Cover image for God for the 21st century
God for the 21st century
Stannard, Russell.
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : Templeton Foundation Press ; London : SPCK, [2000]

Physical Description:
ix, 194 pages ; 23 cm
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BL240.2 .G62 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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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 Genetic engineering Faith and medicine The mind and the soul Quantum physics

Author Notes

Russell Stannard is emeritus professor of physics at the Open University, the United Kingdom's largest university. Besides contributing to the science/religion dialogue himself, he has written best-selling books introducing children to modern science, and is a well-known television and radio broadcaster.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The Templeton Foundation, known for sponsoring the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, also encourages friendly conversations between religion and science. This anthology offers 48 brief essays from scientists, theologians, physicians, science writers and educators, invited by Stannard to comment on "the way our thinking should be revised in the light of what is known at the dawn of the twenty-first century." The better-known contributors include Paul Davies, Robert Jastrow, Mary Midgley and John Polkinghorne, who appear alongside familiar science-and-religion authors Ted Peters, Robert Russell and Arthur Peacocke. Topics include cosmic origins, evolution, mind and body, spirituality and medicine, our place in the universe and reading God's activity in nature. Stannard's collection is intentionally broad, although physics and cosmology are better represented than biology and psychology, and Christian perspectives dominate a discussion that also contains a few pieces from other religious traditions. Because the essays are addressed to a general readership, the authors set aside technical details and discursive arguments in favor of summaries and illustrations, bringing out a personal directness and warmth that are often lacking in more formal presentations. For readers who follow science-and-religion issues, the collection has the appeal and limitations of a sampler: its range of flavors, including a few distinctive pieces, compensates for its tiny portions and occasional bland items. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved