Synopses & Reviews
In this captivating book, one of the most highly regarded scientist-theologians of our time explores aspects of the interaction of science and theology. John Polkinghorne defends the place of theology in the university (it is part of the human search for truth) and discusses the role of revelation in religion (it is a record of experience and not the communication of unchallengeable propositions). Throughout his thought-provoking conversation, Polkinghorne speaks with an honesty and openness that derives from his many years of experience in scientific research.
A central concern of Polkinghornes collection of writings is to reconcile what science can say about the processes of the universe with theologys belief in a God active within creation. The author examines two related concepts in depth. The first is the divine self-limitation involved in creation that leads to an important reappraisal of the traditional claim that God does not act as a cause among causes. The other is the nature of time and Gods involvement with it, an issue that Polkinghorne shows can link metascience and theological understandings. In the final section of the book, the author reviews three centuries of the science and theology debate and assesses the work of major contemporary contributors to the discussion: Wolfhart Pannenberg, Thomas Torrance, and Paul Davies. He also considers why the science-theology discussion has for several centuries been a particular preoccupation of the English.
I cant imagine anyone more qualified to write about science and theology than John Polkinghorne. This is a lively account of his intellectual and theological journey. Thomas Appelquist, Yale University
"A gentle discourse, very thoughtful and very English, on the relationship between physics and theology....Worthwhile and intelligent: Polkinghorne has the courage and the ambition to stroll onto a field where most would fear to tread. Kirkus Reviews
Polkinghorne is respected in the field of theology and science not only because of his credentials as a physicist and priest, but also because he is lucid writer who never uses interdisciplinary concepts as a smokescreen for sloppy thinking....Polkinghorne impresses with a rare combination of theological sensitivity and technical grasp of the scientific and metascientific issues involved. Publishers Weekly
An engaging discussion of an important, little understood disciplinary intersection as well as a congenial point of entry into Polkinghornes influential work. Booklist
Fascinating and engaging treatment in the interplay between physics and theology. Steven Norman, University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries
For those seeking a very accessible discussion of current issues in theology and science, albeit primarily physics, I highly recommend this book as well as Polkinghornes other books. He is the C. S. Lewis of our time in the science-theology dialogue. Eugene E. Selk, Theological Studies
About the Author
John Polkinghorne, K.B.E., F.R.S., is past president and now fellow of Queens College, Cambridge, and Canon Theologian of Liverpool, England. He is the author of many books, including Belief in God in an Age of Science.