Playing with Different Images Language and Physical Reality

What was largely ignored by Kant has been discussed deliberately by the fathers of quantum theory, namely, the fact that it is not only the perception of space and time that structures our concept of reality, but rather, language is also fundamentally involved. Both Bohr and Heisenberg have dealt with the relationship of language and reality and thus emphasized the hermeneutical character of the natural sciences in significant ways.221 In Physics and Beyond, a type of memoir in the form of...

The Quantitative Difference between Time and Eternity

Whenever models oriented toward Platonism or process theology get into trouble because they build, in different ways, on a qualitative difference between time and eternity and are then unable to demonstrate the relationship of time and eternity conclusively, the opposite path seems tempting. Namely, when one asserts merely a quantitative difference, instead of the qualitative distinction between time and eternity, then further polarization within the concept of world or the concept of God is no...

Die Zukunft ist sein Land93The History of the Future as Surrendering and Grasping

Even if my quantitative analysis of the hymnals clearly indicated that explicit mention of the future is relatively rare, these passages nevertheless tell their own history of human expectation regarding the future. I propose to define this history with the words surrendering and grasping. In this context, surrendering means confidently entrusting the future to God. Grasping, on the other hand, involves the active attempt to ensure that, in the face of a threatening and threatened future, one...

Death as Transition Eternalized Time and Eroded Eternity

The Hebrew Scriptures say little about what can be expected after death. They speak of sheol, the world of the dead, as a shadow world where one does not praise God.375 The hope for an individual eternal life is a rather late phenomenon.376 In the New Testament, the theme of resurrection is discussed in light of Jesus' resurrection. The experience of the Resurrection of Jesus does not immediately trigger the individualistic interpretation if he, then also I. Far more important was the fact that...

The Eternal Spirit

For Pannenberg, a major concern is the emphasis on the relationality of the persons of the Trinity. In the development of his thinking, he borrows the concept of field from physics340 in order to describe the triune God as a dynamic force field. Distancing himself from the Platonic-Origenic tradition of interpreting the divine spirit as nous, Pannenberg opts for interpreting God is spirit (John 4 24) as a field that can be conceived as occurring equally in all three persons of the Trinity.341...

God in Contrast to Time

Because it has become increasingly more evident in the course of this study that the question regarding the relationship of time to eternity necessitates the search for dynamic relational models, an article by Ingolf W. Dalferth sparks particular interest, because Dalferth pleads for a revision of the idea that God and time are mutually exclusive. His most important arguments for rejecting the notion of God and time as exclusive alternatives can be summarized as follows 162 1. The notion of...

Trinitarian Differentiation of Time and Eternity

First, I would like to return to Dalferth's suggestion of how the relationship between God and time can be conceived.285 I have already introduced Dalferth's revision of the view that God is eternal and therefore timeless. God's eternity cannot simply be the negative Other of time286 if God's relation to time is to be perceived as positive. Conversely, God also cannot simply be conceived as being temporally eternal in the sense of sempiterni-tas, because this does not permit the idea of a...

Time in the Old Testament On the Concept of Time in the Hebrew Scriptures

There is general agreement that Old Testament thought has no natural tendency to abstractions.14 Israel never understood time as something separate from the respective event in this sense, it knew only filled time,15 that is, every event has a definite place in the time-order the event is inconceivable without its time, and vice versa.16 As a rule, there is no reflection about the nature of time. What happens within time is much more interesting.17 The earliest period in which more abstract...

Time and Eschatology

Because of the problems just discussed, I would like to describe some of the nuances of New Testament concepts of time in light of various eschato-logical concepts. Mark conceives of Jesus' proclamation of the nearness of the reign of God in such a way that, in spite of its eschatological character, this reign already begins to be realized in the work of Jesus. The future determines the present, but in a way that that which is consummated in the future can be partially experienced in the...

Past Present Future and Advent Modes of Time in Light of Theological Eschatology

The preconception of the unity of time has been philosophically so predominant that the difference in the three modes of time past, present, and future can be considered the unsolved and constantly suppressed problem in the conception of time within metaphysics.136 In theology, the trinity of the time modes has understandably stimulated a connection to the doctrine of the Trinity. On pp. 98-101, I showed how Dalferth relates the Father as the timeless ground of everything, the Spirit as...

Introduction and Hermeneutical Approach

This study deals with the relationship between faith and knowledge, between natural science and theology. There are essentially two different methods for dealing with this subject. On the one hand, there is the path of principle discourse, in which the presuppositions and methods of science and theology are compared to each other and brought into dialogue preferably with the mediation of philosophy. On the other hand, there is also the possibility of allowing science and theology to enter into...

