguistic abundance. Their leaves, sprays, and twigs are exposed to an unseen that nevertheless moves them in their quietude. In quantum physics, diffraction is specifically related to the way light behaves at once like a particle matter moves in a single trajectory and a wave matter spreads or radiates and travels outwards.

What we perceive through phenomenological experience is, then, the smallest units of material coming together through ongoing intra-activity and entanglement. The effect of becoming entangled by the firs is not to retreat into a pastoral remove from the world, but to become oriented towards God.

The conical shape of the fir means that its branches curve out rather than point directly up: the band of needles thus thwart the constraining force of vertical movement by maintaining their work of intervention.

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Giving, gift, given again stand in relation to scarcity. If diffraction reveals entanglement, then the arc solicits both the curve of the needles that so effectively displaces the vertical and the transcendent, as well as the electrical spark ignited by the flow of energy made across a gap in a circuit. As offcuts of prayer, rather than complete devotional texts or lines of sacred knowledge, the trees resist simplification and become a form of diffracted praise, an ethics of thankfulness and prayer. For Larkin, the world is not a series of atomized geographic areas that can be exploited to the point of destruction and ruin by environmental and economic damage.

In doing so they inhabit the sacral horizon to which the subject is drawn, but stay silent in their witness to its impossibility. Other groups that can also be classed under the kalamic rubric would be Mutazilites and the Maturidis though the former were eventually classed as being outside of orthodoxy. One interpretation suggests that he actually was a Neoplatonist.

This interpretation can be found in the following works; Frank , Richard M. The other interpretation seems to square him within the traditional Ash'arite school. This interpretation can be found in the following works: Marmura , Michael E. It may very well be possible in the space of logical possibilities that such an occurrence could come about by chance, and thus give the appearance of intelligence, but from our experience with nature we usually and intuitively attribute such appearances to intelligence rather than to random processes.

This point will be of particular importance when discussing some issues that were discussed by the early Muslim theologians. Actually mass — like the Deity — has a triune personality. It may appear in the role of gravitational charge, or of inertia, or of energy, but nowhere does mass present itself to the senses as its unadorned self. The measurement problem in quantum mechanics is a special case of this general problem. Regardless, this specific point should not detract us from the overall presentation of this article.

This is because his entire project is premised on providing an alternative worldview to materialism, as mentioned earlier, and thus focuses primarily on shaping information. However, I don't see any contradiction nor problem in broadening his definition to include the other types of information that we looked at earlier.

It also has a shaping content either in the form of being a square or a triangle, or by having the colour red. An empty sign board below, right without any letters nor any symbols and colours won't have the semantic component but might still have the other two kinds of information, i. On this point also see Dembski Being in Communion , God is only bound by the law of non-contradiction.


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This entails that God can create worlds with different moral orders than the one He has instilled in our or the actual world. See footnote We need to model physical reality, its relationships and its laws, representing them through language and theoretical concepts. God has no need to do that. This Ash'arite occasionalism has a peculiar consequence. The Greek cosmologist already proposed not only material stuff e. Empedocles's four elements as candidate but also immaterial reason logos as Parmenides did.

This implies that material stuff originates from immaterial stuff and in line with the panpsychic idea of consciousness as underlying principle. The arche question however brought new questions to the fore. Matter changes. What is the primal principle?

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The Entangled God: Divine Relationality and Quantum Physics - CRC Press Book

What is ultimately real is eidos : the idea of a thing Clayton Ideas are real, matter an illusion. Aristotle departed from the idea that matter is an illusion. What differentiates one thing from another is its form. Pure matter is undifferentiated stuff, that which lies beneath Lat. But taken by itself it is completely unknown, mysterious' ibid The dematerialisation of matter reality. The dematerialisation of nature began with Newton whose theory of gravity was related to the seemingly occult notion of 'action at a distance'.

There was no intervening matter between large bodies like the sun and the earth to explain gravity. In the development of Newton's thought, matter increasingly occupied a smaller part of his universe. Light could travel through transparent material only because there were fewer particles material corpuscles present McMullin It was Samuel Clarke, follower of Newton, who stressed that space was predominantly filled by immaterial forces.

