The Open Secret: A New Vision for Natural Theology / Edition 1

The Open Secret: A New Vision for Natural Theology / Edition 1

by Alister E. McGrath
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1405126914

ISBN-13: 9781405126915

Pub. Date: 05/09/2008

Publisher: Wiley

Natural theology, in the view of many, is in crisis. In this long-awaited book, Alister McGrath sets out a new vision for natural theology, re-establishing its legitimacy and utility.

  • A timely and innovative resource on natural theology: the exploration of knowledge of God as it is observed through nature
  • Written by internationally regarded

Overview

Natural theology, in the view of many, is in crisis. In this long-awaited book, Alister McGrath sets out a new vision for natural theology, re-establishing its legitimacy and utility.

  • A timely and innovative resource on natural theology: the exploration of knowledge of God as it is observed through nature
  • Written by internationally regarded theologian and author of numerous bestselling books, Alister McGrath
  • Develops an intellectually rigorous vision of natural theology as a point of convergence between the Christian faith, the arts and literature, and the natural sciences, opening up important possibilities for dialogue and cross-fertilization
  • Treats natural theology as a cultural phenomenon, broader than Christianity itself yet always possessing a distinctively Christian embodiment
  • Explores topics including beauty, goodness, truth, and the theological imagination; how investigating nature gives rise to both theological and scientific theories; the idea of a distinctively Christian approach to nature; and how natural theology can function as a bridge between Christianity and other faiths

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405126915
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
05/09/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.05(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.81(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgment     ix
Natural Theology: Introducing an Approach     1
"Nature" is an Indeterminate Concept     7
Natural Theology is an Empirical Discipline     10
A Christian Natural Theology Concerns the Christian God     12
A Natural Theology is Incarnational, Not Dualist     14
Resonance, Not Proof: Natural Theology and Empirical Fit     15
Beyond Sense-Making: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful     18
The Human Quest for the Transcendent: The Context for Natural Theology     21
The Persistence of the Transcendent     23
Natural Theology and the Transcendent     28
The Triggers of Transcendent Experiences     33
The Transcendent and Religion     36
Thinking About the Transcendent: Three Recent Examples     41
Iris Murdoch: The Transcendent and the Sublime     46
Roy Bhaskar: The Intimation of Meta-Reality     50
John Dewey: The Curious Plausibility of the Transcendent     53
Accessing the Transcendent: Strategies and Practices     59
Ascending to the Transcendent from Nature     60
Seeing the Transcendent Through Nature     66
Withdrawing from Nature to Find the Transcendent Within Oneself     69
Discerning the Transcendent in Nature     73
Discernment and the Psychology of Perception     80
Perception is Brain-Based     84
Perception Involves Dynamic Mental Structures     86
Perception is Egocentric and Enactive     92
Perception Pays Attention to Significance     98
Perception Can Be Modulated by Motivation and Affect     102
Human Perception and Natural Theology     105
Conclusion to Part I     110
The Foundations of Natural Theology: Ground-Clearing and Rediscovery     113
The Open Secret: The Ambiguity of Nature     115
The Mystery of the Kingdom: Jesus of Nazareth and the Natural Realm     117
The Levels of Nature: The Johannine "I am" Sayings     126
Gerard Manley Hopkins on "Seeing" Nature     133
A Dead End? Enlightenment Approaches to Natural Theology     140
The Enlightenment and its Natural Theologies: Historical Reflections     141
The Multiple Translations and Interpretations of the "Book of Nature"     147
The Flawed Psychological Assumptions of the Enlightenment     156
The Barth-Brunner Controversy (1934) and Human Perception     158
Enlightenment Styles of Natural Theology: Concluding Criticisms     165
A Christian Approach to Natural Theology     171
On "Seeing" Glory: The Prologue to John's Gospel     172
A Biblical Example: The Call of Samuel     174
The Christian Tradition as a Framework for Natural Theology     177
Natural Theology and a Self-Disclosing God     179
Natural Theology and an Analogy Between God and the Creation     185
Natural Theology and the Image of God     190
Natural Theology and the Economy of Salvation     198
Natural Theology and the Incarnation     209
Conclusion to Part II     216
Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: An Agenda for a Renewed Natural Theology     219
Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Expanding the Vision for Natural Theology     221
Natural Theology and Truth     232
Resonance, Not Proof: Natural Theology and Sense-Making     233
The Big Picture, Not the Gaps: Natural Theology and Observation of the World     238
Natural Theology, Counterintuitive Thinking, and Anthropic Phenomena     240
Natural Theology and Mathematics: A "Natural" Way of Representing Reality     245
Truth, Natural Theology, and Other Religious Traditions     248
On Retrieving the Richness of Truth     252
Truth and a Natural Theology of the Imagination      255
Natural Theology and Beauty     261
Recovering the Place of Beauty in Natural Theology     262
The Neglect of Beauty: The "Deconversion" of John Ruskin     265
Hugh Miller on the Aesthetic Deficiencies of Sense-Making     268
John Ruskin and the Representation of Nature     271
The Beauty of Theoretical Representations of Nature     273
Beauty, Awe, and the Aesthetic Engagement with Nature     277
Aesthetics and the "Seeing" of Beauty     280
Beauty, Natural Theology, and Christian Apologetics     282
Natural Theology and Goodness     291
The Moral Vision of Reality     292
Natural Theology and Natural Law     294
The Eternal Return of Natural Law     297
The Moral Ambivalence of Nature     300
The Knowability of Goodness in Nature     306
The Discernment of Goodness: The Euthyphro Dilemma     310
Conclusion to Part III     312
Conclusion     314
Bibliography     316
Index     366

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