Science and the Spiritual Quest: New Essays by Leading Scientists

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9780415257671: Science and the Spiritual Quest: New Essays by Leading Scientists

Addressing fundamental questions about life, death and the universe, Science and the Spiritual Questexamines the ways in which scientists negotiate the complex frontiers between their scientific and religious beliefs. Distinguished cosmologists, physicians, biologists and computer scientists of different faiths explore the connections between the domain of science and the realms of ethics, spirituality and the divine. Through essays and frank interviews, they offer honest, stimulating, and often intensely personal thoughts about life's most impenetrable mysteries. This unique volume presents radical new approaches to the religion/science debate and highlights the continued importance of the 'spiritual quest' in a world transformed by the developments of science.

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About the Author:

W. Mark Richardson teachers at General Theological Seminary in New York.
Robert John Russell is the founder and director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, and Professor of Theology and Science at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkley.
Phillip Clayton is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at California State University (Sonoma).
Kirk Wegter-McNelly is a doctoral student at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkley.

From Publishers Weekly:

These essays are actually interviews and talks from a 1997 meeting in Berkeley, Calif., for a new project called Science and the Spiritual Quest. This initial conference provided the opportunity for 60 leading scientists from around the world to discuss the intersections between their scientific practices and their understandings of religious traditions. Included are brief reflections by well-known scientists on their attempts to reconcile their own religious upbringing with their scientific work. Fields range from astronomy and molecular biology to psychiatry and computer science, and the religious backgrounds range from Muslim to Jewish to atheist. Astronomer Allan Sandage, for instance, contends that science and religion are separate closets in the same house, and that both must depend upon models to direct their understandings of the mysteries that lie behind reality. Molecular biologist Martinez J. Hewlett argues that investigations of material reality should be informed by, not at odds with, investigations of spiritual reality. In one of the collection's most helpful essays, philosopher Michael Ruse (Can a Darwinian Be a Christian?) challenges the writings of three contemporary Darwinians E.O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett by arguing that nothing in Darwinism absolutely forbids a belief in Christianity. Those familiar with the contemporary dialogue between scientists and theologians will find no new ground broken here. Those unfamiliar with this contemporary conversation will need to look elsewhere for insights, for the collection reads like what it is a group of scientists sitting around talking to themselves in a language that is often forbidding to outsiders.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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