Potentiality and actuality. From quantum ontology to the anthropic cosmology of Father Dumitru Staniloae.

  1. Lemma
  2. Virtualitate si actualitate. De la ontologia cuantica la cosmologia antropica a parintelui Dumitru Staniloae.
  3. Stavinschi, Alexandra
  4. Key thinkers - Co-existence - Scientific theories and disciplines > Religious studies - Orthodox Anthropology - Scientific theories and disciplines > Modern physics: Relativity
  5. 2001
  6. Costache, Doru [Author]. Ştiinţă şi Teologie preliminarii pentru dialog [Science and Theology: a preliminary dialogue]
  7. Staniloae, Dumitru - ontology - cosmology
    1. The article aims to show how in spite of fierce opposition, Dumitru Staniloae succeeded in remaining a traditionalist while being open to the new cosmologic paradigm.The reluctance to accept this model came from different environmenents, including theological ones (in the footsteps of origenism and pietism), that were too attached to the distinction between human and cosmic, mental and physical. The infrastructure of the anthropic cosmologist view of Fr Staniloae assumes that man is made of both pride and humility and despite his apparent quantitative insignificance in the universe, he is both a centre of perspective (contemplation) and a centre of construction (organization) in God’s creation. He is made in God’s image and is associated with the great oikonomia of introducing the living being in the Creation. From this perspective, any progress in knowledge and in theological life, inseparable from God and inseparable from Creation, trains the universe on an ascending path, towards "a new heaven a new earth”. The article seeks to

      1) describe the modern separation between mind and reality, with its implications for civilization and religious conscience;

      2) point out the main milestones of the new scientific outlook on reality;

      3) show the way in which, following the patristic tradition, Fr Staniloae managed to outline a new powerful theological conception of the meaning of the human presence in the universe.

      According to the author, Staniloae’s (theo)anthropic cosmology is based on three main tenets:

      1) the world is not a perfectly finished product given by God from the beginning, but a sum of possibilities, embedded in the divine plan, that needs to be actualised. This image is consistent with the model of the complexificative expansion of the universe;

      2) man is responsible for the world’s existence and form; he is the factor who selects and actualises the quantum potentialities; he is also responsible for fulfilling the sense of the world;

      3) the growing of man into a fully-fledged spiritual being is the only way in which humanity can perform its task as the rational cosmological factor (in the theological sense) and can also overcome the environmental problems created by the man who proclaimed independence from God.