What motivates altruism? How essential is the phenomenon of altruism to the human experience? Is altruism readily accessible to the ordinary person? In The Altruistic Species, Andrew Michael Flescher and Daniel L. Worthen explore these questions through the lenses of four disciplinary perspectives—biology, psychology, philosophy, and religion. In the course of their investigation, they make an extended argument for the existence of altruism against competing theories that construe all ostensible cases of benevolence as self-interest in disguise. The authors consider theories of egoism; the role of genetics and evolutionary biology; the psychological that induce altruistic behavior; philosophical theories of altruism in normative ethics such as Kantian, utilitarian, and Aristotelian models of moral action; and accounts of love of the neighbor in Christianity and Buddhism. Additionally, they offer a new, comprehensive definition of altruism that is inclusive of the insights of each of these perspectives.
The Altruistic Species reinvigorates the debate over the prevalence of selfless motivation in human behavior—whether it is a rare or ubiquitous phenomenon, something that is always to be considered exceptional or a capacity that members of any community potentially could develop. This noteworthy interdisciplinary examination of altruism balances science, virtue theory, and theology. It is ideal courses in ethics, human behavior, and evolutionary biology, as an educational resource for other multidisciplinary studies, and for interested lay readers.
Can religious beliefs survive in the scientific age? Are they resoundingly outdated? Or, is there something in them of great importance, even if the way they are expressed will have to change given new scientific context? These questions are among those at the core of the science-religion dialogue.
In The Big Questions in Science and Religion, Keith Ward, an Anglican priest who was once an atheist, offers compelling insights into the often contentious relationship between diverse religious views and new scientific knowledge. He identifies ten basic questions about the nature of the universe and human life. Among these are:
•Does the universe have a goal or purpose?
•Do the laws of nature exclude miracles?
•Can science provide a wholly naturalistic explanation for moral and religious beliefs?
•Has science made belief in God obsolete? Are there any good science-based arguments for God?
With his expertise in the study of world religions, Ward considers concepts from Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Christianity, while featuring the speculations of cosmologists, physicians, mathematicians, and philosophers. In addition, Ward examines the implications of ancient laws and modern theories and evaluates the role of religious experience as evidence of a nonphysical reality.
Writing with enthusiasm, passion, and clarity, Keith Ward conveys the depth, difficulty, intellectual excitement, and importance of the greatest intellectual and existential questions of the modern scientific age.
Utilizing both clinical material based on the life histories of twenty patients and theoretical insights from the works of Freud, Erikson, Fairbairn, and Winnicott, Ana-Maria Rizzuto examines the origin, development, and use of our God images. Whereas Freud postulated that belief in God is based on a child's idea of his father, Rizzuto argues that the God representation draws from a variety of sources and is a major element in the fabric of one's view of self, others, and the world.
Chance or Dance: An Evaluation of Design provides an overview of design and clarification of the controversial Intelligent Design (ID) movement, and ultimately concludes that there is no scientific proof behind Intelligent Design.
As the controversy over Intelligent Design has grown over the past few years, there has been a tendency to confuse all statements about design with the Intelligent Design movement and to confuse any affirmation of creation with Scientific Creationism, Davis and Poe point out. They begin with a brief historical perspective of the design argument and then examine the major breakthroughs in cosmology, math and physics, and chemistry and biology that have provided renewed speculation in design.
The authors discuss that the idea of design is far more expansive than the ID movement's version of it; evaluate Dawkins’ interpretation of genetic determinism; include a chapter that explores the tendency since Darwin to assume that the presence of an observable cause excludes the possibility of divine involvement; and introduce further reflections on wonder and awe that take into account the recent surge of interest in this area.
The book concludes with an argument for the correlation of faith and sensory experience and with the suggestion that science has been successful at describing processes, but has failed at explaining origins.
Chance or Dance is ideal for students and general readers interested in understanding how modern science gives evidence for the creation of nature by the God of the Bible.
Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology is the eighth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, well-known cognitive scientist Justin L. Barrett offers an accessible overview of this interdisciplinary field, reviews key findings in this area, and discusses the implications of these findings for religious thought and practice.
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of minds and mental activity, and as such, it addresses a fundamental feature of what it is to be human. Further, in so far as religious traditions concern ideas and beliefs about the nature of humans, the nature of the world, and the nature of the divine, cognitive science can contribute both directly and indirectly to these theological concerns. Barrett shows how direct contributions come from the growing area called cognitive science of religion (CSR), which investigates how human cognitive systems inform and constrain religious thought, experience, and expression. CSR attempts to provide answers to questions such as: Why it is that humans tend to be religious? And why are certain ideas (e.g. the possibility of an afterlife) so cross-culturally recurrent? Barrett also covers the indirect implications that cognitive science has for theology, such as human similarities and differences with the animal world, freedom and determinism, and the relationship between minds and bodies.
Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology critically reviews the research on these fascinating questions and discusses the many implications that arise from them. In addition, this short volume also offers suggestions for future research, making it ideal not only for those looking for an overview of the field thus far, but also for those seeking a glimpse of where the field might be going in the future.
In this critically acclaimed book, first published in 1988 and now reprinted in paperback, scientist and author Paul Davies explains how recent scientific advances are transforming our understanding of the emergence of complexity and organization in the universe.
Melding a variety of ideas and disciplines from biology, fundamental physics, computer science, mathematics, genetics, and neurology, Davies presents his provocative theory on the source of the universe's creative potency. He explores the new paradigm (replacing the centuries-old Newtonian view of the universe) that recognizes the collective and holistic properties of physical systems and the power of self-organization. He casts the laws in physics in the role of a "blueprint," embodying a grand cosmic scheme that progressively unfolds as the universe develops.
Challenging the viewpoint that the physical universe is a meaningless collection particles, he finds overwhelming evidence for an underlying purpose: "Science may explain all the processes whereby the universe evolves its own destiny, but that still leaves room for there to be a meaning behind existence."
Guiseppe Dr. Del Re Templeton Press, 1999 Library of Congress Q175.D574 2000 | Dewey Decimal 501
This book focuses on a new worldview, emerging from the science of the last decades of the second millennium. Its metaphor is the cosmic dance, or the harmony existing between systems that are so strongly interdependent that they behave as a single entity. This dance image hints at a general, evolving pattern in which all objects in the universe participate—like the ordered chaos of an African open-air market.
Some of the chapters discuss the nature of processes in the universe, including chaos and chance in the game of life. The reconciliation of variety and unity are addressed in reference to the space-time continuum and the unified field of relativity theory. Del Re continues the investigation into an exploration of the origins of freedom and ethics, suggesting that science indicates that the human species may have a specific task in the universe: building a bridge between matter and spirit.
Del Re ponders alchemy, the significance of symbols, and the meaning of the soul. Woven throughout a variety of esoteric and scientific inquiries is the underlying sense of the unifying principles of science and a spiritual outlook. The questions raised are issues that will be discussed by an emerging network of scientists and spiritual seekers, and this book will add a valued and informed perspective to these conversations.
•Explains a new worldview connecting science and spirituality
•Presents a cosmological metaphor for the new science
Walter Thirring is an internationally renowned scientist who took part in and worked among those involved in many of the scientific developments of the twentieth century. His book, about the knowledge of the world as illuminated by twentieth century science, was originally published in German. This is the first English translation and is a book that is easily accessible to readers of popular science books and magazines.
Professor Thirring starts with cosmology as he examines scientific questions and theories concerning the intricacy of nature and the universe. He branches into an exposition of chaos and its connection to the macroscopic world, as well as to life sciences, touching on such diverse related subjects as the structure of the water molecule. He speaks of advances with which he was personally involved, and offers priceless vignettes of great scientists with whom he exchanged discussions, including Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and Wolfgang Pauli.
His study of scientific theory and the intricacy of nature and the universe illuminates his argument for the role of a Creator. "Reflections on the creation of the universe lead to reflections about the creator," he writes. And arguing against atheism, he points out:
“When we are moved by a fantastic building, a cathedral or a mosque and have finally realized what is behind the glorious proportions, who would then say, ‘Now we don't need the architect anymore. There might not even be one, that could all just be the random product of circumstance.’”
Furthermore, in making humankind special in his creation, the Creator gave us the responsibility of seeking an understanding of creation and protecting it.
Tackling complex issues in science and religion, Professor Thirring presents a compelling argument for their synthesis. His tenure and influence in the scientific field make this argument even more compelling.
The voice of a renowned professor of philosophy in Poland, who is also a Roman Catholic priest, is introduced to the United States in this collection of his provocative essays on the interplay of science and religion. Michael Heller progressively outlines systematic steps that might lead to a peaceful coexistence of these traditionally separate fields of study. Some essays have their roots in the author's work in physics and cosmology, while others present his theories on the language of God, creation, and transcendence, inspired by his work in the applications of so-called noncommutative geometry, an emerging field of study.
The book is organized into four sections, each preceded by a brief introduction explaining the order of the essays and their internal logic.
•Part one deals with methodology, evaluates the theological interpretation of scientific theories, and proposes a program for a "theology of science."
•Part two looks at the interaction of science and religion from a historical perspective. Topics include the evolution of ideas connected with the place of man in the Universe and the evolution of matter, among others.
•Part three concentrates on the "creation and science" quandary, including the big bang theory and the role of probability and chance in science, well as their impact on theological questions.
•Part four looks for vestiges of transcendence in contemporary science.
Creative Tension joins the Templeton library of resources contributing to the growing global dialogue on science and religion.
Ecology and the Environment: The Mechanisms, Marring, and Maintenance of Nature is the ninth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, R. J. Berry, a well-known leader in the field of ecology, describes the basic concepts in ecology and seeks to put them into a general context for a reader who lacks any scientific background.
Berry explores the implications of these basic concepts and how they affect human life and the decisions we have to make, both as individuals and as members of a species which has colonized and influenced every part of the globe. He points out that we are a part of the animal world, but at the same time we are apart from it, and he makes it clear that how we relate to our environment affects the quality of our life—indeed it may affect our very survival. Going well beyond a simple introduction of concepts, the book goes on to explore wider questions about the nature of humanity and how human ecology relates to humanness. Berry proposes that we are more than machines or even advanced apes—we are Homo divinus, transformed from an organism descended from the same stock as the apes but qualitatively different and able to relate to a creator God. The book argues that those who conclude otherwise are neglecting relevant data.
