Science and Spirituality: The Volatile Connection / Edition 1

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"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." Pp. viii/231. Paperback. VG. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Knight raises issues that are not solely of historical interest ... he possesses a light literary touch, which makes the book such an enjoyable read. Moreover, his discussion is always informative and brimming with humane insights and historical perceptions.' - Geoffrey Cantor, Chemistry and Industry

'This books should be required reading for all those who are concerned with contemporary religious understanding.'

'This book is an excellent account of the subtle and complex interactions between Christian faith and scientific investigations and discoveries in England from the late 18th century onwards.' - Church Times

'Any authoritative reading of the relations between science and spirituality requires encyclopaedic learning in more than one discipline, and an eye for the significant detail. With 638 footnote references to the relevant literature, David Knight scores on both counts, and yet still remains enjoyably readable.' - The Christian Parapsychologist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415257695
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/12/2003
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Knight is a Professor at Durham University and former President of the British Society for the History of Science

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
1 Something greater than ourselves 1
2 Christian materialism 8
3 Watchmaking 20
4 Wisdom and benevolence 37
5 Genesis and geology 53
6 High-church science 74
7 God working His purpose out? 92
8 Lay sermons 108
9 Knowledge and faith 123
10 Handling chance 137
11 Clergy and clerisy 151
12 Mastering nature 167
13 Meaning and purpose? 183
Notes 197
Index 225
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