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The Science and Religion Dialogue

Past and Future

Edited By Michael Welker

This book documents the conference on The Science and Religion Dialogue: Past and Future, held at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, October 25-29, 2012. The conference commemorated the 100 th anniversary of the birth of Sir John Templeton and the 25 th anniversary of the establishment of the John Templeton Foundation. It brought together about 60 active participants, all of them prominent scholars from many countries and many academic fields. Most of them have been engaged in the Science and Religion Dialogue for the last two or three decades. This book reports on multi-year international and interdisciplinary research projects at leading institutions. The contributions start with presentations by Hans Joas, Martin Nowak and John Polkinghorne and range from Astronomy, Mathematics, Physics and Biology to Philosophical Theology and Religious Ethics. Special topics of the dialogue between Science and Religion are also dealt with, such as Eschatology and Anthropology; Cosmology, Creation, and Redemption; Evolutionary Biology and the Spirit; and The Role of Thought Experiments in Science and Theology.
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God’s Spirituality. The Trinitarian Dynamics of Prayer

1.  The Embodiment of Prayer: Praise, Petition, Lament and Thanksgiving

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This paper has two objectives: First, I present the theological interpretation of prayer as developed in my dissertation (which received the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise in 2007). Second, I develop this interpretation of prayer further by locating it in the wider horizon of a theological interpretation of the human mind. I conclude by using my argument as a starting point for a dogmatic hermeneutics to the science and religion dialogue.

Prayer articulates the community between God and human: In prayer, faith becomes word. In my dissertation, I delineated the grammar of prayer as interplay of praise, petition, thanksgiving and lament on the basis of the Biblical prayer traditions (especially the Psalms and the Lord’s Prayer).1 In short, my systematic-theological interpretation of prayer amounts to the following: Praise, petition, thanksgiving and lament are not isolated from each other, but are interconnected and together form the grammar of Christian prayer. Their specific configuration is rooted in the specific community with God – and in the specific situation of the praying person. Every individually spoken prayer is rooted in this specific configuration of petition, praise, lament, and thanksgiving, but of course it applies the four elements to the given situation of the praying person. Individual prayer moves within the deep framework of the Biblical prayer traditions – and uses this Biblical framework to express the unique situation of the praying person. Thus the praying believer finds him- or herself in a wider context of prayer, and is strengthened...

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