Berry offers the perfect introduction to these philosophical and theological issues, but his work never loses sight of the practical issues either—the kind that are increasingly being addressed by national and international environmental agencies. In order to grasp the full scope of these issues and to more fully understand the ubiquitous news headlines concerning environmental matters, a reader would do well to start with Ecology and the Environment.
What is the relationship between religious belief and the study of nature, between theology and science? This is the fundamental preoccupation of the three different studies brought together in Einstein, Polanyi, and the Laws of Nature.
By exploring the highly original yet little known thought of Michael Polanyi, Jaeger highlights the inherent personal investment in any quest for knowledge, including the scientific enterprise, thus raising the question of the objectivity of human knowledge. Considered to be the greatest mind of the twentieth century, Albert Einstein saw scientific research as the fruit of the “cosmic religion.” His response to the question of the relationship between faith and science also receives the close analysis it deserves. Finally, Jaeger is interested in science’s propensity to use the concept of laws of nature, a concept also found in the Bible. By examining the similarities and differences, she paves the way for interdisciplinary dialogue.
The synthesis of these three complimentary studies brings out the complicity between belief and knowledge, thus establishing a bridge between two noble human activities: faith and scientific research. It will be of interest to all serious followers of the ongoing science and religion dialogue.
“Enriching our Vision of Reality is elegant, erudite, and animated by a constant enthusiasm for its subject. There is everything here—science, theology, philosophy, biography, even some poetry—all enlisted to help us to see the world as it is, both more clearly and with greater delight.” —Reverend Doctor Andrew Davison, Starbridge Lecturer in theology and natural sciences, University of Cambridge, and fellow in theology at Corpus Christi College
“It’s a pleasure to read an introduction to science and Christian belief that is both erudite and accessible. McGrath’s new book is rich with personal examples, biographies of famous scientists and theologians, and effective refutations of their detractors. This invitation to move forward from a bifurcated to an expansive view of reality is recommended for all who seek an ‘integrated understanding’ of science and Christian faith.” —Philip Clayton, editor of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science
In this exceptional volume, leading theologian Alister McGrath writes for scientists with an interest in theology, and Christians and theologians who are aware of the importance of the natural sciences. A scene-setting chapter explores the importance of the human quest for intelligibility. The focus then moves to three leading figures who have stimulated discussion about the relationship between science and theology in recent years: Charles Coulson, an Oxford professor of theoretical chemistry who was also a prominent Methodist lay preacher; Thomas F. Torrance, perhaps the finest British theologian of the twentieth-century; and John Polkinghorne, a theoretical physicist and theologian.
The final section of the book features six “parallel conversations” between science and theology, which lay the groundwork for the kind of enriched vision of reality the author hopes to encourage. Here, we are inspired to enjoy individual aspects of nature while seeking to interpret them in the light of deeper revelations about our gloriously strange universe.
Contemporary scholarship has given rise to several different modes of understanding biophysical and human nature, each of which is entangled with related notions of science and religion. Envisioning Nature, Science, and Religion represents the culmination of three years of collaboration by an international group of fourteen natural scientists, social scientists, humanists, and theologians. The result is an intellectually stimulating volume that explores how the ideas of nature pertain to science and religion.
Editor James D. Proctor has gathered sixteen in-depth essays, each of which examines and compares different aspects of five central metaphors or "visions" of biophysical and human nature. These visions are evolutionary nature, emergent nature, malleable nature, nature as sacred, and nature as culture. The book's diverse contributors offer a wide variety of unique perspectives on these five visions, spanning the intellectual spectrum and proposing important and often startling implications for religion and science alike. Throughout the essays, the authors do a great deal of cross-referencing and engaging each other's ideas, creating a cohesive dialogue on the visions of nature.
Envisioning Nature, Science, and Religion offers a blend of scholarly rigor and readable prose that will be appreciated by anyone engaged in the fields of religion, philosophy, and the natural sciences.
For nearly a century, the central theological message of science seemed to be that there was no need for theology: science could stand alone to explain the universe. But today that message is changing.
In this volume, a gallery of respected scientists describes new developments in their fields and the relationship with theological views of the universe. Contributors include: Owen Gingerich, Russell Stannard, Paul Davies, Walter R. Hearn, Robert Russell, Arthur Peacocke, John Polkinghorne, John C. Eccles, Daniel H. Osmond, and David Wilcox.
Scientists discover more every day about how life developed on Earth. Details that stream in from the new field of molecular biology rival the ongoing findings of paleontologists as they fill in the missing pieces in the fossil record. Professors Stephens and Meldrum, aided by the perspective of a non-scientist, Forrest B. Peterson, review the data for a general Latter-day Saint audience.
Their approach comes from a position of faith. They quote from the Creation account in the Pearl of Great Price: ”And the Gods said: Let us prepare the waters to bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life. And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed and that their plan was good.” In the authors’ view, the passage’s emphasis on process over end result is consistent with modern science.
According to the LDS church, “Whether the mortal bodies of man evolved in natural processes to present perfection” or were formed by some other means is “not fully answered in the revealed word of God.” That God may have created the mechanism by which all life was formed—rather than each organism separately—is a concept that the authors find to be a satisfying and awe-inspiring possibility.
Evolution, Games, and God explores how cooperation and altruism, alongside mutation and natural selection, play a critical role in evolution, from microbes to human societies. Inheriting a tendency to cooperate and self-sacrifice on behalf of others may be as beneficial to a population’s survival as the self-preserving instincts of individuals.
Arthur Peacocke, eminent priest-scientist, has collected thirteen of his essays for this volume. Previously published in various academic journals and edited books, the provocative essays expand upon the theme of the evolution of nature, humanity, and belief. They are grouped in three parts.
How has our understanding of our world and our place in the universe changed in recent decades through the momentous discoveries of science? Do recent developments in the philosophy of science, which place limitations on scientific knowing, provide a more level playing field? This collection of essays and sermons, which have not been readily available before, address these thought-provoking questions.
The John Templeton Foundation sponsored an essay and sermon contest to convey an expanded vision of God, one that is informed by recent discoveries of science on the nature of the universe and the place we have in the world. These selections are the winners of that competition.
The book is divided into three sections: “Contemporary Science Raising Theological Questions,” “New Visions of Theology,” and “Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on the Science-Religion Dialogue.” The essays cover such areas as physics, theology, cosmology, origins, and artificial intelligence.
“There is another way to conceive our life together. There is another way to conceive of our life in God, but it requires a different worldview—not a clockwork universe in which individuals function as discrete springs and gears, but one that looks more like a luminous web, in which the whole is far more than the parts. In this universe, there is no such thing as an individual apart from his or her relationships. Every interaction—between people and people, between people and things, between things and things—changes the face of history. Life on earth cannot be reduced to four sure-fire rules. It is an ever-unfolding mystery that defies precise prediction. Meanwhile, in this universe, there is no such thing as 'parts‚' The whole is the fundamental unit of reality.” —Barbara Brown Taylor, “Physics and Faith,”
Faith and the Pursuit of Health explores how Pentecostal Christians manage chronic illness in ways that sheds light on health disparities and social suffering in Samoa, a place where rates of obesity and related cardiometabolic disorders have reached population-wide levels. Pentecostals grapple with how to maintain the health of their congregants in an environment that fosters cardiometabolic disorders. They find ways to manage these forms of sickness and inequality through their churches and the friendships developed within these institutions. Examining how Pentecostal Christianity provides many Samoans with tools to manage day-to-day issues around health and sickness, Jessica Hardin argues for understanding the synergies between how Christianity and biomedicine practice chronicity.
Dr. Harold Koenig was recently interviewed by Newsweek (November 10, 2003) about his book Spirituality in Patient Care (Templeton Foundation Press) and his research in the area of religion and health. He has become the international voice on the subjects of spirituality, health, and aging. In this book he is joined by two other experts on aging and human development. They present a compelling look at one of the most serious issues in today’s society: health care in America.
How will we provide quality healthcare to older adults who will need it during the next thirty to fifty years? Who will provide this care? How will it be funded? How can we establish systems of care now to be in place as demographic and health-related economic pressures mount?
Alongside the sobering reality of the challenges our country faces, there are reasons for optimism. Innovative programs created and maintained by volunteers and religious congregations are emerging as pivotal factors in meeting health care needs. Summarizing decades of scientific research and providing numerous inspirational examples and role models, the authors present practical steps that individuals and institutions may emulate for putting faith into action.
This book presents, from the perspective of feminist jurisprudence and feminist and liberal bioethics, a complete study of Jewish law (halakhah) on contemporary reproductive issues such as birth control, abortion, and assisted fertility. Irshai examines these issues to probe gender-based values that underlie the interpretations and determinations reached by modern practitioners of halakhah. Her primary goal is to tell, through common halakhic tools, a different halakhic story, one that takes account of the female narrative and its missing perspective.
“ In this beautifully and intelligently written book, Ferguson not only reports on some of the intellectual tremors jolting the world of thinking women and men, but also considers the basic questions with penetrating analysis, yet at a very readable level. . . . An excellent book.” —Choice
Heralded for its readability and scholarship, The Fire in the Equations offers a fascinating discussion of scientific discoveries and their impact on our beliefs. The book’s title is derived from Dr. Stephen Hawking’s pondering, “What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”
Originally published in the U.S. in 1995, it provides an excursion through new theories of quantum physics and cosmology, ranging from the nature of time, the big bang, the “unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics, laws of nature and their possible relation to God, chaos theory, black holes, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, particle physics, Darwin's theory of evolution, and the role of God in all these equations. It even raises such questions as “how God might answer prayers” from the point of view of physics.
While she gives no absolute answers, Kitty Ferguson takes the reader through a world of paradoxes and improbabilities, explaining how it is possible to believe both in a pre-determined universe and in free will as a theory of human behavior. She concludes that what we know about science doesn't necessarily make God inevitable, but does not rule God out either.
The ways science and technology are portrayed in advertising, in the news, in our politics, and in the culture at large inform the way we respond to these particular facts of life. The better we are at recognizing the rhetorical intentions of the purveyors of information and promoters of mass culture, the more adept we become at responding intelligently to them.
Flash Effect, a startling book by David J. Tietge, documents the manner in which those at the highest levels of our political and cultural institutions conflated the rhetoric of science and technology with the rhetorics of religion and patriotism to express their policies for governance at the onset of the Cold War and to explain them to the American public.
Professor Tietge details our cultural attitudes about science in the early years of the Cold War, when on the heels of a great technological victory Americans were faced with the possibility of destruction by the very weapons that had saved them.
