Friday, and Saturday, October 15-16, 2010
J.K. Russell Fellowship in Religion and Science with Thomas F. Tracy
Friday, October 15, 2010, 7pm
Public Forum: When we Say that God Acts, What Do We Think God Does?, with Thomas F. Tracy
Tucson Common Room, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 2451 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA (Adjacent to Courtyard accessed through parking lot at the intersection of Le Conte and Euclid)
The idea that God acts purposefully in creating, sustaining, and governing the world is deeply embedded in the monotheistic faiths. The sacred texts of these traditions include rich collections of stories about God’s dealings with the world, and the practices of religious life invite the faithful to understand their lives as located within an ongoing drama of divine initiative and human response. Two broad categories of divine action play closely linked roles in this narrative structure: God creates and sustains the universe as a whole, and God acts within its history at particular times and places to advance specific divine purposes. What is the relation between these forms of divine action? In what sense can some events be singled out as “special divine actions”? If we move beyond a naïve reading of the Biblical stories as direct descriptions of miraculous interventions in history, then what should we say that God does, and how are these claims related to the biblical narratives?