Stefan Einhorn Templeton Press, 2002 Library of Congress BL200.E3713 2002 | Dewey Decimal 291.211
Highly acclaimed in Sweden where it was first published in both hardcover and paperback editions, A Concealed God poses two intriguing questions:
•Does God truly exist?
•If so, is the concept of God logical and in agreement with the knowledge of the world that science has provided to date?
The God presented by most religions doesn't make sense in today's world; we have little room for miracles. Furthermore, there are irreconcilable aspects in the world's religions. Must we abandon our faith or belief in God? Perhaps not, says popular Swedish thinker Stefan Einhorn. We can behave as scientists do when they run experiments only to obtain contradictory results. They ask themselves whether there might not be a logical conclusion that binds all the results together and leads to the most probable explanation.
Einhorn hypothesizes that if God truly exists, then many different religions would have discovered this. He finds a common denominator in the concept of a hidden God in seven major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. But even with this shared belief, can we know if God exists? Did humankind create the idea of God to answer the unexplainable? What about evil and suffering, the absence of meaning in life, loneliness and insecurity? And most importantly, how do we search for a concealed God?
Most religions share common principles for the search for "that which is concealed," including meditation, contemplation, and prayer. Whatever route is chosen, the search for God may bring us some answers. Einhorn concludes that two themes are central to the search: one is that God is both concealed and simultaneously omnipresent; the other is that only with utter humility and an awareness of our inability to fully understand may we approach the divine.
In the end, there are no definite answers. But the search sheds light on the many paths to enlightenment offered by the world's religions.
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."
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,”
“ 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.
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.
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.