In Flash Effect we learn how, by symbolizing the scientist as both a father figure and a savior -- and by celebrating the technological objects of his labor -- the campaign to promote science took hold in the American consciousness. The products of that attitude are with us today more than ever.
From time to time, the diligent science student huddled over dense volumes of research findings and highly technical data will stumble upon a truly rare treasure: the author’s answer to the question of, “Why?” Why did the authors of these volumes commit themselves so ardently to life in the laboratory? What was it that motivated them to keep their eye to microscope for years on end? Why did the world’s greatest scientists devote their lives to research—an endeavor where failure is the exponentially more likely outcome than success?
In their new anthology, From Galileo to Gell-Mann, Marco Bersanelli and Mario Gargantini have gathered the answers to these fascinating questions from over one hundred of the brightest scientific minds from our past and our present. It is a goldmine of insight that previously could only to be found hidden deep within thousands of scattershot pages of footnotes from out-of-print journals, rare books, and unpublished papers. Throughout the work, Bersanelli and Gargantini also offer insightful commentary and discussion on the readings.
Among the most remarkable similarities that emerge when one considers together these writings from the likes of Albert Einstein, Gregor Mendel, Marie Curie, and others, is the sense of wonder and outright awe at what the study of the natural world can reveal. From Galileo to Gell-Mann makes it clear that science and all parallel attempts to understand our human existence—including fields like philosophy to theology—are viewed as nothing less than grand adventures to those that are probing the limits of what we know.
Gathering thinkers from ten countries and from a variety of scientific and spiritual backgrounds, Global Perspectives on Science and Spirituality leads readers on a fascinating tour of distinctly non-Western approaches to topics in these two fields. These voices add fresh and invigorating input to a dialogue that has thus far been predominantly guided by scholars from the United States or Western Europe.
The award-winning researchers represented in this volume were selected from a pool of over one hundred and fifty applications, and they offer the very best scholarship from underrepresented regions around the globe. The essays cover a wide spectrum of scientific fields, spanning mathematical physics, robotics, biosemiotics and other new schools of theoretical biology, embryonic stem cells, cognitive science, and the concept of opening the human mind to broader ideas of reality. Hailing from some of the top research institutions in India, Japan, Russia, Korea, China, and a variety of Eastern European nations, contributors offer unique insights into the spiritual and philosophical traditions of their cultures. At the same time, they also deftly engage concepts from the ongoing Western dialogue in its own terms, delving deeply, at times, into schools of thought like phenomenology or process thought.
Scholars, students, researchers, and anyone seeking new ways of understanding the interplay of spirituality and science will discover in these truly interdisciplinary essays a multitude of windows into previously underexplored areas of research. Indeed, any one of these pieces could serve as the basis for entirely new programs of long-term study.
God For The 21St Century
Russell Stannard Templeton Press, 2000 Library of Congress BL240.2.G62 2000 | Dewey Decimal 215
Just as modern science has revolutionized our understanding of the natural world, so can it expand our understanding of the Divine. In topics as varied as astronomy and cosmology, evolution, genetic engineering, extraterrestrial life, psychology and religious experience, spirituality and medicine, and artificial intelligence, fifty key thinkers discuss the interrelationship between science and religion.
Contributors include Robert Jastrow, first chairman of NASA's Lunar Exploration Committee and currently director of the Mount Wilson Institute; Rod Davies, former director of the Jodrell Bank Radio Astronomy Laboratories, U.K.; Owen Gingerich, senior astronomer, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; Paul Davies, recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion; Sir John Haughton, former director general of the United Kingdom Meteorological Office; Lord Habgood, former archbishop of York; and science writers Kitty Ferguson and Gregg Easterbrook.
The writers are drawn from eight countries and represent the Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Hindu traditions. Most are scientists by profession, but also included are philosophers, theologians, and psychologists. Each chapter of this innovative, accessible book helps to expand our thinking in light of what is known at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Taken as a whole, this book presents a challenging understanding of God and of God's interaction with the world and with ourselves.
Topics covered include:
•Creation and evolution
•Life on other planets
•Faith and medicine
•The mind and the soul
Editor Robert Herrmann has collected the opinions of ten scientists, all leaders in their fields, who have considered the relevance of their science to theology. The contributors bring a variety of religious experiences to the consideration of humility theology, a humble approach to our truth-seeking about God.
As a physicist, Russell Stannard provides an overview of humility theology in which truth is approached in an experimental, hypothetical mode, as is done in the sciences. Physicist and theologian Robert Russell focuses on the interaction between cosmology and theology. Charles Harper writes of the opportunity for a tremendous flowering of planetary science through a joint partnership between science and religion.
Owen Gingerich, historian of science, looks at the other side of humility theology—the possibility that we can actually arrive at unreasonable expectations— about the existence and nature of extraterrestrial intelligence. Francisco Ayala begins with the surprising contrast between the very brief period of human evolution and its remarkable and utterly unique end-product, homo sapiens. Psychologist David Myers points out that intuition can be a powerful faculty, but there are many limitations to this “inner knowing.”
Chemist Giuseppe Del Re writes an interesting view of the history of the development of chemistry as a discipline. Herbert Benson and Patricia Myers analyze the components of mind-body medicine that relate to the rubric of self-care, including relaxation procedures, nutrition, exercise, stress management, and faith. David and Susan Larson introduce the reader to a new field of medical science that focuses on the impact of spiritual values on patients' health. Fraser Watts looks at artificial intelligence research.
The discussion included in this book will significantly aid scholars and general readers in the search for greater understanding of the relationship between science and religion.
Contributors include Russell Stannard, Robert John Russell, Charles L. Harper Jr., Owen Gingerich, Francisco J. Ayala, David G. Myers, Giuseppe Del Re, Herbert Benson, Patricia Myers, David B. Larson, Susan S. Larson, and Fraser Watts.
Until recently, science’s ability to describe and define our universe threatened to make religion obsolete. But the well-received hardcover edition of this book demonstrated that, increasingly, God is being revealed through science.
Now available in paperback, this positive work is for all who ponder the mystery and wonder of our universe—and the God who plans and oversees it. Probing the philosophical and theological impact of scientific discoveries, the authors urge us to adopt an analytical and open posture toward both science and religion. In the spirit of Sir Francis Bacon, this fascinating exploration shows us how “the book of God’s works” (natural science) can tell us a great deal about “the book of God’s words” (Scripture).
“We began this book with the idea that the God who has made this awesome and wonderful universe is utterly beyond our capacity to measure and yet is also the God who would be known. He has placed remarkable signs in the heavens, on Earth, and in ourselves: signals of transcendence. We conclude that this universe is here by divine plan, and that science itself, for decades a bastion of unbelief, has once again become the source of humankind’s assurance of intimate divine concern in its affairs.” —from the authors
Owen Gingerich Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress BL240.3.G558 2014 | Dewey Decimal 215
Many scientists look at the universe and conclude we are here by chance. The astronomer and historian Owen Gingerich looks at the same evidence—and the fact that the universe is comprehensible to our minds—and sees it as proof for the intentions of a Creator-God. The more rigorous science becomes, the more clearly God’s handiwork can be understood.
In October 2014, a group of mathematicians, physicists, ecologists, philosophers, and theologians gathered at a special conference in Berkeley, California to present the results of a two-year research program dubbed “Project SATURN”. This program explored many of the rich avenues of thought found at the intersection of modern science and Christian theology. Chief among them is the possibility that certain processes in nature might be so complex that they do not have sufficient physical causes. Known as “ontological indeterminism”, this idea has profound implications for theology. Specifically, it allows God to be thought of as acting providentially within nature without violating the laws and processes of nature.
Such a momentous insight could influence how we understand free will, natural evil, suffering in nature, and the relation between divine providence and human evolution. The essays collected here discuss each of these topics and were originally presented at the 2014 conference. Part I establishes the scientific basis for conceptualizing certain process in the universe as inherently random and possibly indeterministic. Part II discusses the philosophical and theological issues that spring from this understanding. Together they represent the cutting edge of thought in the increasingly productive dialogue between science and theology.
Short for the “Scientific and Theological Understandings of Randomness in Nature”, Project SATURN was created by the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, a Program of the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. It was funded with a grant administered by Calvin College and provided by the John Templeton Foundation.
In their search for truth, contemporary religious believers and modern scientific investigators hold many values in common. But in their approaches, they express two fundamentally different conceptions of how to understand and represent the world. Michael E. Hobart looks for the origin of this difference in the work of Renaissance thinkers who invented a revolutionary mathematical system—relational numeracy. By creating meaning through numbers and abstract symbols rather than words, relational numeracy allowed inquisitive minds to vault beyond the constraints of language and explore the natural world with a fresh interpretive vision.
The Great Rift is the first book to examine the religion-science divide through the history of information technology. Hobart follows numeracy as it emerged from the practical counting systems of merchants, the abstract notations of musicians, the linear perspective of artists, and the calendars and clocks of astronomers. As the technology of the alphabet and of mere counting gave way to abstract symbols, the earlier “thing-mathematics” metamorphosed into the relational mathematics of modern scientific investigation. Using these new information symbols, Galileo and his contemporaries mathematized motion and matter, separating the demonstrations of science from the linguistic logic of religious narration.
Hobart locates the great rift between science and religion not in ideological disagreement but in advances in mathematics and symbolic representation that opened new windows onto nature. In so doing, he connects the cognitive breakthroughs of the past with intellectual debates ongoing in the twenty-first century.
Theologians and religious figures often draw a distinction between religion of the ‘”head” and religion of the “heart,” but few stop to ask what the terms “head” and “heart” actually denote. Many assume that this distinction has a scriptural basis, and yet many Biblical authors used the word “heart” as a synonym for “mind.” In fact, there isn’t a strict separation of the two concepts until the modern period, as in Pascal’s famous claim that “the heart has its reasons that reason can not know.” Since then, many other philosophers and theologians have made a similar distinction.
The fact that this distinction has been so persistent makes it an important area of study. Head and Heart: Perspectives from Religion and Psychology takes an inter-disciplinary approach, linking the thinking of theologians and philosophers with theory and research in present-day psychology. The tradition of using framing questions that have been developed in theology and philosophy can now be brought into dialogue with scientific approaches developed within cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Though these scientific approaches have not generally used the terms “head” and “heart,” they have arrived at a similar distinction in other ways. There is a notable convergence upon the realization that humans have two modes of cognition at their disposal that correspond to “head” and “heart.” The time is therefore ripe to bring the approaches of theology and science in to dialogue—an important dialogue that has been heretofore neglected.
