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John Polkinghorne is a major figure in today's debates over the compatibility of science and religion. Internationally known as both a theoretical physicist and a theologian-the only ordained member of the Royal Society-Polkinghorne brings unique qualifications to his inquiry into the possibilities of believing in God in an age of science. In this thought-provoking book, the author focuses on the collegiality between science and theology, contending that these "intellectual cousins" are both concerned with interpreted experience and with the quest for truth about reality. He argues eloquently that scientific and theological inquiries are parallel.The book begins with a discussion of what belief in God can mean in our times. Polkinghorne explores a new natural theology and emphasizes the importance of moral and aesthetic experience and the human intuition of value and hope. In other chapters, he compares science's struggle to understand the nature of light with Christian theology's struggle to understand the nature of Christ. He addresses the question, Does God act in the physical world? And he extends his ideas about the role of chaos theory, surveys the prospects for future dialogue between scientific and theological thinkers, and defends a critical realist understanding of the activities of both disciplines. Polkinghorne concludes with a consideration of the nature of mathematical truths and the links between the complementary realities of physical and mental experience.
Reality is multi-layered, asserts the Reverend John Polkinghorne, and in this insightful book he explores various dimensions of the human encounter with reality. Through a well-reasoned and logical process, Polkinghorne argues that reality consists not only of the scientific processes of the natural world but also the personal dimension of human nature and its significance. He offers an integrated view of reality, encompassing a range of insights deriving from physics' account of causal structure, evolutionary understanding of human nature, the unique significance of Jesus of Nazareth, and the human encounter with God.
In this captivating book, one of the most highly regarded scientist-theologians of our time offers a thought-provoking exploration of the interaction between science and theology. John Polkinghorne defends the place of theology in the university, discusses the role of revelation in religion, and focuses closely on reconciling what science can say about the processes of the universe with theology's belief in a God active within creation.
In this engaging book, a leading scientist-theologian draws on ideas from science, scripture, and theology to address the question of hope and disillusionment found in the bible and other sources.
Quantum Theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton. This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub-atomic world. It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries. The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a Mathematical Appendix for those desiring stronger fare. Uncertainty, probabilistic physics, complementarity, the problematic character of measurement, and decoherence are among the many topics discussed.
"As someone who's both a scientist and an Anglican priest, I've been concerned with trying to understand how the scientific and religious views of the world relate to each other. Do we have to choose between them or are they, instead, complementary understandings that, seen together, give us a fuller picture than either on their own would provide? I find the best way to sort out what I really think is to try to write it down. The late Bishop John Robinson once said to me that he couldn't think without a pen in his hand, and I knew exactly what he meant. In consequence, I've written six books on different aspects of this question. Now I've decided it would be useful to try to provide an overview that surveyed the whole scene, rather than concentrating on this or that particular feature of it, as my earlier books have done. At the same time, it gives me the chance to try to set out the main lines of the argument without having to reproduce all the detailed discussion that I've gone into previously. I do a fair amount of speaking on these issues, and I always greatly enjoy the discussion period that normally follows a lecture. This experience has given me some idea of what the main questions are in people's minds, and what are the most helpful insights to offer them. I actually think that we need both science and religion, and that they have many important things to say to each other. I hope this short book may help others to share in such a conversation."
John Polkinghorne, an international figure known both for his contributions to the field of theoretical elementary particle physics and for his work as a theologian, has over the years filled a bookshelf with writings devoted to specific topics in science and religion. In this new book, he undertakes for the first time a survey of all the major issues at the intersection of science and religion, concentrating on what he considers the essential insights for each. Clearly and without assuming prior knowledge, he addresses causality, cosmology, evolution, consciousness, natural theology, divine providence, revelation, and scripture. Each chapter also provides references to his other books in which more detailed treatments of specific issues can be found. For those who are new to what Polkinghorne calls "one of the most significant interdisciplinary interactions of our time," this volume serves as an excellent introduction. For readers already familiar with John Polkinghorne's books, this latest is a welcome reminder of the breadth of his thought and the subtlety of his approach in the quest for truthful understanding.