Cover image for The far-future universe : eschatology from a cosmic perspective
The far-future universe : eschatology from a cosmic perspective
Ellis, George F. R. (George Francis Rayner)
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : Templeton Foundation Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
ix, 384 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
"The present book about events all the way at the end of time grew out of a symposium sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation under the aegis of its Humble Approach Initiative"--Pref.
Subject Term:

Added Corporate Author:
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB981 .F175 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Will our universe continue to expand 100 billion years from now? Does human life and all intelligence inevitably come to an end as the universe evolves? Could our present space be converted catastrophically in to a new kind of space governed by different physical laws? Can we construct a theology of the future universe? Would the continuation of the universe for eternity be a good thing? The Far-Future Universe presents eighteen provocative essays offering speculations on various scenarios for the future, from the perspectives of cosmology, physics, biology, humanity and theology. Other contributors consider global time, artificial intelligence, religious ideas about the end of the world, and the nature of existence. Stimulating, challenging and exciting, these visions of the far future are a starting point for further reflection and speculation.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

How might religious descriptions of an afterlife, the age to come or eternity be interpreted in terms of current scientific knowledge and speculation about the long-term future of humanity and the universe? This collection brings together theologians, philosophers and scientists (most of them physicists) to discuss the significance of cosmic time-scales which, for the future as well as the past, seem to dwarf the human horizon. Several of the best-known writers on such topics, including John Barrow, Paul Davies, Robert John Russell and Freeman Dyson, are represented here-the latter by both his 1979 paper "Time Without End" and a new response to recent critics. Theologian Jergen Moltmann, aiming to "turn the subject upside down," contributes an authoritative but innovative discussion of the themes and implications of Christian eschatology for the future of the universe. Anthologies produced from conference proceedings-this time co-sponsored by the Templeton Foundation and the Vatican Observatory-are not unusual in the theology-and-science field. But this collection is stronger than most due to the quality of the individual pieces and the fairly well-defined topic. One limitation of this format is that most essays reflect the contributors' initial perspectives, rather than any ensuing exchange of ideas or clarification of terms. Readers interested in how different viewpoints might cohere or conflict will largely have to tie the loose ends together themselves. Still, this is a valuable contribution to the growing literature on theology and science. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

This scholarly work consists of 18 essays on eschatology, i.e., the far-off future of the universe. Although significant work has gone into studying the origin of the universe, far less time has been spent contemplating the fate of the universe tens or hundreds of billions of years from now. The essays in this fascinating book begin to fill that gap. The contributions by preeminent scientists and theologians consider the physical fate of the universe, the fate of biological organisms and intelligence, the fate of humanity, and metaphysical and theological thoughts on the future. Of particular interest are two essays by Freeman Dyson, a good but short summary of cosmological models and their implications for the future, summaries of the eschatological thoughts of various world religions, and interesting discussions of the limits and future of life and intelligence. Although most essays are accessible to graduates or very advanced undergraduates in any field, a few require an advanced background in physics and mathematics. An excellent introduction and summary of current thoughts on the far-future fate of the universe for a graduate or research library. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students; faculty. E. M. Murphy University of Virginia