Head and Heart draws on the unique expertise in relating theology and psychology of the University of Cambridge’s Psychology and Religion Research Group (PRRG). In addition to providing historical and theoretical perspectives, the contributors to this volume will also address practical issues arising from the group’s applied work in deradicalisation and religious education.
Contributors include Geoff Dumbreck, Nicholas J. S. Gibson, Malcolm Guite, Liz Gulliford, Russell Re Manning, Glendon L. Moriarty, Sally Myers, Sara Savage, Carissa A. Sharp, Fraser Watts, Harris Wiseman, and Bonnie Poon Zahl.
One of the central themes of inquiry for Karl Barth, the twentieth-century Protestant theologian, was the notion of revelation. Although he was suspicious of natural theology (i.e. the seeking of evidence for God’s existence in the ordered structure of the world), recent scientific advances (notably in physics and cosmology) and the flourishing modern dialogue between science and religion offer compelling reasons to revisit Barth’s thinking on the concept. We must again ask whether and how it might be possible to hold together the notion of revelation whilst employing reason and scientific evidence in the justification of belief.
In The Heavens Declare, author Rodney Holder re-examines Barth’s natural theology argument and then explores how it has been critiqued and responded to by others, starting with Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Wolfhart Pannenberg. Holder then considers the contributions of two notable British participants in the science-religion dialogue, Thomas Torrance and Alister McGrath, who, despite their repudiation of natural theology in the traditional sense, also provide many positive lessons. The book concludes by defending an overall position which takes into account the ideas of the aforementioned theologians as well as others who are currently engaged positively in natural theology, such as John Polkinghorne and Richard Swinburne.
Holder’s new study is sure to be of interest to theologians, philosophers of religion, and all scholars interested in the science-religion dialogue, especially those interested in natural theology as an enterprise in itself.
Known as one of the most outstanding theologians of the twentieth century, Wolfhart Pannenberg is also considered a great interdisciplinary thinker. Now, essays and articles on science and theology that are central to understanding Pannenberg's theories have been collected into one volume.
Niels Henrik Gregersen, a former student of Pannenberg and now professor of systematic theology at Copenhagen University, has compiled the writings in four sections: Methodology, Creation and Nature's Historicity, Religion and Anthropology, and Meaning and Metaphysics. Included in this volume are:
•Translations of Pannenberg's principled argument for the consonance between science and religion, including contingency and laws of nature, field theories and space-time, and divine action
•Translations of Pannenberg's theory of theology as a rational hypothetical science, including his discussions with leading British and American scholars such as A. N. Whitehead, John Cobb, and Langdon Gilkey
•Previously unpublished articles on the problems between science and theology in the course of modern history, explaining why chance may be more important for theology than design
•Translations of seminal articles that articulate Pannenberg's understanding of the role of religion in human nature
•One of the few theological articles on aggression as a psychological and social phenomenon
With this collection, the essays of this important contemporary theologian and his illuminating views are presented in one convenient volume.
Horizons of Cosmology
Joseph Silk Templeton Press, 2009 Library of Congress QB791.3.S55 2009 | Dewey Decimal 523.1
Horizons of Cosmology: Exploring Worlds Seen and Unseen is the fourth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, highly esteemed astrophysicist Joseph Silk explores the vast mysteries and speculations of the field of cosmology in a way that balances an accessible style for the general reader and enough technical detail for advanced students and professionals.
Indeed, while the physical laws and origins of the universe can be endlessly complex, even Einstein once mused that they could be explained simply enough to be grasped by nonspecialists. To that end Silk begins by introducing the basic story of the major discoveries in cosmology over the past century—wherein we learned that we live in an expanding universe populated with galaxies and stars. The middle chapters examine a number of contemporary puzzles such as dark matter and dark energy. The last third of the book looks at the human side of cosmology and moves to the more philosophical frontiers of the field, such as concepts of multiverses and time travel—areas of exploration where some crossover into speculative territory becomes unavoidable.
In the past century alone, our understanding of the universe has expanded exponentially, and it will be fascinating to see what discoveries the next hundred years hold. Few books will provide such a thorough understanding of where we have been and what might lie ahead as Horizons of Cosmology.
College and university professors have been demanding that this book, out of print for several years, be made available again, as it is unique in its field. This new edition, which includes a new preface and guidance to current literature, offers a balanced study of the implications of scientific developments in psychology and neuroscience for traditional Christian beliefs.
Malcolm Jeeves, former editor-in-chief of Neuropsychologia, a leading international scientific journal in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, explores the intersection of science and faith in defining what it means to be human. He reports on recent scientific research on consciousness and the link between mind, brain, and behavior. He examines issues such as determinism by indicating the possible relevance of chaos theory to enduring concerns about freedom and responsibility. He looks at similarities and differences between human nature and animal nature. He reexamines traditional dualist views of soul and body in the light of contemporary research on mind and brain and argues for a wholistic model. This leads to addressing questions such as: does spiritual awareness depend on the intactness of our brains or does spirituality stand apart from our biological substrate?
Jeeves' insightful analysis of the ways recent findings in psychology relate to certain Christian beliefs about people expands the global science religion dialogue.
For generations the discoveries of science tended to challenge the very existence of God. Templeton makes a striking argument for just the opposite point of view. He goes to the writings of many of the world's leading scientific thinkers—as diverse in background as Albert Einstein and Teilhard de Chardin—and discovers them in awe of the universe, perceiving the hand of Divine mystery at work.
The Humble Approach teaches that man can discover and comprehend only a few of the infinite aspects of God's nature, never enough to form a comprehensive theology. The humble approach may be a science still in its infancy, but it seeks to develop a way of knowing God appropriate to His greatness and our littleness.”
“This book will provide readers with a greater awareness of the spirit of curiosity and inquiry that lies at the heart of the Buddhist tradition, as well as the fruitfulness of maintaining active communication between the Buddhist and scientific communities.” —from the Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
In Humble before the Void, Impey, a noted astronomer, educator, and author gives us a thoroughly absorbing and engaging account of his journey to Northern India to teach in the first-ever “Science for Monks” leadership program. The program was initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to introduce science into the Tibetan Buddhist monastic tradition.
In a vivid and compelling narrative, Impey introduces us to a group of exiled Tibetan monks whose charm, tenacity and unbridled enthusiasm for learning is infectious. Impey marvels not only at their enthusiasm, but at their tireless diligence that allows the monks to painstakingly build intricate sand mandalas—that can be swept away in an instant. He observes them as they meticulously count galaxies and notes how their enthusiasm and diligence stands in contrast to many American students who are frequently turned off by science’s inability to deliver easy, immediate payoffs. Because the Buddhist monks have had a limited science education, Impey must devise creative pedagogy. His new students immediately take to his inspired teaching methods, whether it’s the use of balloons to demonstrate the Hubble expansion or donning an Einstein mask to explain the theory of relativity.
Humble before the Void also recounts Impey’s experiences outside the classroom, from the monks’ eagerness to engage in pick-up basketball games and stream episodes of hip American sitcoms to the effects on his relationship with the teenage son who makes the trip with him. Moments of profound serenity and beauty in the Himalayas are contrasted with the sorrow of learning that other monks have set themselves on fire to protest the Chinese oppression in Tibet.
At the end of the three week program, both the monks and Impey have gained a valuable education. While the monks have a greater understanding and appreciation of science, Impey has acquired greater self- knowledge and a deeper understanding of the nature of learning and teaching in the East and West. This understanding leads to a renewed enthusiasm for making his topic come alive for others.
During the first half of the twentieth century, supporters of the eugenics movement offered an image of a racially transformed America by curtailing the reproduction of “unfit” members of society. Through institutionalization, compulsory sterilization, the restriction of immigration and marriages, and other methods, eugenicists promised to improve the population—a policy agenda that was embraced by many leading intellectuals and public figures. But Catholic activists and thinkers across the United States opposed many of these measures, asserting that “every man, even a lunatic, is an image of God, not a mere animal."
In An Image of God, Sharon Leon examines the efforts of American Catholics to thwart eugenic policies, illuminating the ways in which Catholic thought transformed the public conversation about individual rights, the role of the state, and the intersections of race, community, and family. Through an examination of the broader questions raised in this debate, Leon casts new light on major issues that remain central in American political life today: the institution of marriage, the role of government, and the separation of church and state. This is essential reading in the history of religion, science, politics, and human rights.
The message of modern physics is that physical reality has, at its frontiers, all the aspects of a transcendent order. At the foundation of things, elementary particles can exert instantaneous long-distance influences on each other, can be meaningfully said to have mind-like properties, and can exist in states which are, as Heisenberg wrote, “not quite real, but between the idea of a thing and a real thing.” Thus, just as dead atoms form living organisms and stupid molecules form intelligent brains, metaphysical entities form physical reality. This remarkable book clearly explains the concepts of quantum physics in order to show how science and spirituality are not separate.
The great paradox of science in the twentieth century is that the more we learn, the less we seem to know. In this volume, John Templeton and scientist Robert Herrmann address this paradox.
Reviewing the latest findings in fields from particle physics to archaeology, from molecular biology to cosmology, the book leads the reader to see how mysterious the universe is, even to the very science that seeks to reduce it to a few simple principles.
Far from concluding that religion and science are in opposition, the book shows how these two fields of inquiry are intimately linked, and how much they can offer to one another.
This book is a thought-provoking view of the progress of humankind in the last century. In spite of the pessimism that prevails in the media, people are better fed, better clothed, better housed, and better educated than at any previous time.
The facts within the book provide documentation for a positive outlook toward our nutrition and health, living standards and working conditions, political and economic freedoms, educational facilities, ability to communicate, ease of movement, increasing leisure, and, most important, our ability to get along with one another and with our Creator. The statistics, charts, and photographs that illustrate this book enhance the reassuring and uplifting view of the state of the world and where it is going.
“His analysis gives us a refreshing balance to the negative, sometimes cynical, views in the media that tend to portray the worst rather than the best in human civilization.” —Jimmy Carter
“After reading Sir John Templeton's latest book, I believe more than ever that we are living in the most exciting time in history. Despite the challenges we face, his demonstration of mankind's progress gives all of us great hopes and high expectations for our next century and the new millennium.” —Jack Kemp, former HUD secretary, director of Empower America
The Language of Genetics: An Introduction is the seventh title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, Dr. Denis R. Alexander offers readers a basic toolkit of information, explanations, and ideas that can help us grasp something of the fascination and the challenge of the language of genetics.
