Belief in God in an Age of Science (The Terry Lectures by John Polkinghorne F.R.S. K.B.E.

By John Polkinghorne F.R.S. K.B.E.

An inquiry into the chances of believing in God in an age of technological know-how. the writer makes a speciality of the collegiality among technology and theology, contending that those "intellectual cousins" are either interested in interpreted event and with the search for fact approximately truth.

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Extra info for Belief in God in an Age of Science (The Terry Lectures Series)

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The first is a raw response to the resurrection of Jesus. )2 The impact of this vindication of Christ is such that Jesus is spoken of as Son of God, a title of great honour but not one, in Hebrew thought, that carried a necessary connotation of divinity, for it was applied in ancient Israel to the king.

The present work constitutes the forty-second volume published on this foundation. Page vii To the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge on its three hundredth anniversary 16981998 Page ix Contents Preface xi Acknowledgements xv Chapter One: Belief in God in an Age of Science 1 Chapter Two: Finding Truth: Science and Religion Compared 25 Chapter Three: Does God Act in the Physical World? 48 Chapter Four: The Continuing Dialogue Between Science and Religion 76 Chapter Five: Critical Realism in Science and Religion 101 Chapter Six: Mathematical Postscript 125 Index 131 Page xi Preface Five principal concerns have characterised activity in the past thirty years across the border between science and theology: a rejection of reductionism, partly based on an appeal to science's increasing recognition of the interconnected and holistic character of much physical process; an understanding of an evolutionary universe as being compatible with a theological doctrine of creatio continua; a revival of a cautiously revised form of natural theology; a methodological comparison of science and theology that exhibits their common concern with the attainment of understanding through the search for motivated belief; and speculations concerning how physical process might be sufficiently open to accommodate the acts of agents, both human and divine.

The splendid edifice of classical physics, of which Newton and Maxwell had been the chief architects, began to fall apart. Some useful temporary shelters were erected in the ruins by people like Niels Bohr, whose inspired tinkering with classical physics added quantum patches to cover gaping Newtonian holes. This afforded valuable insight but no permanently satisfactory solution. Meanwhile many physicists simply averted their Page 27 eyes from the distressful paradox of an entity that was sometimes a wave and sometimes a particle.

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