Science and the Spirit: A Pentecostal Engagement with the Sciences

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Overview

What might be described as a Pentecostal worldview has become a powerful cultural phenomenon, but it is often at odds with modernity and globalization. Science and the Spirit confronts questions of spirituality in the face of contemporary science. The essays in this volume illustrate how Pentecostalism can usefully engage with technology and scientific discovery and consider what might be distinctive about a Pentecostal dialogue with the sciences. The authors conclude that Pentecostals, with their unique perspectives on spirituality, can contribute new insights for a productive interaction between theology and science.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is a sign that the Spirit still initiates wonder. In fact, science may need to embrace the Spirit described in this book as much as Pentecostals need to embrace the natural wold also described herein. This volume puts the Ghost back in the machine—and in all creation, for that matter." —Thomas Jay Oord, Northwest Nazarene University

"Argues for a healthy relationship between science and Pentecostalism." —Denis Lamoureux, University of Alberta

Journal of Ecumenical Studies
"These books represent a body of important work and an ecumenical challenge for theologians and religious leaders... We can be grateful to the scholars and editors for making these resources available in a readable but richly researched set of volumes." —JOURNAL of ECUMENICAL STUDIES, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Winter, 2011)
Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

"This is a very interesting collection of articles that explore questions of spirituality in the light of contemporary science and technology.... Each of these papers is helpful in addressing crucial questions at the interface of science and Pentecostal spirituality." —Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

Ralph W. Hood

"Science and the Spirit should be required reading not only for undergraduates committed to various Pentecostal traditions, but to all who have an interest in the engagement of faith traditions with the sciences in a manner that respects and deepens the appreciation of both while denying neither." —Ralph W. Hood, Jr., The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Douglas Jacobsen

"This book illustrates something of the current, very preliminary, engagement that is beginning to take place between Pentecostal Christians and 'science' very broadly defined. It is a significant project." —Douglas Jacobsen, Messiah College

Thomas Jay Oord

"This book is a sign that the Spirit still initiates wonder. In fact, science may need to embrace the Spirit described in this book as much as Pentecostals need to embrace the natural wold also described herein. This volume puts the Ghost back in the machine—and in all creation, for that matter." —Thomas Jay Oord, Northwest Nazarene University

Denis Lamoureux

"Argues for a healthy relationship between science and Pentecostalism." —Denis Lamoureux, University of Alberta

J. C. Hanges

This is an interesting and surprising volume: surprising because as a collection written by Pentecostals primarily for Pentecostals it is published by a respected university press; interesting because it provides a rare introduction to an impassioned plea for a dialogue characterized by counterintuitive accommodations. Consistently granting the counterintuitive nature of a cooperative conversation between cutting-edge science and Pentecostal theology, these essays surprise the reader by extracting accommodations to much of contemporary science from what is described as Pentecostal theological principles (which hardly appear representative of most Pentecostals). Hence the complementary accommodation: this volume is explicitly intended for the Pentecostal college student, and its essays propose that this audience can find accommodation for both what is conceded as necessary, a 'methodological naturalism' in the practice of science, and for the pervasive spirit. This attempted accommodation will certainly strike some as dancing surprisingly close to panentheism. Ultimately, this volume is not about science or the spirit; it is about constructing Pentecostal identity in the modern world, which explains both its intended audience and the difficulty of classifying it. Thus understood, it may prove to be most interesting to anthropologists, sociologists, and historians of religion. Summing Up: Recommended. Researchers/faculty and professionals/practitioners. -- ChoiceJ. C. Hanges, Miami University, April 2011

JOURNAL of ECUMENICAL STUDIES

"These books represent a body of important work and an ecumenical challenge for theologians and religious leaders... We can be grateful to the scholars and editors for making these resources available in a readable but richly researched set of volumes." —JOURNAL of ECUMENICAL STUDIES, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Winter, 2011)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253355164
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

James K. A. Smith is Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College.

Amos Yong is J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology at Regent University School of Divinity.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: Science and the Spirit—Questions and Possibilities in the Pentecostal Engagement with Science / James K. A. Smith and Amos Yong

Part 1. What Hath Azusa Street to Do with MIT? The Big Questions
1. What Have the Galapagos to Do with Jerusalem? Scientific Knowledge in Theological Context / Telford Work
2. Is There Room for Surprise in the Natural World-yet Naturalism, the Supernatural, and Pentecostal Spirituality / James K. A. Smith
3. How Does God Do What God Does? Pentecostal-Charismatic Perspectives on Divine Action in Dialogue with Modern Science / Amos Yong

Part 2. The Spirit of Matter: Questions and Possibilities in the Natural Sciences
4. Does God Have a Place in the Physical Universe? Physics and the Quest for the Holy Spirit / Wolfgang Vondey
5. Does the Spirit Create through Evolutionary Processes? Pentecostals and Biological Evolution / Steve Badger and Mike Tenneson
6. Can Religious Experience Be Reduced to Brain Activity? The Place and Significance of Pentecostal Narrative / Frederick L. Ware
7. Serotonin and Spirit: Can There Be a Holistic Pentecostal Approach to Mental Illness? / Donald F. Calbreath

Part 3. The Human Spirit: Questions and Possibilities in the Social and Technological Sciences
8. Can Social Scientists Dance? Participating in Science, Spirit, and Social Reconstruction as an Anthropologist and Afropentecostal / Craig Scandrett-Leatherman
9. Is Integrating Spirit and Sociology Possible? A Postmodern Research Odyssey / Margaret M. Poloma
10. Is There Room for the Spirit in a World Dominated by Technology? Pentecostals and the Technological World / Dennis W. Cheek

List of Contributors
Index

Indiana University Press

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