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We're closing in on the 150th anniversary of Darwin's Origin of Species, but clearly not closing in on any resolution of the debates that the book stirred up between science and religion. In this slim volume, physicist and theologian Ian Barbour summarizes his own decades-long accumulation of knowledge in these two arenas. Writing with clarity and a scientist's eye for organization, Barbour takes on the scientific and theological significance of the big questions: the big bang, quantum physics, Darwin and Genesis, human nature (the question of determinism), and the relationship between a free God and a law-bound universe. In each chapter, Barbour recognizes four possible ways of responding to the dilemmas posed by these topics: conflict, represented by Biblical literalists and atheists, both of whom agree that a person cannot believe in both God and evolution; independence, which asserts that "science and religion are strangers who can coexist as long as they keep a safe distance from each other"; dialogue, which invites a conversation between the two fields; and integration, which moves beyond dialogue to explore ways in which the two fields can inform each other. Barbour notes that his own sympathies lie with dialogue and integration.
Barbour won the 1999 Templeton Prize for his role in advancing the study of science and religion. "No contemporary has made a more original, deep, and lasting contribution toward the needed integration of scientific and religious knowledge and values," John Cobb has written of Barbour. This book is perhaps the best entry point into Barbour's work. --Doug Thorpe
This concise introduction to science-and-religion issues provides impressively well-balanced coverage of an increasingly complex family of topics in a single, accessible volume. As one of the better-known authors in the field, even prior to winning the 1999 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, Barbour has shown an almost unique ability to coax a "field" out of an unruly bunch of theologians, philosophers and scientists whose arguments often resist summary and synthesis. But this is exactly Barbour's goal as he guides readers through a four-fold typology of the science/religion relationshipDConflict, Independence, Dialogue and IntegrationDthat will be familiar to readers of his Religion in an Age of Science. Barbour's own sympathies are markedly on the side of dialogue and integration, but he makes an unusually successful effort to represent other perspectives in a fair light. Although the book's overall focus is on questions of method, it also manages to introduce readers to most of the topics of current science/religion dialogues. These include four areas based in the religious implications of specific sciences (cosmology, quantum theory, biological evolution and the sciences of "human nature") as well as the more general question of the relationship between God and nature. Barbour navigates with confidence through what has become a very wide literature, balancing coverage of essential "classical" sources (from Augustine to Kuhn) with the background necessary for reading more recent contributions to the field. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ian Graeme Barbour (1923- 2013) was an American scholar specializing on the relationship between science and religion, who taught at Carleton College beginning from 1955 until his... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steven H Propp
This book should be a must read for anyone who takes theology seriously, church leaders in particular. Read morePublished 10 months ago by R. Tucker
The book is very thought provoking and challenging. As a believer, it forces me to understand why I believe what I believe, even if I don't have ALL of the answers. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Michael Taylour
interesting book about how science and religion relate to each other. It gets technically complex in a few areas so if you are not familiar with quantum mechanics or classical... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Franklin Robinson
The product arrived in a timely manner and in good condition. The book was mandatory for my class, but turned out to be a good read to keep.Published on July 18, 2013 by carmen
Barbour is a smart, skillful writer who is clearly a theist and honestly doesn't seem to see his own bias. Read morePublished on June 3, 2013 by Paul Sellnow
I was under the impression that this book was nearly new. It is in that there are no torn pages, but there is writing in the book that I did not know was going to be there. Read morePublished on March 17, 2013 by Crystal
This critique of the book "When Science Meets Religion" by Ian Barbour must be rejected on the basis that Ian is nobler than any reviewer could ever be. Read morePublished on January 21, 2013 by John M. Hauck