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Reconstructing Wonder

Chemistry Informing a Natural Theology

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Timothy Weatherstone

The book uses scientific discipline of chemistry to inform a Natural Theology. While Natural Theology typically employs scientific analysis from Cosmology, Physics, Mathematics and at times Biology the author extends the subject. He refers to the perception of beauty to provide a conceptual framework linking aspects of Epistemology, Theology and Chemistry. The volume presents a working definition of Natural Theology and a new definition of Beauty that bridges the conceptual gaps between the humanities and the hard sciences.

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Chapter 1: Religious Epistemology

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Chapter 1:  Religious Epistemology

1.1  Introduction

In this chapter my purpose is to answer such questions as: if I assert that I am justified in my belief in the Christian God and seek to assist others to also acquire this justified belief, how do I justify such a position of ‘faith toward God’ (Hebrews 6.1): what particular strategy or structure do I propose? By what means, using what methodologies do I justify my Christian belief; in short, how can I be assured that I know what I say I know? I start by providing an overview of contemporary approaches to religious epistemology. In so doing I hope to arrive at a considered personal position.

More generically Matthias Steup says of epistemology that:

The debate over the structure of knowledge and justification is primarily one among those who hold that knowledge requires justification. From this point of view, the structure of knowledge derives from the structure of justification. (Steup,2013, p. 14)

In qualifying the justification of belief as needing to be ‘rational’ and implying also that it needs to be adequately structured, these authors are joined by Martin Smith who implies that the rationality of belief has also to do with the status of both the justification and the knowledge (Smith, 2014, p. 135); thus we need to be clear about what ‘evidence’ – the status of the justification -, and the assertion – the nature of the...

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