Divine providence and quantum mechanics: can God cause?

Author: Dr. Ignacio Silva
date of on-line publication: 17 April 2012

Ignacio Silva: Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford. He is researcher at the Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford and co-director of project of research "Science and Religion in Latin America" funded by the Templeton Foundation.

summaryThe three great monotheistic religions affirm that God is actively involved in the development of human and natural history, but modern science provides a picture of nature in which every event has a natural and only natural cause. This dilemma has caused some theologians to set out to find in natural causal mechanisms 'places' where God can exercise his provident activity, finding in the indeterminism of quantum events the opportunity to develop a theology of divine activity in creation, such that God decides the result of quantum events. As a consequence of the implications of this approach in the understanding of causality, the notion of God derived from this solution presents several problems that will be exposed in the seminar. It will also be analyzed whether in the classical tradition, in particular in the thought of Thomas Aquinas, the same problems are present or, on the contrary, there are proposals that allow us to face them.