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Reconstructing Nature: The Engagement of Science and Religion (Glasgow Gifford Lectures) Paperback – April 20, 2000

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Product Details

  • Series: Glasgow Gifford Lectures
  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (April 20, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0397508174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0397508174
  • ASIN: 019513706X
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,711,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Excellent treatment, particularly in avoiding simplistic essentializing characterizations of both religion and science."--Richard Payne, Graduate Theological Union

About the Author

John Brooke is at University of Lancaster. Geoffrey Cantor is at University of Leeds.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Reconstructing Nature: The engagement of science and religion, by John Hedley Brooke and Geoffrey Cantor, T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1998, 396 ff.

John Hedley Brooke and Geoffrey Cantor are both Professors of the History of Science: Brooke formerly at the Universities of Lancaster and Oxford and now at Durham; Cantor at the University of Leeds. Given their specialisms, it is no surprise that this book deals with the science and religion debate from a historical perspective. The book is a written form of the 1995-6 Gifford Lectures delivered at the University of Glasgow. As lectures delivered under the bequest of Adam, Lord Gifford, the main thrust of the volume is Natural Theology - an attempt to justify the existence and work of God as Creator and Designer of the universe in rational and scientific terms.

In the first two chapters, there is more detail than is usually readily accessible concerning the views of Copernicus, Newton and Descartes regarding the structure of the heavens and planetary orbits; the evolutionary theories of Cuvier, Lamarck and Darwin; the positivism of Auguste Comte and its consequences; and the significance of the geology of Charles Lyell.

In Chapter Three, there is some sharp criticism of the historical stance of authors such as Paul Davies and Bryan Appleyard, and even more swingeing criticism of Fritjof Capra's "Tao of Physics" as `one of the canonical texts of the New Age movement' - a book the authors describe as a 'historical romance'! The authors query whether Davies, Appleyard and Capra have ever pursued historical research and thereby accuse them of Reconstructing History (Section II). There are many of us in trouble if these are to be grounds for rejecting commonly held views on interpretation of the history of science.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Review from The Tablet (31 Oct 1998): "The interactionof Christianity and science is more often than not discussed in a historical vacuum. Reconstructing Nature is, therefore, an unusual and stimulating exercise which surveys the interaction over the last 500 years. It produces new insights and challenges some widely held assumptions."
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