Matter was the 'most inconsiderate part' of the universe McMullin According to Jolley quoted in Clayton , Leibniz a contemporary of Newton reduced matter to a merely epiphenomenal property of the monads.

Chapter Ten. Divine Action And Quantum Mechanics: A Fresh Assessment

Leibniz referred to bodies as 'sets of harmonized perceptions'. According to Faraday, physical reality actually consists not of matter but of fields Holt Bernard d'Espagnat also argued that it is not accurate to see objects as objects because they are rather properties of a field see Clayton This implies that rest mass can be transformed into radiation and vice versa.

Conversely, energy can be transformed into mass in the process of pair creation when the energy available is high enough to transform into the rest of masses of the two particles McMullin According to Stapp , the collapse of the wave function suggested that the observer was constitutive in determining the physical world. The original Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory eschewed ontology and avoided all commitments about what really exists.

Heisenberg saw reality as built out of psychological events and not out of matter.

Dialogue: Considering The Entangled God

The focus is on objective tendencies for events to occur and the transition from the 'possible' to the 'actual' takes place during the act of observation Stapp On the level of particle physics, the role of 'nothingness' came to the fore. Every particle has an anti-particle and the two will collapse each other; there is almost an equal amount of matter and anti-matter; when quantum level particles pop into existence spontaneously. Mathematics is the science of structure. It is uninterested in matter stuff.

Thus Holt deduces that if the universe is structure all the way down, then it is characterised by mathematics.


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Holt sketches the following scenario of a zero-energy universe:. Suppose the total energy of the universe is indeed exactly zero. Then, owing to the trade-off in uncertainty between energy and time as decreed by the Heisenberg principle , the indeterminacy in its time span becomes infinite. In other words, such a universe, once it popped into existence out of the void, could run away with itself and last forever. It would be like a loan of pure being that need never be repaid. No 'primary matter' serves as the basic stuff out of which all else is composed.

Instead the deeper one pursues the explanations, the more nonmateriality reveals itself in or behind the solid objects around us.

Robert Russell on Quantum Physics and Christian Theology

Clayton All of this may suggest that materialism is an illusion. But this is not accurate. Clayton's suggestion is perhaps more accurate: 'Relativity theory in cosmology and the complementarity thesis in quantum physics suggest that the basic reality is some sort of hybrid "matter-energy"' ibid Along the same lines, McMullin , 34 states that if matter is to be retained there are two alternatives open. Matter must be broadened to include mass-energy, or it could be restricted to rest mass which leaves the world with two constituents: matter and energy.

The 21st century has seen challenges to the centrality of epistemology in literary and cultural theory and the revival of neuroaesthetics, phenomenology and affect theory. This goes along with a newly emergent realism in the humanities which especially manifested in speculative realism, object-oriented ontology, new realism and feminist new realism Sheldon But what is philosophical materialism? Bennett interprets its manifestation in the West as the view where ' … fleshy, vegetal, mineral materials are encountered not as passive stuff awaiting animation by human of divine power, but as lively forces at work around and within us'.

The nonhuman or inorganic matter is 'influencing' us, 'appealing' to us and we need to find a new vocabulary to express the ' … participation of nonhumans in "our" world' Bennett Science has introduced at least three aspects of matter: its stuff or particle character molecules, atoms, quarks, quantum particles ; matter as energy kinetic potential and the information content of matter ability to form patterns see Clayton ; McMullin New insight in these fields occurs all the time.

What concerns us is the way that matter in new ways affects our worldview, our self-image and the way human biology and matter may be integrated in a trans-human existence. New materialism represents the 'nonhuman' turn. The reintegration of humans with nature or matter cannot be separated from new developments in consciousness studies and the so-called nonhuman turn with renewed interest in the nature of matter.

It is interpreted by Bennett as follows:. The nonhuman turn, then, can be understood as a continuation of earlier attempts to depict a world populated not by active subjects and passive objects but by lively and essentially interactive materials, by bodies human and nonhuman. Sheldon indicated that the nonhuman as umbrella term calls attention to the myriad ecological, biological, and physical processes that:.

The majority of Earth's living inhabitants are nonhuman … and nonhuman characterises the deep nonliving recesses of the Earth, the biosphere and space's vast expanse. Humans stand in relationship with matter. They are matter themselves - 'thinking matter'.