God and the Contingent World


Thomas F. Torrance, "God and the Contingent World," Zygon 14 (1979): 329-348; #1979-359


Torrance, Thomas F. "God and the Contingent World." Zygon 14, no. 4 (1979): 329-348; #1979-359

Publication life cycle / General notes

Reprinted in Divine and Contingent Order; cf. #1981-385c.


The article examines the nature of contingence in the radical form that derives from the Judaeo-Christian doctrine of creation out of nothing, and which underlies the development of empirical science. While all experimental questioning of nature presupposes its contingent nature and contingent rationality, these have been overlaid and obscured by the Newtonian concept of a mechanistic universe, and the necessitarian or determinist concepts that derived from it. All that is now radically changed with relativity, quantum and cosmological theory. The implications for this are discussed both for the formalisation of physical law, and for the relation of the intelligible universe to a transcendent ground in God.

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