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Far-Future Universe Hardcover – November 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press; First Edition edition (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890151904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890151904
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,971,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

George F. R. Ellis is as widely respected for his anti-apartheid Quaker activism as for his contributions to cosmology. For the past decade, he has been a professor of applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town while lecturing throughout the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. The many prizes he has been awarded include the Star of South Africa Medal, which was presented to him in 1999 by President Nelson Mandela. Co-author with Stephen W. Hawking of The Large Scale Structure of Space Time (1973), he has also written more than 200 scientific papers and eight major books.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By xiongmao on September 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A fine collection of papers on a topic of great importance that receives strangely little attention: the relationship between eschatology and the scientific view of the future of the universe. I agree with the review from publisher's weekly: the book is a collection of separate papers and does not yet attempt a synthesis. But it does provide some excellent "raw-material" for a dialogue that has only just begun.
The book is divided into five parts, each of which containing a few chapters: 1. the introductory part; 2. a part concentrating on the physics and the scientific aspects of the future of the universe, with contributions by leading scientists J.D. Barrow, P. Davies, M. Heller, and M. Rees; 3. biology: this part contains a reprint of F. Dyson's well-known paper "time without end", in which Dyson argues that conscious life may be able to continue indefinitely into the future, as well as a fine paper by S. Conway Morris on evolutionary convergence, its link to the physical universe, and possible implications for eschatology; 4. humanity: concentrates on the repercussions of both scientific and religious views of the future of the universe for humanity, contemporary culture and everyday life - personally, I didn't find this part particularly enriching; 5. theology: contains papers by K. Ward, J. Moltmann, R.J. Russell, and G.F.R. Ellis. I particularly liked the last two chapters. R.J. Russell is one of the leading thinkers in science-eschatology and has some good advice of how the insights and methodologies of both science and theology may lead to a fruitful encounter.
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