Alexander surveys the big picture, covering such topics as the birth of the field; DNA: what it is, how it works, and how it was discovered; our genetic history; the role of genes in diseases, epigenetics, and genetic engineering. The book assumes the reader has little scientific background, least of all in genetics, and approaches these issues in a very accessible way, free of specialized or overly technical jargon. In the last chapter, Dr. Alexander explores some of the big questions raised by genetics: what are its implications for notions of human value and uniqueness? Is evolution consistent with religious belief? If we believe in a God of love, then how come the evolutionary process, utterly dependent upon the language of genetics, is so wasteful and involves so much pain and suffering? How far should we go in manipulating the human genome? Does genetics subvert the idea that life has some ultimate meaning and purpose?
Genetics is a rapidly advancing field; it seems new discoveries make headlines every other week. The Language of Genetics is intended to give the general reader the knowledge he or she needs to assess and understand the next big story
In this autobiography, Robert L. Herrmann tells the story of his life and his work with Sir John Templeton. Through his reflections on his working relationship with Sir John, Herrmann provides valuable insights into the early years of the John Templeton Foundation. Herrmann collaborated with John Templeton on three books published by the Templeton Press. Drawing on stories of this collaboration, Herrmann gives readers a fresh understanding of Sir John’s ideas and how these ideas coalesced to become the mission that still guides the John Templeton Foundation today.
In Many Worlds, renowned scientists in fields from physics to astronomy discuss the possibility of a cosmic evolutionary process that guides not only our universe, but other planets and universes as well. Physicist and author Paul Davies observes that “if it turns out to be the case that the universe is inherently bio-friendly, then the scientific, theological, and philosophical implications will be extremely significant.”
Many Worlds first focuses on what lessons might be learned from the latest knowledge of the origin and evolution of life. After establishing a well-grounded relationship between science and religion, authors such as Arthur Peacocke and John Leslie evaluate the intricate configuration of events that must occur to create a dynamic and chemically enriched environment capable of not only supporting life, but evolutionary processes as well. The final section addresses the provocative question of extraterrestrial life. What we may find could drastically change our relation to the universe and our creator.
As we reflect on the possibilities that the universe presents, author and contributor Christian de Duve aptly states, “Many myths have had to be abandoned. But mystery remains, more profound and beautiful than ever before, a reality almost inaccessible to our feeble human means.” Is our existence part of a divine scheme ingenuously designed to support life, or is it an extraordinary chain of accidents that culminate in a life-permitting environment? The scientific advancements of the past century cannot help but capture the imagination and inspire renewed hope for the future. This volume will add dimension and insight to these yet unanswered questions.
Mathematics and Religion: Our Languages of Sign and Symbol is the sixth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, Javier Leach, a mathematician and Jesuit priest, leads a fascinating study of the historical development of mathematical language and its influence on the evolution of metaphysical and theological languages.
Leach traces three historical moments of change in this evolution: the introduction of the deductive method in Greece, the use of mathematics as a language of science in modern times, and the formalization of mathematical languages in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As he unfolds this fascinating history, Leach notes the striking differences and interrelations between the two languages of science and religion. Until now there has been little reflection on these similarities and differences, or about how both languages can complement and enrich each other.
The Meaning of Belief
Tim Crane Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress BD215.C823 2017 | Dewey Decimal 202.2
Current debate about religion seems to be going nowhere. Atheists persist with their arguments, many plausible and some unanswerable, but they make no impact on believers. Defenders of religion find atheists equally unwilling to cede ground. Noting that religion is not what atheists think it is, Tim Crane offers a way out of this stalemate.
Medicine, Religion, and Health: Where Science and Spirituality Meet will be the first title published in the new Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this, the series' maiden volume, Dr. Harold G. Koenig provides an overview of the relationship between health care and religion that manages to be comprehensive yet concise, factual yet inspirational, and technical yet easily accessible to nonspecialists and general readers.
Focusing on the scientific basis for integrating spirituality into medicine, Koenig carefully summarizes major trends, controversies, and the latest research from a wide variety of disciplines and provides plausible and compelling theoretical explanations for what has thus far emerged in this relatively young field of study. Medicine, Religion, and Health begins by defining the principal terms and then moves on to a brief history of the role that religion has played in medicine before delving into the current state of research. Koenig devotes several chapters to exploring the outcomes of specific studies in fields such as mental health, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. The book concludes with a review of the clinical applications that can be derived from the research. Koenig also supplies several detailed appendices that will aid readers of all levels looking for further information.
Medicine, Religion, and Health will shed new light on important contemporary issues and will whet readers' appetites for more information on this fascinating, complex, and controversial area of research, clinical activity, and popular discussion. It will find a welcome home on the bookshelves of students, researchers, clinicians, and other health professionals in a variety of disciplines.
The Western moral tradition has been profoundly influenced by attempts to ground moral convictions in an analysis of human nature, whether conceived in rational, emotional, or biological terms. This idea that nature is the ultimate standard of our actions is found in writers as different as Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Darwin, as well as their modern followers. But in an age of rapid biological changes brought on by biotechnologies such as stem-cell research, gene therapy, and mood-altering drugs, can human nature still serve as a basis for our moral thinking?
This is the question explored by Richard Sherlock in Nature’s End: The Theological Meaning of the New Genetics. Sherlock contends that in light of the fact that we can now alter human nature we must find a transnatural standpoint from which to make moral judgments—that is, a theological standpoint. Current and future advances in genetic and biological science require a bold theological response, argues Sherlock, not a response based on pragmatism or arguments from nature, including natural-law arguments.
Sherlock provocatively calls for moral traditionalists to aim not so much for rational agreement as moral conversion, a “mighty change of heart.” Theology must bear witness to its deepest convictions about the meaning of human existence, he writes, and try to get people to see the world anew. Nothing less will serve to meet the deepest moral challenges let loose by the new biosciences.
Neuroscience, Psychology, and Religion is the second title published in the new Templeton Science and Religion Series. In this volume, Malcolm Jeeves and Warren S. Brown provide an overview of the relationship between neuroscience, psychology, and religion that is academically sophisticated, yet accessible to the general reader.
The authors introduce key terms; thoroughly chart the histories of both neuroscience and psychology, with a particular focus on how these disciplines have interfaced religion through the ages; and explore contemporary approaches to both fields, reviewing how current science/religion controversies are playing out today. Throughout, they cover issues like consciousness, morality, concepts of the soul, and theories of mind. Their examination of topics like brain imaging research, evolutionary psychology, and primate studies show how recent advances in these areas can blend harmoniously with religious belief, since they offer much to our understanding of humanity's place in the world. Jeeves and Brown conclude their comprehensive and inclusive survey by providing an interdisciplinary model for shaping the ongoing dialogue.
Sure to be of interest to both academics and curious intellectuals, Neuroscience, Psychology, and Religion addresses important age-old questions and demonstrates how modern scientific techniques can provide a much more nuanced range of potential answers to those questions.
In The New Flatlanders, teacher, scientist, and chaplain Eric Middleton challenges traditional ways of looking at reality by engaging readers in a "voyage of discovery starting with questions." The book engagingly begins with a discussion group embarking on an exploratory conversation about the nature of the universe and the place of human beings in it. Daunting questions emerge, such as "How can there possibly be a tear or hole in three-dimensional space? And if there is a hole, can something fall through it? Where would it fall to?" In short order, students and teacher are on a quest to develop a "working theory of everything" that takes them from stone circles to quarks, superstrings, quantum theory, the anthropic principle, evolution, consciousness, miracles, chaos, and the spiritual universe.
The key to exploring these questions is finding a language with which to talk about the awe and wonder of today's science alongside the joy of experiencing the spiritual. This is done by interweaving into the discussions the philosophy of "Flatland," a nonreligious entry point to Jesus posited by nineteenth-century clergyman and educator Edwin A. Abbott in his classic parable Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.
Both science and religion explore aspects of reality, providing "a basis for their mutual interaction as they present their different perspectives onto the one world of existent reality," Polkinghorne argues. In One World he develops his thesis through an examination of the nature of science, the nature of the physical world, the character of theology, and the modes of thought in science and theology. He identifies "points of interaction" and points of potential conflict between science and religion. Along the way, he discusses creation, determinism, prayer, miracles, and future life, and he explains his rejection of scientific reductionism and his defense of natural theology.
What do modern multiverse theories and spiritualist séances have in common? Not much, it would seem. One is an elaborate scientific theory developed by the world’s most talented physicists. The other is a spiritual practice widely thought of as backward, the product of a mystical world view fading under the modern scientific gaze.
But Christopher G. White sees striking similarities. He does not claim that séances or other spiritual practices are science. Yet he points to ways that both spiritual practices and scientific speculation about multiverses and invisible dimensions are efforts to peer into the hidden elements and even the existential meaning of the universe. Other Worlds examines how the idea that the universe has multiple, invisible dimensions has inspired science fiction, fantasy novels, films, modern art, and all manner of spiritual thought reaching well beyond the realm of formal religion. Drawing on a range of international archives, White analyzes how writers, artists, filmmakers, televangelists, and others have used the scientific idea of invisible dimensions to make supernatural phenomena such as ghosts and miracles seem more reasonable and make spiritual beliefs possible again for themselves and others.
Many regard scientific ideas as disenchanting and secularizing, but Other Worlds shows that these ideas—creatively appropriated in such popular forms as C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, the art of Salvador Dalí, or the books of the counterculture physicist “Dr. Quantum”—restore a sense that the world is greater than anything our eyes can see, helping to forge an unexpected kind of spirituality.
"Endlessly absorbing and informative. It would be hard to imagine a better introduction to this most important and fascinating field.”—Bill Bryson, author of A Short History of Nearly Everything
Paleontology: A Brief History of Life is the fifth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties.
In this volume, Ian Tattersall, a highly esteemed figure in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, and paleontology, leads a fascinating tour of the history of life and the evolution of human beings.
Starting at the very beginning, Tattersall examines patterns of change in the biosphere over time, and the correlations of biological events with physical changes in the Earth’s environment. He introduces the complex of evolutionary processes, situates human beings in the luxuriant diversity of Life (demonstrating that however remarkable we may legitimately find ourselves to be, we are the product of the same basic forces and processes that have driven the evolutionary histories of all other creatures), and he places the origin of our extraordinary spiritual sensibilities in the context of the exaptational and emergent acquisition of symbolic cognition and thought.
Concise and yet comprehensive, historically penetrating and yet up-to-date, responsibly factual and yet engaging, Paleontology serves as the perfect entrée to science's greatest story.
