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A Science and Religion Primer Paperback – March 1, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The relationship between science and religion (SR) has often been portrayed as combative. However, the interface of the two disciplines is complex and nuanced, and they have much to learn from one another. A Science and Religion Primer welcomes readers to the SR dialogue. This helpful introductory work is simultaneously an encyclopedia, an annotated bibliography, and a survey. The book's stalwart advisory board consists of

Celia Deane-Drummond, University of Chester
Nancey Murphy, Fuller Theological Seminary
George F. R. Ellis, University of Cape Town
Peter Harrison, University of Oxford
Holmes Rolston III, Colorado State University
Craig A. Boyd, Azusa Pacific University

Four substantive introductory essays set the book's background. The second, and primary, section of the book provides an A-Z listing of almost 100 entries dealing with a variety of philosophical, historical, scientific, and theological concepts, individuals, or events related to the SR dialogue.

A Science and Religion Primer promotes a respectful, intelligent conversation between science and faith. It is an indispensable source in its own right and a springboard for more in-depth research.

"Heidi Campbell and Heather Looy have put together an excellent collection of essays on the relationship between science and religion, nicely mirroring the current reach of science and religion scholarship. Most of the articles are apt. Many are outstanding. This volume will serve as a very handy reference guide for both scholars and laypersons."--David C. Lindberg, Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"This new book by Campbell and Looy provides an excellent point of entry into the burgeoning international dialogue on science and religion. The introductory essays are from leaders in the field and will give newcomers a clear sense of the background issues that shape the current discussion."--F. LeRon Shults, professor of theology, University of Agder Institute for Religion, Philosophy, and History

About the Author

Heidi A. Campbell (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is associate professor of communication at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. She is the author of Exploring Religious Community Online and has written numerous articles and encyclopedia entries. Heather Looy (PhD, McMaster University) is professor of psychology at The King's University College in Alberta, Canada. She specializes in biopsychology and is an active researcher and writer. Both Campbell and Looy participated in the Sir John Templeton Oxford Seminars in Science and Christianity.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801031508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801031502
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #825,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Irfan A. Alvi VINE VOICE on May 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a "science and religion primer," this book aims to provide terminological definitions and introductory conceptual background for people who are interested in the interaction between science and religion. The book generally fulfills this aim, though the title is a bit misleading because "religion" here really means a fairly generic version of Christianity, with very little attention given to other religions.

Since this publisher is new to me, I did a little digging and found that "Baker Academic serves the academy and the church by publishing works that further the pursuit of knowledge and understanding within the context of Christian faith." This alerted me to the possibility of the book having a pro-Christian bias which would compromise its usefulness, so I was on the lookout for that, but I was pleased to find that the book is reasonably fair and objective. In fact, after reading the book cover to cover, it becomes apparent that there's quite a bit of controversy and confusion within Christianity itself, which thus weakens the Christian position. Another main conclusion is that the interaction between science and religion is a fertile territory to explore the big questions, and no form of dogmatism (scientism, religious fundamentalism, etc.) is appropriate here.

In terms of the format, the book consists of a short introduction, four short general essays on the science/religion interaction, and then the bulk of the book is ~90 entries dealing with topics such as altruism, Francis Bacon, causation, Charles Darwin, ecofeminism, fideism, Galileo, handmaiden metaphor, idealism, kenosis, laws of nature, materialism, naturalism, ontology, William Paley, quantum theory, realism, science, technology, and the verification principle.
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The Science-Religion Dialog is an increasingly popular topic today. It is not the shrill denunciation of everything religious that Richard Dawkins enunciates in The God Delusion, or the pathetic nonsense of biblical literalism, but rather the intellectually-defensible view that religion and science each have something to offer, but in different domains. Science deals with observable facts and their theoretical interpretation, while religion examines meaning and moral value. Stephen Jay Gould even went so far as to formulate the doctrine of Non-Overlapping Magisteria (from the Latin for teacher) to emphasize the separation. Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists) points out that many of the ideas and values of religion (education, community, ethics, art) import into the secular world independently of any commitment to a divine presence.
That said, science and religion in the contemporary era have much to offer each other. Cosmology has many definite findings (as well as some highly speculative ideas) about our universe: its finite age, for example. Readers with an interest in this dialog will find the A Science and Religion Primer a handy reference for identifying topics of scholarly debate and outlining the history of the rationalist analysis of ideas which originated in revealed religion.
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A well written introduction to the issues involved in the dialogue between science and faith.Makes a good text for small group discussion.
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Recieved the book VERY promptly. It's in great condition and was very well priced! Will definitely buy from you guys again :]
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