Science and Religion: A New Introduction / Edition 2

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Science and Religion, Second Edition is the most up-to-date introduction to the study of religion and the natural sciences. Now thoroughly revised, this popular textbook introduces readers to the central questions in the field of science and religion. It examines the historical, theological, philosophical, and scientific aspects of the interaction between these two areas, offering a uniquely comprehensive coverage.

The second edition has been fully updated to reflect current, cutting-edge debates concerning scientific atheism and the limits of scientific method, and also incorporates discussion about the relationship between science and religion in major world faiths. The book is specifically designed for students with no prior knowledge of science or religion. A historical component enables readers to orientate themselves within the subject, and along with numerous illustrations, tables, and summaries creates a user-friendly and engaging approach to the field.

Alister E. McGrath is ideally placed to write this book. He is a world-renowned theologian and author, praised for his clear and precise writing, and an acknowledged expert on the relationship between science and religion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the previous edition of Science and Religion:

"A first rate introduction to the field." (Network)

"McGrath discusses clearly and methodically the various issues related to the field … Fair and objective." (Choice)

"A useful starting point for those entering the study of science and religion." (Publishers Weekly)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405187916
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/8/2009
  • Series: Wiley Desktop Editions Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 592,007
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Alister E. McGrath is Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education, and Head of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture at King’s College, London. He is the author of numerous bestselling titles, including Dawkins’ God (2004), Theology: The Basics (2004), Christianity: An Introduction, 2nd edition (2006), Christian Theology, 4th edition (2007) and The Christian Theology Reader, 3rd edition (2007), all published by Wiley-Blackwell.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

How To Use This Book ix

1 Introducing the Dialogue Between Science and Religion 1

Part I History: Three Landmark Debates 7

2 Why Study History? 9

3 Debate 1 Copernicus, Galileo, and the Solar System 17

4 Debate 2 Newton, the Mechanical Universe, and Deism 26

5 Debate 3 Darwin and the Biological Origins of Humanity 33

Part II Science and Religion: General Themes 43

6 Models of Interaction Between Science and Religion 45

7 Science, Religion, and the Explanation of Things 51

8 Science, Religion, and Proofs for God's Existence 59

9 Verification and Falsification in Science and Religion 67

10 Realism and its Alternatives in Science and Religion 76

11 The Doctrine of Creation and the Natural Sciences 84

12 How Does God Act in the World? 93

13 The Use of Models in Science and Religion 102

14 Natural Science and Natural Theology 110

15 Theoretical Anomalies in Science and Religion 120

16 The Development of Theory in Science and Religion 128

17 The Interaction of Science and Religion in Other Faiths 135

Part III Science and Religion: Contemporary Debates 143

18 Richard Dawkins and Scientific Atheism: Does Science Deny God? 145

19 Cosmology: Does the Anthropic Principle Mean Anything? 151

20 Quantum Theory: Complementarity in Science and Religion 157

21 Evolutionary Biology: Can One Speak of "Design" in Nature? 163

22 Evolutionary Psychology: The Origins of Religious Belief 169

23 The Psychology of Religion: Exploring Religious Experience 175

24 The Cognitive Science of Religion: Is Religion "Natural"? 184

Part IV Case Studies in Science and Religion 191

25 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) 193

26 Thomas F. Torrance (1913-2007) 197

27 Charles A. Coulson (1910-74) 201

28 Ian G. Barbour (born 1923) 205

29 Arthur Peacocke (1924-2006) 209

30 Wolfhart Pannenberg (born 1928) 213

31 John Polkinghorne (born 1930) 217

32 Nancey Murphy (born 1951) 221

33 Alister E. McGrath (born 1953) 225

34 Philip Clayton (born 1956) 229

Conclusion 233

References 235

Index 240

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