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John Polkinghorne on Divine Action: a Coherent Theological Evolution

Ignacio Silva
S & CB 24 (1)
April 2012

Abstract

I examine John Polkinghorne's account of how God acts in the world, focusing on how his ideas developed with the consideration of the notion of kenosis, and how this development was not a rejection of his previous ideas, but on the contrary a fulfilling of his own personal philosophical and theological insights. Polkinghorne's thought can be distinguished in three different periods:1) divine action as input of active information (1988-2000/2001);2) Polkinghorne's reception of the notion of kenosis (2000-2004);3) Polkinghorne's 'thought experiment' approach to his ideas on divine action (2004- ). Finally, I consider the question of internal coherence of this theological development, focusing on the transition from the first to the second period, which I believe to be the most significant.

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