The Knight's Move: The Relational Logic of the Spirit in Theology and Science
The cultural fragmentation spawned by the destructive dualisms of our age has heightened the urgency of the search for common ground in theological ... Show synopsis The cultural fragmentation spawned by the destructive dualisms of our age has heightened the urgency of the search for common ground in theological and scientific inquiry. In "The Knight's Move,"theologian James E. Loder (at Princeton Seminary) and physicist W. Jim Neidhardt (at the New Jersey Institute of Technology) propose a unifying connection in a generic concept of spirit -- graphically represented by the "strange loop" relationality of the Mobius band. This relational logic is disclosed in surprisingly analogous ways in the "knight's move" of discovery in both science and theology, whether in the leap of insight or in the leap of faith. At the irreducible core of the knight's move is the self-involvement of the knower, pointing to the proximate relationality of the human spirit, to the contingent relationality of physical reality, and ultimately to the trinitarian relationality of God's Spirit. In the pivotal knight's moves of Niels Bohr's complementarity in the exploration of quantum physics and Soren Kierkegaard's qualitative dialectic in the exploration of human nature and the relational logic of the incarnation, the authors establish a model of spirit that illuminates remarkable interdisciplinary convergences in human development (Piaget), scientific discovery (Einstein), and theological knowledge (T.F. Torrance). This relational model also describes the fundamental pattern governing the transformational dynamics of human experience, from the individual journey of intensification to the corporate life of communal interaction. The central insights of "The Knight's Move" are grounded in the relation of human spirit and Divine Spirit, a gracious personal interplay pictured in the unending paradoxical unity of the strange loop. This foundation for the self-relational nature of human knowing provides a fruitful way of conceptualizing common roots in theology and science as revealed in the astonishing developments of the twentieth century.