Programme 10 - Miracles and the laws of nature | Science & Belief
Programme 10 - Miracles and the laws of nature
This programme equips learners to consider and respond to these questions:
• According to the scientific outlook, are miracles possible?
• Do they actually happen, or are they just superstitious fairy tales?
• Are they stories illustrating spiritual truths?
Approaching the miracle stories of any sacred text might begin by asking what this could have meant in its own day, and what it might mean in our contemporary understanding.
Interpretation might lead to some stories being set aside: stories of demon possession re-interpreted as psychological cure for a mental illness, for example. But are there miracles that matter? For Christians, the incarnation and resurrection are pretty important. For Muslims the giving of the holy Quran is a stand-out miracle.
Clearly, miracles in an earlier age were seen as a support to faith, but in modern times they have become, for many, an obstacle to faith.
Russell Stannard suggests that miracle stories might sometimes be the object of exaggeration, legendary inflation, but that these stories might also be open to useful interpretation for the spiritual insights they carry.