From Publishers Weekly
One of the main thrusts of Polkinghorne's work as a physicist and theologian has been to rework the concept of divine intervention-often seen as problematic for science-into a model of God's continuous interaction with the world. Originally published in 1988, this overview of his approach has worn remarkably well. In a new preface for this edition, Polkinghorne makes connections to more recent work and suggests a few refinements to his arguments. But the book's framework remains unchanged. After building a general case that divine interaction with creation is compatible-at least in principle-with a scientific understanding of the world, Polkinghorne addresses more specific topics including prayer, miracles, the problem of evil, divine providence and God's relationship to time. Working from a relatively traditional theological stance, Polkinghorne openly acknowledges the puzzles and paradoxes intrinsic to the subject matter, but remains determined that "the necessity to do justice to Christian experience will lead us to struggle with the mystery." The brief chapters here do not provide a final word on these topics, even for Polkinghorne, who has since developed many of these ideas at greater length. But they provide an accessible and engaging point of entry to more detailed scientific, philosophical and theological discussions.
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About the Author
John C. Polkinghorne is an Anglican priest, a fellow of the Royal Academy past president of Queens’ College, Cambridge University, and former professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge. Polkinghorne resigned his chair in physics to study for the Anglican priesthood. After completing his theological studies and serving at parishes, he returned to Cambridge. In 1997, Dr. Polkinghorne was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for distinguished service to science, religion, learning, and medical ethics. He was the recipient of the 2002 Templeton Prize. He lives in Cambridge, United Kingdom.