Cover image for The rebirth of nature : the greening of science and God
The rebirth of nature : the greening of science and God
Sheldrake, Rupert.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, 1991.
Physical Description:
xii, 260 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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BL65.N35 S44 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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One of the world's foremost biologists revolutionizes scientific thinking with his vision of a living, developing universe with its own inherent memory. In THE REBIRTH OF NATURE, Rupert Sheldrake urges us to move beyond the centuries-old mechanistic view of nature, explaining why we can no longer regard the world as inanimate and purposeless. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

Author Notes

Rupert Sheldrake is the former director of studies in biochemistry and cell biology at Cambridge University. He lives in London.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Sheldrake, a biochemist with a philosophical and theological bent, has a unique and creative view of the universe. One of his previous books, A New Science of Life [BKL Jl 82], introduced the morphic field hypothesis that suggests that "invisible regions of influence," including a sort of collective unconscious for each aspect of nature, guide nature's growth and evolution. Here Sheldrake continues to pursue the implications of this Jungian vision in terms of religion and science and how it can change our perception and treatment of the earth. In a deft summation of the ways civilization has taken us away from our ancestor's animistic view of the world, Sheldrake questions the assumptions that unchanging laws of nature exist, or that the concept of God can't include a sense of sacredness in nature. He reasons that if evolution is the path life follows and we are part of nature, our beliefs will also evolve, enabling us to change and survive. A beautifully written, deeply felt, and sinuously argued challenge to many habits of thought. ~--Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Penicillin crystallizes the way it does, not because of timeless mathematical laws, but because it ``crystallized that way before . . . following habits established through repetition,'' claims British biochemist Sheldrake. His controversial theory of ``morphic resonance'' holds that self-organizing systems--molecules, crystals, cells, organisms, societies--respond to invisible regions of influence. He ransacks ideas from Greek animism to pagan polytheism to Darwin's embrace of the concept of Mother Nature as a vast, spontaneous creative process as counterweight to classical physics, which sees the world as a cause-and-effect machine. Sheldrake believes that the mechanistic outlook, coupled with the technological conquest of nature, is killing humankind and the planet. Extending the ideas he advanced in The Presence of the Past , he boldly argues that even the laws of nature may themselves be evolving, and that God might be ``a living, evolutionary cosmos.'' This frontal asault on conventional science embodies a radical rethinking of humanity's place in the scheme of things. Photos. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The author of A New Science of Life ( LJ 5/15/82) and The Presence of the Past ( LJ 3/1/88) rediscusses and extends concepts introduced in those titles, including the idea of ``morphic fields,'' which supposedly can account for aspects of evolution. This new work is even more unorthodox--some might say outrageous--as Sheldrake attempts to combine scientific, religious, and even mystical views. He firmly believes that nature is alive and bills his book as a rebuttal to Bill McKibben's The End of Nature ( LJ 10/1/89). However, the latter has a more solid scientific basis, while Sheldrake's ideas are on the fringe.-- Joseph Hannibal, Cleveland Museum of Natural History (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.