The Revd. Dr. John Polkinghorne is a world-renowned authority in the field of science and religion. His numerous books in this area, written over the past three decades, have been hugely influential. The Polkinghorne Reader brings together key extracts from his writings on core issues such as the nature of science, the physical world, human nature, love, theology, creation, providence, prayer and miracle, time, evil, Jesus, the resurrection, the Trinity, eschatology, and world faiths.
Ideal for readers who are new to Polkinghorne or who are just beginning to explore the interplay between science and religion, this collection will also be welcomed by all who have read his earlier works but would like one handy resource that presents the major facets of his thought in an accessible and systematic fashion.
Is it possible to integrate scientific psychology with a Christian understanding of human nature? Are science and religion locked in an inevitable conflict, or is there an underlying harmony between these two sources of knowledge about humans? This book goes to the heart of the past and present dialogue between Christianity and psychology, comparing three models that have been used to describe the relationship between them.
Because Christianity and psychology deal with different levels of truth and speak vastly different languages, efforts to unify them often create more problems than they solve. What is needed is a better way to think about the relationship—an approach that does justice to the emerging insights from psychological science and biblical scholarship and that can enrich our understanding of both. In this volume, two accomplished psychologists show how this complementary dialogue can unfold, giving us a broader, deeper understanding of ourselves, our relationships, and our place in the cosmos.
Essays with a methodological and metacritical focus
The psychological approach known as affect theory focuses on bodily feelings—depression, happiness, disgust, love—and can illuminate both texts and their interpretations. In this collection of essays scholars break new ground in biblical interpretation by deploying a range of affect-theoretical approaches in their interpretations of texts. Contributors direct their attention to the political, social, and cultural formation of emotion and other precognitive forces as a corrective to more traditional historical-critical methods and postmodern approaches. The inclusion of response essays results in a rich transdisciplinary dialog, with, for example, history, classics, and philosophy. Fiona C. Black, Amy C. Cottrill, Rhiannon Graybill, Jennifer L. Koosed, Joseph Marchal, Robert Seesengood, Ken Stone, and Jay Twomey engage a range of texts from biblical, to prayers, to graphic novels. Erin Runions and Stephen D. Moore’s responses push the conversation in new fruitful directions.
An overview of the development of affect theory and how it has been used to interpret biblical texts
Examples of how to apply affect theory to biblical exegesis
Interdisciplinary studies that engage history, literature, classics, animal studies, liturgical studies, philosophy, and sociology
Often science and religion are seen as completely separate entities. Science exists in the realm of fact, whereas religion exists in the realm of faith. Conversations about genes, psychology, or even the meaning of life occur in silos. But as Eric Priest, Keith Ward, David Myers, N. T. Wright, and others show, these conversations are so much richer when both science and faith are incorporated.
This is exactly what Reason and Wonder does. Eric Priest has brought together twelve of the leading thinkers in science and theology to discuss everything from the origins of the universe to evolution and evil. At the heart of each essay is an understanding that the best science—and the best theology— are both undergirded by an appeal to reason as well as a deep sense of wonder.
Each of these great scientific and theological thinkers offers a chapter on their area of expertise, and the book closes with a stimulating set of questions for group discussion or personal reflection.
Contributors and their topics include:
Eric Priest: Towards an integration of science and religion
Keith Ward: God, science and the New Atheism
Eleonore Stump: Natural law, reductionism and the Creator
David Wilkinson: The origin and end of the universe: A challenge for Christianity
Jennifer Wiseman: Universe of wonder, universe of life
Kenneth R. Miller: Evolution, faith and science
Michael J. Murray and Jeff Schloss: Evolution and evil
Pauline Rudd: Is there more to life than genes?
David G. Myers: Psychological science meets Christian faith
John Wyatt: Being a person: Towards an integration of neuroscientific and Christian perspectives
John Swinton: From projection to connection: Conversations between science, spirituality and health
Mark Harris: Do the miracles of Jesus contradict science?
N. T. Wright: Can a scientist trust the New Testament?
Thousands of religious traditions have appeared over the course of human history but only a relative few have survived. Some speak of a myriad of gods, others of only one, and some recognize no gods at all. Volumes have been written attempting to prove the existence or nonexistence of supernatural being(s). So, if religion is not about God, then what is it about?
In this provocative book, Loyal Rue contends that religion, very basically, is about us. Successful religions are narrative (myth) traditions that influence human nature so that we might think, feel, and act in ways that are good for us, both individually and collectively. Through the use of images, symbols, and rituals, religion promotes reproductive fitness and survival through the facilitation of harmonious social relations. Drawing on examples from the major traditions—Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism—Rue shows how each religion, in its own way, has guided human behavior to advance the twin goals of personal fulfillment and social coherence.
As all faiths are increasingly faced with a crisis of intellectual plausibility and moral relevance, this book presents a compelling and positive view of the centrality and meaning of religion.
How did human beings acquire imaginations that can conjure up untrue possibilities? How did the Universe become self-aware? In The Runes of Evolution, Simon Conway Morris revitalizes the study of evolution from the perspective of convergence, providing us with compelling new evidence to support the mounting scientific view that the history of life is far more predictable than once thought.
A leading evolutionary biologist at the University of Cambridge, Conway Morris came into international prominence for his work on the Cambrian explosion (especially fossils of the Burgess Shale) and evolutionary convergence, which is the process whereby organisms not closely related (not monophyletic), independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches.
In The Runes of Evolution, he illustrates how the ubiquity of convergence hints at an underlying framework whereby many outcomes, not least brains and intelligence, are virtually guaranteed on any Earth-like planet. Conway Morris also emphasizes how much of the complexity of advanced biological systems is inherent in microbial forms.
By casting a wider net, The Runes of Evolution explores many neglected evolutionary questions. Some are remarkably general. Why, for example, are convergences such as parasitism, carnivory, and nitrogen fixation in plants concentrated in particular taxonomic hot spots? Why do certain groups have a particular propensity to evolve toward particular states?
Some questions lead to unexpected evolutionary insights: If bees sleep (as they do), do they dream? Why is that insect copulating with an orchid? Why have sponges evolved a system of fiber optics? What do mantis shrimps and submarines have in common? If dinosaurs had not gone extinct what would have happened next? Will a saber-toothed cat ever re-evolve?
Cona Morris observes: “Even amongst the mammals, let alone the entire tree of life, humans represent one minute twig of a vast (and largely fossilized) arborescence. Every living species is a linear descendant of an immense string of now-vanished ancestors, but evolution itself is the very reverse of linear. Rather it is endlessly exploratory, probing the vast spaces of biological hyperspace. Indeed this book is a celebration of how our world is (and was) populated by a riot of forms, a coruscating tapestry of life.”
The Runes of Evolution is the most definitive synthesis of evolutionary convergence to be published to date.
John C. Polkinghorne, internationally renowned priest-scientist, addresses fundamental questions about how scientific and theological worldviews relate to each other in this, the second volume (originally published in 1988) of his trilogy, which also included Science and Providence and One World.
Dr. Polkinghorne illustrates how a scientifically minded person approaches the task of theological inquiry, postulating that there exists a close analogy between theory and experiment in science and belief and understanding in theology. He offers a fresh perspective on such questions as: Are we witnessing today a revival a natural theology—the search for God through the exercise of reason and the study of nature? How do the insights of modern physics into the interlacing of order and disorder relate to the Christian doctrine of Creation? What is the relationship between mind and matter?
Polkinghorne states that the "remarkable insights that science affords us into the intelligible workings of the world cry out for an explanation more profound than that which it itself can provide. Religion, if it is to take seriously its claim that the world is the creation of God, must be humble enough to learn from science what that world is actually like.The dialogue between them can only be mutually enriching."
Internationally renowned priest-scientist Dr. John C. Polkinghorne examines whether a personal, interacting God is a credible concept in today's scientific age. Encouraging the belief that there is a compatibility between the insights of science and the insights of religion, this book, previously published in the United Kingdom, focuses on the viewpoint that the world is one in which both human beings and God have the freedom to act.
A modern understanding of the physical world is applied to questions of prayer and providence, such as: Do miracles happen? Can prayer change anything? Why does evil exist? Why does God allow suffering? Why does God need us to ask him?
God's involvement in time is considered, from both a temporal and an eternal perspective. The roles of incarnation and sacrament are discussed in terms of whether or not they have a credible place in today's worldview. And the Final Anthropic Principle (FAP) is presented, with its attempt at a physical eschatology, showing it to be an inadequate basis for hope. Real hope can reside only with God, Polkinghorne concludes.
This landmark book, first published in 1987, is now back in print, with a new introduction by its award-winning author. An interdisciplinary approach to the central themes of scientific and religious thought, this book was widely heralded upon its publication for the richness and depth of its contribution to the science and religion dialogue.
“notable for its breadth and depth . . . filled with admirably argued and powerfully presented treatments of critical issues.”—Joseph Pickle, Colorado College, Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
“a superb and subtle book.”—David Foxgrover, Christian Century
“a monumental work . . . [T]he book is truly outstanding.”—John H. Wright, Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, Theological Studies
“Rolston’s presentation of the methods of science, along with up-to-date summaries of the main achievements of the various sciences, is commendable for its clarity and critical acumen.”—Choice
According to Holmes Rolston III, there are fundamental questions that science alone cannot answer; these questions are the central religious questions. He uses the scientific method of inquiry to distill key issues from science, and then he integrates them in a study that begins with matter and moves through life, mind, culture, history, and spirit. Incorporating religious and scientific worldviews, he begins with an examination of two natural sciences: physics and biology. He then extrapolates examples from two human sciences: psychology and sociology. Next, he moves to the storied universe and world history, raising and addressing religious questions. “Never in the histories of science and religion have the
opportunities been greater for fertile interaction between these fields, with mutual benefits to both,” states Rolston. The re-publication of this book provides current researchers and students in the field an invaluable, timeless methodological resource.The new introduction offers updated insights based on new scientific research.
Science and Religion is a record of the 2009 Building Bridges seminar, a dialogue between leading Christian and Muslim scholars convened annually by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The essays in this volume explore how both faith traditions have approached the interface between science and religion and throw light on the ongoing challenges posed by this issue today. The volume includes a selection of relevant texts together with commentary that illuminates the scriptures, the ideas of key religious thinkers, and also the legacy of Charles Darwin.
