Yesterday I was asked about some good material to read on the topic of divine action and science. Right away I thought of Nicholas Saunders’ book Divine Action and Modern Science (Cambridge University Press, 2003). Saunders did a really interesting overview of the topic of divine action and the problems with current theories of it in a 2006 lecture for the Faraday Institute which is available to view here.
At the end of Saunders’ rather deflationary overview you may find yourselves rather, er, deflated. (Deflationary lectures tend to do that.) However, it helps to keep the limitations of theories of divine action in perspective. After all, philosophers are no further along when it comes to understanding where the mind comes from or what it means to exist as an individual through time, or whether we have free will (and what free will even is) or what it means to see a red apple.
And that’s an important lesson. Every controverted mystery in philosophical theology is crowded up against other equally difficult imponderables populating the broader field of philosophy.
**Note: if the link included above doesn’t work then click here: