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Light from the East (Theology and the Sciences) (Theology & the Sciences) Paperback – September 5, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0800634995 ISBN-10: 0800634993

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Product Details

  • Series: Theology & the Sciences
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press (September 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800634993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800634995
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alexei V. Nesteruk is a researcher in cosmology and quantum physics in the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth, England, and a research associate in the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge, England.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Elliot B. Bougis on November 20, 2007
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Nesteruk goes through a number of major issues in big science to show how each one ends up at an antinomy (Kantian style) which can only be "resolved" by seeing the tension itself as a divinely mandated pointer towards the diaphora in all creation. The universe, in other words, points to God not only because it is coherent, but also because it is incoherent (in se); as these two premises clash antinomically, they point even deeper to the very nature of Nature as diaphoric (split) between realities manifest to dianoia (natural, empirical reason) and the logoi, rooted in God, known by the nous by grace. To read this book more profitably, it will help to have a fair grasp of Orthodox theology and Kant's legacy.

I found the structure of the book a bit dizzying at times, until I "got it" a few chapters in: it's a set up job (but not a straw man), like one chapter-long article from a scholastic manual. "It would seem that creation is not a divine work since it manifests the following antinomy." "On the contrary, creation is a divine work because the antinomy indicates the diaphora (Greek: difference, split) in creation as a contingent work from a Divine source." Each antinomy gets a chapter, after some introductory chapters on the history of science in the West and a dense grounding in Orthodox metaphysics. At times, this book bent my head. Hooray!

Nesteruk has provided a fine resource for the philosophy of science to have a crack at. Very appealing was Nesteruk's emphasis on science as a form of worship (Nesteruk being a theoretical physicist and all modes of life being properly subsumed by their theo-logical foundation). Alas, I feel his dismissal of S. Jaki's and R. Hooykas as idealistic in their treatment of history was off-base. But no book is perfect.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Holter on August 11, 2009
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Although there seems to be an increase in interest in Eastern Orthodoxy, there is very little understanding that this view of Christianity is indeed as far as the east is from the west.

This book bridges the gap in thinking and practice of Eastern Christianity where the subject of science is concerned, and is a decent primer of the thought process and practice of Eastern Orthodoxy as it intersects with western thought especially the compartmentalism and reductionism of science. It begins the dialogue and path to understand that Eastern Orthodoxy is much more concerned with verified truth, truthful practice and personal responsibility than with method and opinion.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Light From The East: Theology, Science, And The Eastern Orthodox Tradition by Alexei V. Nesteruk (a researcher in cosmology and quantum physics), presents a new perspective on the conflicts between science and religion. Revealing unique contributions from the Orthodox tradition of Greek Patristic thought that apply to human understanding of God in our world in a way that Western traditions do perceive as adroitly, Light From The East persuasively addresses a vision of harmony between Orthodox vision and cosmology that incorporates the irreversibility of Time, humanity as universal hypostasis, and more. A highly erudite and complex discussion, Light From The East is a welcome and recommended addition to Religious Studies collections and Christian Theology reading lists.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Edward M. Freeman on November 14, 2009
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Author Alexei Nesteruk presents a hefty tome of 248 pages divided into seven chapters in this 2003 monograph from Augsburg Fortress, a Lutheran Press with principal offices in the USA. In addition to manuscript pages, footnotes that are collated by chapter occupy another 20 pages, followed by Latin and Eastern Patristics sources in translation organized by author, a bibliography of primary Orthodox texts, a separate general bibliography, and Index--in all another 39 pages appended to the manuscript.

The author is a philosopher of science and lecturer on faculty at the University of Portsmouth (UK). Nesteruk's monograph is one of 17 titles in the publisher's Theology and the Sciences series (led by general editor Kevin J. Sharpe). It earns critical acclaim along with other titles in the same series by exemplary theologians and philosophers such as Langdon Gilkey, Patricia A. Williams, and Ian Barbour.

Given the breadth of remarkable and provocative books in this publication series, I recommend what Nesteruk contributes vis-à-vis others in the same series. 'Light from the East' is singular among the lot in having entered "...the dialogue with science" on the scale of Christian Orthodoxy and not Western Christian theology (Preface, 1). Nevertheless, Nesteruk's contribution shares a handful of common themes addressed in other monographs in this series, such as H. Paul Santmire's approach to a Christian ecology and Samuel Powell's study of the Creation by relations among the Holy Trinity.

Bringing a secure Orthodox faith to his dialogic enterprise underscores how Nesteruk differentiates scientific and theological strands from Latin West and Byzantine East with the confident hand of an ancient mariner.
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Amazing grasp of Science, and philosophy, also the theoria and practical and experiential Theology of the Anient and modern East.
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