Stilling the Storm: Christology, Cosmology, Theodicy - Faith and Discipleship in Quantum Perspective


This paper examines the story of the Stilling of the Storm, as found in the synoptic gospels, suggesting that reading it in the light of quantum physics uncovers some important layers of its meaning and interpretation. Part 1 offers an exegesis of the text, noting the themes of Christology, faith, and discipleship. Considering the background and content of the narrative, it focuses in particular on the significance of the sea in ancient literature. In the gospel story, Jesus does the work of God in creation by controlling chaos; faith and discipleship are part of this. Part 2 examines the implied cosmology, touching on the nature of miracles. Suggesting an understanding of the universe as fluid and processive, this section draws on quantum physics, Process Theology, and the thought of Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 130-c. 200). Part 3 shows how this narrative raises the question of theodicy. Noting that Jesus “muzzles” the storm but does not eliminate it, this section sees creation in constant process, with all its chaotic flaws, until the end of time. A final section sketches the overall theological vision brought into focus by this narrative when it is read through the lens of quantum physics. In sum, reading the Stilling of the Storm story in the light of quantum physics and other processive models reveals how Christian faith and discipleship might be seen as collusions with God’s continuing work of ordering creation, exemplified in Jesus.


Stephen W. Need
Associate Professor, Theology, University of Notre Dame, London, United Kingdom


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


2024 Special Focus—Spaces, Movement, Time: Religions at Rest and in Movement



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