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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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Introduction

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The central argument of this book is that aspects of the natural science of chemistry as currently practiced, may inform a natural theology.

Firstly in chapter 1 I will seek to establish an epistemological methodology for the treatment of knowledge of and about the Christian God and of the justification of that knowledge consistent with contemporary understandings. This section on religious epistemology attempts to codify how the knowledge that follows later is justifiably rationally held. This is why it is present at all and moreover is why it is present at the start of this book. I believe we must lay the ground work of what can be rationally held before we can start to treat the material. Within this section on Epistemology the reader should note the prominence given to the tenets of a movement known as ‘Reformed Epistemology’ and within that, to the novel use of certain terms most notably ‘justification’. These are explained there. It is perhaps unfortunate that two such well-known terms as ‘reformed epistemology’ and ‘justification’ should be re-used in ways which are quite different from their anecdotally ‘obvious’ explanations.

I will then in the second chapter review the current state of natural theology and seek to establish an approach within this discipline of systematics that is consistent with the epistemology established in the first chapter and that might build on an area of current chemical research. How should a natural theology, in the context of this book, be...

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