On the Dialogue between Science and Theology

For anyone seeking a dynamic relational model for the relationship of time and eternity, the words of the theologian Gabriel Daly must sound like sweet music The flowering of atomic and sub-atomic physics is revealing a cosmos of startling and beautiful complexity which is marked above all by motion and the wonders of systemic interrelationship.1 I consider Daly's description both correct and auspicious for my study. His emphasis on motion and systemic interrelationship especially catches my...

The Eschatological Difference between Time and Eternity

The eschatological difference between time and eternity needs to be understood in light of the tension between that which was and is, and that which is yet to come. It manifests itself in the difference between old and new time. It does not work with an extrapolation of the existing as the idea of progress does. Instead, the eschatological difference between time and eternity focuses on the new that breaks into the existing. In contrast to the quantitative difference, the eschatological...

Statics and Dynamics

In the third chapter of this study, it became clear that, in scientific models, the emphasis shifted from a static to a dynamic description of the world. In the present context, I wish to remind the reader that a static understanding of the world is not the same thing as immobility. Rather, the static worldview proceeds from a uniform mechanical motion it understands the world to be a machine. Its motion can basically be ignored, because, due to its uniformity, it is irrelevant which time...

Death as End Irrelevant Eternity and Dead Time

The study in chapter 1 showed that the significance of eternity decreased over the course of the centuries until eternity finally became part of time. It was also observed that the notion of dying as an exit or escape from time occurs only in modern hymns.383 These findings agree with the description of the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman in his analysis of the deconstruction of mortality in the modern age Death has been reduced to an absolute withdrawal, to a moment of cessation, an end of all...

Notes

On theological hermeneutics, see Jeanrond, TheologicalHermeneutics. 2. For an overview of correlational theology, its methods, development, and reception, see Jeanrond, Correlational Theology. 4. Isabelle Stengers, in her book D'une science l'autre. Des concepts nomades Paris Seuil, I987 , speaks of nomadic concepts concepts nomades , according to B hler and Karakash, Science et foi font syst me, 38. 5. I am indebted to my colleague V tor Westhelle for the focus on this dimension of...

The Ontological Difference Between Time and Eternity

According to Cullmann, the quantitative difference between time and eternity derived from the need to find a comprehensive framework for his concept of salvation history. This resulted in an alienation of time and eternity from time consciousness because of the definition of time and eternity as external categories of the redemptive event. Concurrently, the distinction between time and eternity almost disappeared. The opposing movement, a positioning of the distinction between time and eternity...

Preface to the German Edition

The aim of this book is to explore the possibilities of relationally determined and eschatologically qualified concepts of time and eternity. By doing this, I would like to contribute to the dialogue between theology and science, as well as to an appropriate theology of time. This study is based on a doctoral dissertation which I submitted to the Theological Faculty of the University of Lund, Sweden. I have revised the text for publication. In the course of working with the topic of time, the...

Der du die Zeit in Hnden hast223God and Time

Is God beyond time and not influenced by it If so, then is God's time-lessness a flaw Can God be God without time Or conversely, can a God having time be God at all Does God's divinity not presuppose a transcendence of temporality Is God's eternity an endless temporality or a timeless-ness Hardly any passages can be found in which God's relationship to time and eternity is actually a topic. As already previously observed, the hymns do not deal with a carefully considered dogmatic statement, but...

Motivation Why Hymns

This study considers the notion that time is accessible to human beings only to the extent that it is articulated in narrative form. My decision has been influenced by the theory of Paul Ricoeur, that appropriate talk of time cannot occur in direct discourse. It must instead be conveyed by the indirect discourse of narrative.1 According to Ricoeur, each attempt to analyze time directly only multiplies the problems that occur anyway. For this reason, there is no conception of time without...

Provisional Results Eternity as the Other of Time

Before turning to the question of time in the formation of scientific theories, I will provide a summary and interpretation of what has been achieved in this chapter. In the biblical material, we saw that the content gleaned from the non-antithetical relation of time to eternity is more important than the formal definition of time and eternity. Speculations about whether time should be conceived cyclically or linearly and whether eternity should be thought of as endless duration or timelessness...

Bis ich dich nach dieser Zeit lob und lieb in Ewigkeit158 Time and Eternity

Nur ein Hauch trennt Zeit von Ewigkeit159 in spite of, or perhaps precisely because of this proximity, the relationship of time to eternity is not entirely simple to describe. One cannot find dogmatically sound definitions of time and eternity and of the relationship of the two to each other in the hymns analyzed and yet, both concepts are used in a variety of ways. Particularly in the German and Swedish hymns, the terms time and eternity occur in both singular and plural forms, but the plural...

Linear Concept of Time

Let us now look at the question of how the structuring of time appears in the Old Testament world. From the standpoint of cultural history, it would be natural to see a relation between the calendar of festivals and the development of a consciousness of time. The rhythm of festivals and periods without festivals structures people's lives. For this reason, according to Gerhard von Rad, time per se is not an absolute given, but rather the festivals are the conditions of absolute holiness.29 These...