Regarding religious faith: 1.   In section 4.10, Albl offers several principles for approaching faith and science. Which 2 principles do you find most relevant? Why? 2.  How does the work of...

Regarding religious faith:

1.   In section 4.10, Albl offers several principles for approaching faith and science. Which 2 principles do you find most relevant? Why?

2.  How does the work of Teilhard relate to the concept of NOMA? Would Teilhard be a good example of this principle or not? Why?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Albl offers several ideas that suggest science and religious faith do not have to be mutually exclusive.  The principles he suggests clearly articulate how both can complement one another in the struggle to better understand who we are as human beings and what we should do.  Different people will find different principles more meaningful to their own frame of reference.

There are two principles that resonate with me.  The first of them is Albl's contention that science and religious faith should not be "kept in completely separate realms."  Albl suggests that science and religious faith gain more in their own exploration when they communicate with one another.  This principle is something I find relevant because it articulates how human progress is never evident when challenging issues are kept in silence, in isolation.  Rather, human progression is evident when there is dialogue, exchange of ideas, and the willingness to engage discourse in challenging issues and thoughts.  Albl's suggestion that both disciplines communicate with one another reflects how progress is evident through the exchange of ideas devoid of ideological clinging and territoriality.  

I think that another principle which is connective to this idea is Albl's principle that theologians can learn from scientific thought.  His use of Pope John Paul II resonate here:  "Science can purify religion from error and superstition." This is a relevant principle because it suggests how religion is not necessarily static, and that healthy spiritual identity is one that evolves and grows as greater understanding emerges.  In the willingness to accept different ideas into one's own spiritual notion of the good, a more enriching construction of religious identity emerges.

I think that the contributions of Teilhard would go against the concept of NOMA.  As Albl argues, the construction of NOMA is that scientific and religious thought are to be kept in separate realms.  Teilhard had no problem moving his brand of theology into the realm of scientific inquiry.  His embrace of evolutionary thought, combined with a theological reference in the Omega Point, demonstrates a rejection of NOMA.  Teilhard did not feel that he was bound by religious inquiry to avoid addressing scientific analysis.  He felt that there could be a synthesis between both science and religious notions of the good.  In feeling comfortable enough to comment in both realms, he rejects the NOMA standard that both realms are separate and that scientists can only offer insight on natural phenomena while theologians can only comment on moral or ethical notions of the good.  While he might not be a good example of the principles of NOMA, Teilhard would be a better example of Albl's point that science and religion should be in dialogue with one another and be "allowed to influence one another."

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