Submitted by Kathleen Coe Roberts:
Until very recently, the creation myth of secular modernity has been the hot big bang hypothesis: the sudden explosion of our single universe out of a single point. Although the nature of this “point” has been a matter of considerable debate within modern cosmology, both theologians and physicists agree that this story in its most standard formulation performs an uncanny recapitulation of Christian creation theology. That is, in both accounts, the universe bursts forth all at once, in a flood of light, out of nothing. As many contemporary theologians have argued, however, the “nothing” of Christian orthodoxy is neither a scriptural nor doctrinal given; rather, it is the product of particular, political efforts to secure the absolute sovereignty of God. Professor Rubenstein’s lecture investigates the logic of creatio ex nihilo, its strange recapitulation in twentieth-century cosmology, and the remnants of divine sovereignty it has brought along with it.
Also, speaking of Professor Mary-Jane Rubenstein, she has a post up at The Immanent Frame, an influential collection of scholarly work on the concepts of immanence, transcendence, secularism, and religion in political and social life. Thanks to Mark Kelley ’08 for the tip!