Does scientific evidence give credence to religious belief? Ted Burge, a highly respected physicist in the United Kingdom, draws on his background in the fields of science and theology to address the issue.
The book begins with an analysis of evidence found in the text of the Bible in different translations, proceeds to an examination of interpretations of the Old and New Testaments, and then looks at evidence from the sciences, including archeological findings, geological mappings, and carbon-dating, alongside data from the arts, hymns, literature, and historians' testimonies.
Evidence is presented on:
•Physical, geological, and biological evolution, and their relation to the Genesis story of creation
•Original sin, the origin of death, and the immortality of the soul, as described in Babylonian and other stories, including the Flood and the Tower of Babel
•The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus, Incarnation and Atonement
•Free will and the nature of love
•Miracles as described in the Bible
•The evolution of belief
•Meditation and prayer as a "conscious interchange of thoughts with God"
Knowledge of science is knowledge of God's creation and often helps to identify some of the things we can say about God, the author points out.
Originally published in Great Britain and now updated and available for the first time in a U.S. edition, this book is a critically acclaimed work by a renowned theologian-scientist.
Russell Stannard is known for cutting through highly technical data and presenting it clearly and simply. In Science and the Renewal of Belief he sheds light on ways in which science and religion influence each other and can help each other. Science and logic cannot establish belief, he says, but belief can be confirmed and renewed with the changed perspective of modern science.
The many reviews of the U.K. edition of his book cite his lucid presentation of relativity and quantum theory, and the way he uses relativity to explore time and eternity, and indeterminacy to comment on free will. He is also praised for offering fresh insight into original sin, the trials experienced by Galileo, the problem of pain, the possibility of miracles, the evidence for the resurrection, the credibility of incarnation, and the power of steadfast prayer. By introducing simple analogies, Stannard clears up misunderstandings that have muddied the connections between science and religion, and suggests contributions that the pursuit of physical science can make to theology.
As the organizer of some of the most important meetings in science and religion in Europe, Jean Staune is in a core position to report on the dialogue between science and religion, primarily from the views of scientists. In this book, the translation of a recent French edition, he presents "audacious and rigorous" articles by fifteen renowned leaders in the field, of whom four are Nobel Prize winners. They represent nine countries and seven religions.
Each of the authors in this volume responds in a different way, addressing naturalism, materialism, the nature of consciousness, reductionism, and the quest for meaning.Two paradigms emerge, with those who say that God (or direction) can exist in the universe because we can understand certain things, while others say that God exists because we cannot understand the universe altogether. Their reflections on the accessibility and the mystery of the world show the extraordinary abstract revolution that took place in science during the twentieth century and the way this establishes a bridge between science and religion.
Contributors are Nobel Prize winners Christian de Duve, Charles Townes, Ahmed Zewail, and William D. Phillips; as well as Paul Davies, Bernard d'Espagnat, Thomas Odhiambo, Ramanath Cowsik, Jean Kovalevsky, Thierry Magnin, Bruno Guiderdoni, Trinh Xuan Thuan, Khalil Chamcham, Michael Heller, and Philip Clayton.
We all know the saying, "Love can change the world." When science looks at love, it considers cosmology, sociobiology, evolutionary psychology, neurology, sex and romance, and the role of emotions as each relates to love. It also explores religious, ethical, and philosophical issues, such as virtue, creation ex nihilo, progress, divine action, agape, values, religious practices, pacifism, sexuality, friendship, freedom, and marriage. All affect the ways in which people understand each other and interact with one another. In this book, Oord explores these varied dimensions of love, illuminating the love-science symbiosis for both scholars and general readers.
His definition of love is "to act intentionally, in sympathetic response to others (including God), to promote overall well-being. Love acts are influenced by previous actions and executed in the hope of attaining a high degree of good for all." He begins his study with an exploration of the role love plays in all major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. He explains how divine love in action can be viewed as consonant with the big bang theory and the continual creation of the universe.
He looks at pacifism and concludes that nonviolence is not always the most loving thing (sometimes violence must be used to rescue victims or prevent holocausts). He explores the animal kingdom to see how creatures work together with the Creator to make the world a better place. And he analyzes the fundamentals of love, the basic characteristics of existence that must be present for love to be expressed. He concludes with the important argument that progress can best be made when religion and science work together to both understand and promote love.
The biography of the "Wizard of Wall Street" who has dedicated his life to advancing the scientific study of spiritual realities has been revised and updated. Sir John Templeton was an inspiring and motivational force both through his personal example and through the foundation that bears his name and is dedicated to his mission.
This volume reviews the life of this man of vision, from his childhood in rural Tennessee, to his education at Yale and Oxford, to his legendary years on Wall Street, the birth of his children, and the development and growth of "humility theology science." Interwoven with the stories and facts are the roots of his faith and the values that he credits for his financial success and are the catalyst for his lifelong mission.
Sir John's biography updates the growth of the many and varied programs of the John Templeton Foundation that support this mission. It also introduces some of the scientists, theologians, philosophers, writers, and fellow investors who now serve as staff and advisors to the John Templeton Foundation, striving toward Sir John's goal of one-hundred-fold more spiritual information gained through the application of scientific methodology and analysis.
In 2017, the year marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of Sir John Templeton, a group of scientists, scholars, and advisors who knew him personally gathered in Lyford Cay in the Bahamas. Their purpose: to discuss how the Foundation that bears his name could best extend his philanthropic vision into the twenty-first century.
This volume is a result of that meeting—a collection of thirteen essays written by experts in fields that most fascinated Sir John. The contributors assess the Foundation’s fidelity to its founder’s intent, chart promising avenues for future grantmaking, and champion Sir John’s contrarian mission of unlocking life’s deepest mysteries.
The members of the John Templeton Foundation are the custodians of Sir John’s vision—bold in its aspiration; humble in its approach—charged with using the tools of science to advance the frontiers of the spirit. May the essays collected here serve as inspiration as we carry that vision forward.
With today's cumbersome insurance procedures, government regulations, endless paperwork, and concerns about malpractice rates, many health care professionals are asking: "Why am I doing this? Am I making a difference to my patients? Is there a better way—and if so, what is it?" In this book, Carson and Koenig examine the state of the health care system with the goal of providing healthcare professionals and caregivers the inspiration and practical tools to reclaim their sense of purpose.
The book begins with an evaluation of the current system from the perspective of the spiritual vision that initially motivated and nourished many caregivers. The authors then pose a vision of a health care system that supports and nurtures the spirituality of patients and their families, of which some elements already exist.
An overview is provided on the preparation necessary for health care professionals to offer spiritual care when there are major implications—for people with chronic illnesses, psychiatric issues, devastating injuries, and those preparing for surgery, facing death, and those living with chronic pain. Also explored are ways that health professionals and caregivers can maintain their own spiritual health even as they work to bring about healing, comfort, and solace to others.
Woven throughout the book are the personal narratives of physicians, nurses, chaplains, health care educators, community resource workers, administrators, therapists, and psychologists—all from a wide range of religious traditions. Their examples inspire and assist professionals in renewing the spiritual focus of health care.
Spiritual Evolution: Scientists Discuss Their Beliefs describes the intellectual and emotional journeys traveled by esteemed scientists worldwide. Authors share the personal steps they have taken to blend an understanding of the Divine with their scientific perspectives.
Charles Birch, S. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Larry Dossey, Owen Gingerich, Peter E. Hodgson, Stanley L. Jaki, Arthur Peacocke, John Polkinghorne, Russell Stannard, and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker offer accounts of their spirituality and scientific inquiry. Noting the impact of religious upbringing, academic and spiritual mentors, personal devotional practice, and study, these authors make a compelling case for the blending of both scientific and spiritual worlds. They share insights that keep them attending church, engaging in prayer, and continuing the search to understand the Infinite.
Spiritual Information is a collection of one hundred essays that explore a portion of the vast interdisciplinary approaches to the study of science and religion. Individually and together, the essays show how the study of ourselves, our planet, and the universe helps us understand our place as spiritual beings within God’s universe.
The book is a tribute to Sir John Templeton and his pioneering commitment toward new research that results in “one hundredfold more spiritual information than humankind has ever possessed before.” It begins with essays that reflect on Sir John’s principal domains of interest and expertise: free-enterprise based finance and accelerating spiritual progress.
Themes of the sections are:
•Cosmology, Physics, and Astronomy
•Mathematics, Musicology, and Speculation
•Biological Evolution—the Human Being
•Social Evolution—the Human Mind and Heart
•Religion and Health
•The Nature of the Divine
•Theology and Philosophy
“Sir John’s leadership has enabled us to edge ever closer to the frontier where knowledge meets wisdom at the threshold of ‘ultimate reality,’” notes the editor in the preface to this volume. As Spiritual Information presents an overview of how far we have come in the science and religion dialogue, it also opens windows to the vast possibilities for additional research and further advances in spiritual information.
During the Middle Ages, philosophers and theologians argued over the extramental reality of universal forms or essences. In the early modern period, the relation between subjectivity and objectivity, the individual self and knowledge of the outside world, was a rich subject of debate. Today, there is considerable argument about the relation between spontaneity and determinism within the evolutionary process, whether a principle of spontaneous self-organization as well as natural selection is at work in the aggregation of molecules into cells and the development of primitive forms of life into complex organisms. In Subjectivity, Objectivity and Intersubjectivity, Joseph A. Bracken proposes that what is ultimately at stake here is the age-old problem of the relationship between the One and the Many, universality and particularity on different levels of existence and activity within nature.
Bracken rejects traditional models of this relationship, wherein either the One or the Many is presupposed to have priority over the other. He instead suggests that a new social ontology—one that is grounded in a theory of universal intersubjectivity—protects both the concrete particularity of individual entities in their specific relations to one another and their enduring corporate reality as a stable community or environment within Nature.
What emerges is a bold reimagining of the sometimes strained relationship between religion and science. Bracken's clear writing, sophisticated philosophical analysis, and exemplary scholarship will lend this new work an enthusiastic appreciation by readers with deep interests in philosophy and philosophical theology.
Ursula Groll relates the metaphysical thought of Emanuel Swedenborg to current New Paradigm science, especially to the interface of science and spirituality. By providing extensive excerpts from Swedenborg's works and drawing parallels between his visionary insights and the works of philosophers and physicists such as David Bohm, Fritjof Capra, Rupert Sheldrake, and Albert Einstein, Groll shows how Swedenborg's voyage of discovery led him increasingly from the great to the small, from the outer to the inner, until he discovered the mirror of the universe, the seat of the Divine as the source of truth.
