theological entanglement

what does quantum religion look like?

Theological entanglement is a way of reflecting on our relationships—all of our relationships, at once, together. When we do this, we get to such an impossibly infinite place that, I think, we resort to God language. The metaphors of the divine, of a love that permeates all things instantaneously, an embrace that holds everything everywhere in its mindfulness, a spirit (even a holy ghost) that has the character of spooky action at a distance is a metaphor by which can gather our very mysterious interdependencies (as creatures) on each other.

We are constituted, in every moment, by our relations. Some of them we compose, but they comprise the conditions in which we are composed. Theological entanglement is a form of what’s called “relational theology.” Entanglement is meant to give a more physical, and spooky edge to our interconnectedness. This isn’t just about the apophasis of an infinite God, but about the element of unknowability in all of us—as creatures made in the image of the unknowable. It looks, even from the vantage point of quantum indeterminacy, that every creature has an element of the unknowable or unpredictable to it. For every electron, you’re unable to measure (simultaneously) its location and its momentum.

The universe that is showing itself in various fields, (not just quantum physics, but the fractals of chaos theory, for example) is a universe far more appealing to theology than was the universe of the past 300 to 400 years—made up of bits of dead, impenetrable matter, interacting predictably in a mega-machine.

It’s possible to avoid God-talk for long stretches of time. Any canny Christian can do that, in order to make friends and influence people. Or just to get relief from bad clichés. But, at a certain point, one has to face up to the profundity and brilliance of the conceptual work that was done in the Western world for more than 1500 years, when it was dominated by the discipline of theology.

But we don’t want to reduce post-Christian criticisms of Christian idolatries to mere anti-faith, either. It wouldn’t do justice to the depths of the agnostic and atheist traditions which are, themselves, deeply prophetic traditions. Still, I think it’s important to stay mindful of God-tropes. Being mindful of these metaphors doesn’t necessarily cause us to believe in them. But we might find that the whole language of belief falls short of what’s meant by faith, anyhow—faith has never been a matter of little bits of knowledge parading as certainty.


About jeanne

artist, grandma, alien

Posted on December 13, 2011, in quantum, research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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