From Library Journal
If modern science, and evolution in particular, leads you to conclude that no personal God governs the universe, does that make you an atheist? No, replies Zygon editor Peters (philosophy and religion, emeritus, Rollins Coll.). In lieu of a personal God, he describes a "naturalistic theism, in which the sacred or divine is thought of as a system of nonpersonal processes within the natural world." In other words, the divine character of reality is expressed in the very forces of cosmic and biological evolution. Variations arise, and through the processes of nature some of these variations spawn new aspects of existence: reality is both designless and bubbling with creativity. God is not one with whom we dance; God is the dance itself. Whether this qualifies as theism is a matter of definition. There is little that is new here theologians such as John Cobb, Arthur Peacock, and Ted Peters have addressed the religious implications of science in more detail. Nonetheless, Peters's vibrant optimism and joy of life comes ringing forth from his science-based spirituality. Recommended for all libraries. Steve Young, McHenry Cty. Coll., Crystal Lake, IL
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Although the title of his book seems to suggest otherwise, it is the dance itself that is sacred in the naturalistic theism that Peters develops: the sacred isn't a dance partner; the sacred is the dance of life. Readers unfamiliar with naturalistic theism will find Peters' accessible style a good medium for becoming acquainted with it, particularly if they are interested in ways of thinking about the sacred that don't require personal images of God. Many may also find Peters' treatment of Darwin and evolutionary psychology helpful for thinking about relationships between religion and science. In developing his image of the sacred dance, Peters briefly introduces the thought of American philosopher C. S. Peirce and pursues process thought and Taoism at greater length. An excellent popular work on its subject, suitable to a broad range of readers. Steven Schroeder
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