Polkinghorne on Metaphysics of Divine Action: Presuppositions and Implications

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, faculty of humanities and social sciences, kharazmi university, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD. Student, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.



This article is an effort to evaluate the epistemological and ontological presuppositions of John Polkinghorne's interpretation of the mechanism of God’s special action. Briefly, it can be said that in his view, God forms and models the world's processes with His act of injecting pure active information, but neither determines nor devolves them to energetic causality. His formulation is based on some presuppositions, such as a personal account of God, seeing the world as a chaotic system, ontological monism, and a critical realist approach in epistemology. The article has tried to answer four main questions: Is Polkinghorne's formulation of divine action based on a mere iteration of the god of deism? Is his formulation of divine action a mere pointless rework of a causal system which rules the world? Does this interpretation of divine activity mean divine intervention? And is his formulation an iteration of natural theology?


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