Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Fr Stanley Jaki RIP

Fr Stanley Jaki OSB died earlier today - please remember him in your prayers.

Fr Jaki was a prolific writer, especially on science and religion (he had doctorates in both theology and physics) and lectured at the universities of Oxford, Yale and Edinburgh (among many others) as well as being a professor at Seton Hall University, New Jersey. In 1987, he was awarded the distinguished Templeton Prize, for furthering understanding of science and religion (an award derided repeatedly by Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion".)

Fr Jaki was expecially eloquent on the Christian origins of the modern natural sciences, explaining that the Christian philosophy of creation, seeing the universe as both contingent and rational, together with the acceptance that God could work through secondary causes, without thereby being diminished in His omnipotence, provided the unique environment for the natural sciences to flourish. In his work on this subject, he particularly emphasised the monumental work of Pierre Duhem on the history of science.

In personal terms, Fr Jaki was a rather daunting character and did not suffer fools gladly. This made him a most entertaining speaker and I always enjoyed attending any of his lectures that I was able to get to. Some years back I played a small part in distributing some of his books in England.

My good friend and fellow "corpuscle" (member of Corpus Christi College, Oxford) Fr Paul Haffner, wrote a good book on the thought of Fr Jaki: "Creation and Scientific Creativity: A Study in the Thought of S.L. Jaki."
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...