Book | The Trinity and an Entangled World edited by John Polkinghorne

The Trinity and an Entangled WorldPolkinghorne, J. C. The Trinity and an Entangled World: Relationality in Physical Science and Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. 2010.

Editor – John Polkinghorne

This book is a collection of essays that deals directly with one of the core theological frames of my research: relational ontology. One of the essays is an article by Wildman that I have reviewed here. Simply put, relationality is the essence of God, and thus, the essence of the universe.

Contributors to the Book

John Polkinghorne – former president of Queen’s College, Cambridge

Lewis Ayres – Durham University
Jeffrey Bub – Institute for Physical Science and Technology University of Maryland
Sarah Coakley – Cambridge University
Michael Heller – Pontifical Academy of Theology in Cracow, Poland
Panos A. Ligomenides – University of Maryland
David Martin – London School of Ecomonics and Political Science
Argyris Nicolaidis – University of Thessaloniki
Timothy Ware (Kallistos of Diokleia) – Oxford
Michael Welker – University of Heidelberg
Wesley J. Wildman – Boston University School of Theology
Anton Zellinger – University of Vienna
John D. Zizioulas – Metropolitan of Pergamon


one might enquire what light one might reasonably expect physics to be able to shed on metaphysical or theological matters. We have already acknowledged that its influence will not be such as to determine finally the issues raised in that wider discourse. Instead, it can offer the possibility of a source of supportive consonance with more ambitious accounts of reality. Moreoever, the practice of physics encourages the expectation that, just as physicists in their own domain have found relationality to be more extensive and more surprising in its character than prior expectation would have led them to anticipate, so philosophers and theologians should be open to the possibility of unexpected discovery and counterintuitive insight. (x-xi)

 I have argued that “relations” are not connections between two “points of reference.” They are more or less successful attempts to connect two or more continua or segments of environments in a way that allows for clarity of impact (or, in higher forms, of insight) and continuity. On this basis we can differentiate immediate and cognitively modeled experience (only on the basis of the latter concepts of “relations” in terms of two reference points). On the basis of the insights so far developed, the creative functions and tasks of “relations” can be made visible. It can be shown why the “relation of love”–in many religious and philosophical traditions–was seen to be the ideal connection between creatures. Finally, we can start contemplating on what is needed from the divine and human side in order to establish a “relations” between the realities formerly depicted as “the reference points God and man.” -Michael Welker, p. 165

Annotation Summary for: Book Review_ The Trinity and an Entangled World by Paul O’Hara