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

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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
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Unlike many working in the sciencetheology field, McGrath makes a real effort to address issues of biblical criticism, which gives his work some significant depth, as he incorporates an engagement with the Jesus of history and an application of this to contemporary understandings of natural theology.' ( Reviews in Science and Religion, May 2009)

"I tried out his NT approach in a Bible study on one of the 'miracles of creation' with a group of mainly young adults to see if his stratified view of the natural world would 'prove' to be more convincing in this context: it certainly helped." (Science and Christian Belief, April 2009)

• McGrath seeks to develop a specifically Christian approach to natural theology, anchoring it in the Christ event, and interpreting natural theology as something that is both historically located in the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth and theologically interpreted by the church.? (New Testament Abstracts, January 2009)

'As we have come to expect from McGrath, the book is historically well-researched, conversant with recent literature, theologically creative, and carefully argued. It will certainly reshape contemporary discussions of natural theology and natural law.? (Religious Studies Review, March 2009)

"McGrath's book starts from distinctively Christian Trinitarian theology and then develops what the author sees as ways for Christian beliefs to create a means of seeing nature with a new sense of vision-with the purpose of understanding the connections between Christian belief and natural science. It is extremely well-researched and footnoted, with an extensive bibliography of sources cited. Summing Up: Recommended." (CHOICE)

"The book is learned, covering a great deal of historical ground." (First Things)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405126915
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/9/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Alister E. McGrath is Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University and Gifford Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen for 2009. He is a world-renowned theologian, and is the author of numerous best-selling titles.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The Human Quest for the Transcendent: The Context for Natural Theology

2 The Persistence of the Transcendent

3 Thinking About the Transcendent: Three Recent Examples

4 Accessing the Transcendent: Strategies and Practices

5 Discernment and the Psychology of Perception

Pt. II The Foundations of Natural Theology: Ground-Clearing and Rediscovery

6 The Open Secret: The Ambiguity of Nature

7 A Dead End? Enlightenment Approaches to Natural Theology

8 A Christian Approach to Natural Theology

Pt. III Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: An agenda for a Renewed Natural Theology

9 Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Expanding the Vision for Natural Theology

10 Natural Theology and Truth

11 Natural Theology and Beauty

12 Natural Theology and Goodness

13 Conclusion



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