Science and Spirituality: The Volatile Connection / Edition 1

Science and Spirituality: The Volatile Connection / Edition 1

by David Knight
     
 

Until the end of the eighteenth century, almost everyone believed that the empirical world of science could produce evidence for a wise and loving God. By the twenty-first century, this comforting certainty had virtually vanished. Why? What caused such a cataclysmic change in attitudes to science and to the world?

Science and Spirituality is the history of the

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Overview

Until the end of the eighteenth century, almost everyone believed that the empirical world of science could produce evidence for a wise and loving God. By the twenty-first century, this comforting certainty had virtually vanished. Why? What caused such a cataclysmic change in attitudes to science and to the world?

Science and Spirituality is the history of the interaction between Western science and faith, and of the sometimes productive and occasionally disastrous ways in which scientists have engaged with religious beliefs and institutions. It details the cultural and intellectual politics that ignited the descriptive 'cause' of science, eventually bringing about its ideological separation from its former ally, the Church.

Journeying from the French Revolution to the present day, and taking in such figures as Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Charles Darwin, Immanuel Kant, Albert Einstein, Mary Shelley and Stephen Hawking, David Knight shoes how science evolved from medieval and Renaissance forms of natural theology into the empirical discipline we know today. Focusing on the overthrow of Church and state in revolutionary France, and on the crucial nineteenth-century period when a newly emerging scientific community rendered science culturally accessible, Science and Spirituality explores the volatile connection between science and faith and challenges the myth of their being locked in inevitable conflict. The book shows how scientific disenchantment has provided some of our most flexible and powerful metaphors for God, such as the hidden puppet-master and the blind watchmaker, and illustrates the way in which questions of moral and spiritual value continue to intervene in thescientific endeavour.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415257695
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
11/12/2003
Edition description:
ANN
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
1Something greater than ourselves1
2Christian materialism8
3Watchmaking20
4Wisdom and benevolence37
5Genesis and geology53
6High-church science74
7God working His purpose out?92
8Lay sermons108
9Knowledge and faith123
10Handling chance137
11Clergy and clerisy151
12Mastering nature167
13Meaning and purpose?183
Notes197
Index225

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