Technology is changing all the time, but does it also have the ability to change us and the way we approach religion and spirituality? In Technology and Religion: Remaining Human in a Co-created World, Noreen Herzfeld examines this and other provocative questions as she provides an accessible and fascinating overview of the relationship between religion and the ever-broadening world of technology.
In order to consider fully a topic as wide as technology, Herzfeld approaches the field from three different angles: technologies of the human body—such as genetic engineering, stem cells, cloning, pharmaceutical technologies, mechanical enhancement and cyborgs; technologies of the human mind—like human and artificial intelligence, virtual reality and cyberspace; and technologies of the external environment—such as nanotechnology, genetically modified crops and new agricultural technologies, and energy technology. She takes a similarly broad approach to the field of religion, focusing on how these issues interface with the three Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Throughout, readers will find nuanced examinations of the moral and ethical issues surrounding new technologies from the perspectives of these faith traditions.
The result is a multifaceted look at the ongoing dialogue between these two subjects that are not commonly associated with one another. This volume is the third title published in the new Templeton Science and Religion Series.
Our attempts to understand the world around us are greatly advanced by scientific research, which holds nearly unlimited potential to address our questions of what? and how? Some scientific fields, however, seem to take a hands-off approach to the big question of why? Why does the universe work the way it does? Why do our brains make us think certain thoughts or feel certain sensations? Why did we evolve the way we did? Some fundamental scientific understanding is necessary before one can venture too deeply into these types of inquiries, which almost inevitably involve larger philosophical and theological implications. The Templeton Science and Religion Reader invites readers to explore some of these fascinating questions and offers them the kind of knowledge they’ll need in order to seriously consider possible answers.
In the Templeton Science and Religion Series, scientific experts from a wide range of fields have distilled their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. The series was launched in 2008 with the publication of the inaugural volume, Medicine, Religion, and Health. Since that time, the series editors J. Wentzel van Huyssteen and Khalil Chamcham have expanded it to nine titles covering everything from paleontology to neuroscience to technology. Now, in The Templeton Science and Religion Reader, the editors have gathered together the very best chapters from these volumes into a single edited collection.
These chapters presuppose no scientific background and are designed to be accessible to the general reader. Each section may have a different focus—a quantum, a star in a galaxy, a bee, or the seat of human intelligence, which some may call the soul—but the editors have done a great service to the reader by juxtaposing these subjects in a way that suggests how each one relates to other entities, including both its own kind and the wider global environment. The end result is a truly cohesive collection that will both broaden and deepen our understanding of these interconnected relations and, in turn, the world around us.
Contributors include Denis R. Alexander, Justin L. Barrett, R. J. Berry, Warren S. Brown, Noreen Herzfeld, Malcom Jeeves, Harold G. Koenig, Javier Leach, Joseph Silk, and Ian Tattersall.
Candy Gunther Brown Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress BR1644.7.B76 2012 | Dewey Decimal 234.131
Drawing on medical records, surveys of prayer recipients, prospective clinical trials, and multiyear follow-up observations and interviews, Brown shows that the widespread perception of prayer’s healing power has demonstrable social effects which can in some cases produce improvements in health that can be scientifically verified.
Thus far, the dominant paradigms through which modern scientists have viewed nature have been structured primarily around Newtonian and Darwinian approaches. As theoretical ecologist Robert E. Ulanowicz observes in his new work, A Third Window, neither of these models is sufficient for explaining how real change—in the form of creative advance or emergence—takes place in nature.
The metaphysical foundations laid by these great thinkers centuries ago are ill suited to sustain today's search for a comprehensive description of complex living systems. Ecosystem dynamics, for example, violate each and every one of the Newtonian presuppositions. Hence, Ulanowicz offers his titular "third window"—a new way of understanding evolution and other natural processes beyond the common mechanistic or materialistic philosophies of nature. Drawing on the writings of Walter Elsasser, Karl Popper, Gregory Bateson, Robert Rosen, and Alfred North Whitehead, as well as his own experience as a theoretical ecologist, Ulanowicz offers a new set of axioms for how nature behaves. Chance and disarray in natural processes are shown to be necessary conditions for real change. Randomness is shown to contribute richness and autonomy to the natural world.
The metaphysical implications of these new axioms will lend A Third Window a wide appeal not only among scientists, but also among philosophers, theologians, and general readers who follow the science and religion dialogue. Ulanowicz's fresh perspective adds a new voice to the discussion.
Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics: Toward a Union of Love and Knowledge addresses the complex issues of dialogue and collaboration between Buddhism and science, revealing connections and differences between the two. While assuming no technical background in Buddhism or physics, this book strongly responds to the Dalai Lama’s “heartfelt plea” for genuine collaboration between science and Buddhism. The Dalai Lama has written a foreword to the book and the Office of His Holiness will translate it into both Chinese and Tibetan.
In a clear and engaging way, this book shows how the principle of emptiness, the philosophic heart of Tibetan Buddhism, connects intimately to quantum nonlocality and other foundational features of quantum mechanics. Detailed connections between emptiness, modern relativity, and the nature of time are also explored. For Tibetan Buddhists, the profound interconnectedness implied by emptiness demands the practice of universal compassion. Because of the powerful connections between emptiness and modern physics, the book argues that the interconnected worldview of modern physics also encourages universal compassion. Along with these harmonies, the book explores a significant conflict between quantum mechanics and Tibetan Buddhism concerning the role of causality.
The book concludes with a response to the question: "How does this expedition through the heart of modern physics and Tibetan Buddhism—from quantum mechanics, relativity, and cosmology, to emptiness, compassion, and disintegratedness—apply to today's painfully polarized world?" Despite differences and questions raised, the book's central message is that there is a solid basis for uniting these worldviews. From this basis, the message of universal compassion can accompany the spread of the scientific worldview, stimulating compassionate action in the light of deep understanding—a true union of love and knowledge.
Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics will appeal to a broad audience that includes general readers and undergraduate and graduate students in science and religion courses.
What is time? Is there a link between objective knowledge about time and subjective experience of time? And what is eternity? Does religion have the answer? Does science?
Internationally known scholar Antje Jackelén investigates the problem and concept of time. Her study draws on her experiences in the Continental-European science and religion dialogue, with a particular focus on the German, Scandinavian, and Anglo-American dialogues. Her analysis of the subject includes:
•The notion of time and eternity as it is narrated through Christian hymn books stemming from Germany, Sweden, and the English-speaking world, with insights into changes of the concept and understanding of time in Christian spirituality over the past few decades
•Theological approaches to time and eternity, as well as a look at Trinitarian theology and its relation to time
•The discussion of scientific theories of time, including Newtonian, relativistic, quantum, and chaos theories
•The formulation of a "theology of time," a theological-mathematical model incorporating relational thinking oriented toward the future, the doctrine of trinity, and the notion of eschatology
Controversial megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll proclaimed from a conference stage in 2013, “I know who made the environment and he’s coming back and going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV.” The comment, which Driscoll later explained away as a joke, highlights what has been a long history of religious anti-environmentalism. Given how firmly entrenched this sentiment has been, surprising inroads have been made by a new movement with few financial resources, which is deeply committed to promoting green religious traditions and creating a new environmental ethic.
To Care for Creation chronicles this movement and explains how it has emerged despite institutional and cultural barriers, as well as the hurdles posed by logic and practices that set religious environmental organizations apart from the secular movement. Ellingson takes a deep dive into the ways entrepreneurial activists tap into and improvise on a variety of theological, ethical, and symbolic traditions in order to issue a compelling call to arms that mobilizes religious audiences. Drawing on interviews with the leaders of more than sixty of these organizations, Ellingson deftly illustrates how activists borrow and rework resources from various traditions to create new meanings for religion, nature, and the religious person’s duty to the natural world.
The Universe and I: Where Science & Spirituality Meet offers scholar and theologian George F. Dole’s thought-provoking insights on the dynamic nature of the ongoing science and religion debate. Why are we here? Where are we headed? Dole argues that to understand these questions, we need not only the grounding of science but also the insights of spirit.
As experts continue to work out the relationship between cosmology and human evolution, Dole, who has spent a lifetime making sense of the spiritual world, joins the conversation with a clarity that only he can provide. Shaped primarily as a response to the scientific community, he engages with a wide spectrum of thinkers, including Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, and eighteenth-century polymath Emanuel Swedenborg, just to name a few.
Accessing a wealth of knowledge from across a wide variety of disciplines—philosophy, religion, biology, physics, and more—Dole presents his own model for our physical and spiritual existence. Starting with what we don’t know and what we can observe about the fundamentals of existence, Dole explores “the creative tension between differentiation and integration”—the drive to be individual and yet be united to a greater whole, a tension whose persistent progress since the Big Bang has brought about such gifts as the emergence of life and consciousness.
Dole not only presents us with the empirical evidence of science but also provides us with a first-person understanding of the spiritual dimension and how it might inform the way we consider those grand speculations on the meaning of the universe and of life. Reflecting on how life began leads to questions of how we will continue to advance humanity and goodwill for all—both as a species and as individuals striving for personal growth.
Asking the question “How can I, infinitesimal I, have the gall to regard myself as significant in the context of the universe?”, Dole embarks on a journey that spans the life of the universe itself, making every effort along the way to answer this question—for all of us.
Each world faith tradition has its own distinctive relationship with science, and the science-religion dialogue benefits from a greater awareness of what this relationship is. In this book, members of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) offer international and multi-faith perspectives on how new discoveries in science are met with insights regarding spiritual realities.The essays reflect the conviction that “religion and science each proceed best when they’re pursued in dialogue with each other, and also that our fragmented and divided world would benefit more from a stronger dialogue between science and religion.”
In Part One, George F. R. Ellis, John C. Polkinghorne, and Holmes Rolston III, each a Templeton Prize winner, discuss their views on why the science and religion dialogue matters. They are joined in Part Two by distinguished theologians Fraser Watts and Philip Clayton, who place the dialogue in an international context; John Polkinghorne’s inaugural address to the ISSR in 2002 is also included. In Part Three, five members of the ISSR look at the distinctive relationships of their faiths to science:
•Carl Feit on Judaism
•Munawar Anees on Islam
•B.V. Subbarayappa on Hinduism
•Trinh Xuan Thuan on Buddhism
•Heup Young Kim on Asian Christianity
George Ellis, the recently elected second president of ISSR, summarizes the contributions of his colleagues. Ronald Cole-Turner then concludes the book with a discussion of the future of the science and religion dialogue.