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Religion and Science (Gifford Lectures Series) Paperback – August 2, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0060609382 ISBN-10: 0060609389 Edition: Rev Sub

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Product Details

  • Series: Gifford Lectures Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Rev Sub edition (August 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060609389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060609382
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[M]agisterial in scope, balanced in perspective, rich in detail, and full of intellectual passion. For a generation to come, anyone setting out to explore the subtle relationships between science, religion, ethics, and technology will begin with Barbour as the guide."--"Religious Studies Review" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ian G. Barbour has retired from Carleton College where he was professor of physics, professor of religion, and Bean Professor of Science, Technology, and Society. The "preeminent synthetic in the field" (Cross Currents,) he is the author of several influential books, including Ethics in an Age of Technology and Myths Models, and Paradigms, which was nominated for the National Book Award. He gave the world-renowned Gifford Lectures, 1989-1991.


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Customer Reviews

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See all 14 customer reviews
I'm retired now, reading some of the books I should have read before now.
William P. Shackleford, Jr.
This tome is a great work of erudition; It is well-written, engaging and thought-provoking.
Sabian
As a student of science/theology this is the best treatise i've seen on this subject.
Dr. Ros Dickison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sabian on July 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Religion and Science" is an in-depth philosophical discussion of religion and science. Ian Barbour's initial aim is to analyze the goals and methodologies of both science and religion - determining their similarities as well as their differences. The analysis is broad in scope and thorough in detail. Key scientific theories are examined and their metaphysical and theological implications are discussed. Different points of view are given fair consideration as the author takes the reader on an enlightening journey through a history of philosophical thought.

At issue here is what separates scientific truth from religious truth. To be sure the author goes to great lengths to answer this question and the reader will gain a plethora of insights along the way; however, the bottomline is this - namely, that science relies on objectivity while religion on subjectivity.

Is it possible to reconcile the objective truth with the subjective? Yes. How? Answer: "Process Thought."

What is Process Thought? Process Thought (or Process Philosophy as it is sometimes called) is a metaphysical system that views processes instead of irreducible particles or substances as the fundamental constituents of reality. It overcomes the duality of mind and matter by proposing a "dipolar Godhead" - one with both a physical as well as a mental pole. Moreover, it asserts that each process or event has both a mental and physical aspect. Dipolar Theism (the designated term for this viewpoint) "holds that the world is in God (panentheism), a view that neither identifies God with the world (pantheism) nor separates God from the world (theism)." "God includes the world but is more than the world." pg. 295.

Process Philosophy has important implications for both science and religion.
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Felton on May 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Whatever anyone thinks of "Religion and Science," it is clearly a definitive if not the definitive work on this subject because the book's references and discussion of them are extremely comprehensive, almost to the point of being mind-numbing!
I feel that the author does a far better job of explaining science and scientific methodologies than religion and its methodologies, though I do find it useful to consider religion and religious experiences in terms of normally scientific terms, which he defines as agreement with data, coherence, scope, and fertility.
I really enjoyed Chapter 7, entitled "Physics and Metaphysics." Mr. Barbour gives a very good presentation of the basic concepts of twentieth century physics, such as quantum theory, relativity, and chaos theory, and also presents some thought-provoking ideas about how modern physics can and cannot be related to religion, especially Eastern religions and mysticism. Barbour, with some validity, takes on books such as "The Tao of Physics," and criticizes what he feels is overstressing the similarities between physics and mysticism. Again, there are many references provided that are well worth further study.
As I stated above, I found the discussion of religion less appealing, precisely because it is far too intellectual, and is limited to what I will call "human-only" theses, and there are so many models and points of view presented I found it impossible to keep them straight.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Greg on October 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
In an era where many in the US believe the universe was made 6000 years ago and Adam and Eve walked alongside dinosaurs, and many religious believers are rejecting the theory of evolution (a keystone of modern science), there is a desperate need to bring religion and science into a better and more fruitful relationship.

The situation unfortunately is not helped with the rigid fanatacism on both sides of the fence, either with theologians who dismiss geology and biology because it contradicts the bible, or who reject advanced biotechnology because of medieval theories of the person, or by scientists like Richard Dawkins who try their best to use science as a hammer with which to smash down all religious systems and myths as worthless fictions which belong in the dustbin of history, and try to whitewash any possible influence religion and religious values may have to offer science or a scientific worldview.

Barbour offers in this work an impartial analysis of the relationship between religion and science and offers four basic modes of how the two human enterprises can relate to each other. While he does offer his own perspective, Barbour is rational in his arguments and avoids getting mired in pointless polemics against theological or scientific oppenents, and lets them be.

This book is of interest to any theologian, philosopher or scientist who is concerned about how religion and science relate to each other, especially in our turbulent times.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Ros Dickison on February 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Barbour is known for his expertise involving the connection between science and religion. As a student of science/theology this is the best treatise i've seen on this subject. It will serve very nicely as a textbook and for personal reading.It should be part of every library. It will definitely go down as a classic.
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