The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion


About the Author:
Hans Kung is president of the Global Ethic Foundation, Germany/Switzerland

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About the Author:
Hans Kung is president of the Global Ethic Foundation, Germany/Switzerland

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802863591
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 637,286
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans Küng is president of the Global Ethic Foundation (Germany/Switzerland) after retiring in 1996 as professor of ecumenical theology and director of the Institute for Ecumenical Research at the University of Tübingen. He is the author of more than fifty books, including The Catholic Church and On Being a Christian.

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Table of Contents

Let There Be Light!     xi
A Unified Theory of Everything?     1
The Riddle of Reality     1
A Twofold Riddle     2
The New Model of the World: Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo     3
Church against Science     5
The Victory of Science     6
A Physical Description of the Beginning     8
The New Physics: Einstein's Relativistic Space-Time     8
An Expanding Universe     9
The Big Bang and Its Consequences     10
What Holds the World Together in Its Innermost Being?     12
Heisenberg and Quantum Theory     13
The World Formula-a Great Hope     14
GUT instead of GOD? Hawking     15
The World Formula-a Great Disappointment     17
The Dispute about the Foundations of Mathematics     19
Mathematics without Contradiction? Godel     19
No Ultimate Theory of Everything     21
Occasion for Self-Critical Reflection     22
The Inadequacies of Positivism     24
Rejection of the Meta-empirical? Popper     25
Only Meaningless Pseudoproblems?     26
The Impossibility of Proving All Statements True, Even in Science     27
The Autonomy and Limits ofScientific Knowledge     29
The Questionability of Reality     31
Universe-Human Being-Self     32
Multidimensional and Multilayered Reality     33
Reason, but Not Reason Alone     35
Science and Theology: Different Perspectives     36
Science: The Foundation but Not the Totality     36
Theology Too Needs Self-Criticism     37
Physical Knowledge Cannot Transcend the World of Experience     40
A Model of Complementarity instead of a Model of Confrontation or Integration     41
God as Beginning?     43
The Question of the Beginning of Beginnings     44
The Singularity of the Beginning     44
The "Copernican Shift" in Philosophy: Descartes     46
Proofs of God-Doomed to Failure: Kant     46
Counterproofs Also Fail     47
Science Blocked by the Critique of Religion?     48
The Rights and Wrongs of the Critique of Religion: Feuerbach, Marx, Freud     49
The Death of God? Nietzsche     50
Science Must Leave God Out of Account     51
Atheism Is Understandable but Not Necessary     52
Where Do the Constants in Nature Come From?     54
A Universe Finite in Space and Time      54
Intellectual Helplessness in the Face of the Question of Origins     56
Where Do the Principles of Cosmic Order Come From?     58
Instinctive Opposition     60
Reactions to the Cosmic Fine-Tuning     62
Cosmological Speculation: Alternative Universes     62
Is Our Universe One among Many?     64
A Cosmological Demonstration: A Designer Universe     68
Can God Be Proved by Physics?     69
A Questionable Basic Motivation     70
Why Isn't There Nothing?     72
A Solution to the Riddle of the World     73
Ignorance Also Grows with Knowledge     75
Approaching the Primal Mystery     78
God as Hypothesis     80
God as Reality     81
An Archimedean Point     82
Creation of the World or Evolution?     85
The Beginning as the Beginning of a Becoming     85
Evolution of the Biological Species: Darwin     86
The Descent of Human Beings from the Animal Kingdom     88
Theological Defense     90
Anglican Perplexity     90
A Second Galileo Case for the Catholic Church     91
Protestant Creationism     93
Evolution with or without God?      95
Progress without God: Comte     95
Evolution to God: Teilhard De Chardin     97
God in Process: Whitehead     100
How Are We to Think of God?     103
An Alternative to the Word "God"?     103
God-a Being above the Earth?     105
Space-Time, Embraced by Eternity and Unfathomability     106
Is God a Person?     107
Bible and Creation     110
Creation Myths of the World Religions     110
A Need for Information?     112
The Magna Carta of the Jewish-Christian Worldview     114
A Metaphorical Language     117
No Harmonization or Mixing     118
The Testimony of Faith to the Ultimate Origin     120
Creation of Space and Time from Nothing     120
What Is the Meaning of Belief in Creation Today?     122
"In Light Inaccessible"     125
Life in the Cosmos?     129
How Long Has There Been Life?     129
What Is "Life"?     130
Are We Alone in the Universe?     131
A Vain Quest     133
How Did Life Arise?     136
The Vehicles of Life     136
Matter Organizes Itself      137
Chance or Necessity?     139
The Primacy of Chance?     140
Natural Laws Guide Chance     141
Is God Superfluous?     143
An Existential Alternative     144
Why a Universe That Is Friendly to Life?     145
Evolution toward Human Beings     146
An Anthropic Principle?     147
No Ultimate Foundation     148
Miracle     151
Breaking the Laws of Nature?     151
Results of Biblical Criticism     152
Pointers for Faith     153
How Are We to Think of God's Activity?     154
A Spiritualized Understanding of God     155
The Infinite Has an Influence on the Finite     156
No Competition between God and the World     157
The Beginning of Humankind     161
The Physical Development of Human Beings     161
Phylogenesis     162
Human Beings Come from Africa     163
Earliest Traces of Religion     165
The Psychological Development of Human Beings     168
The Body-Soul Problem     168
Psyche instead of Soul     169
Conditioned Freedom     171
Environmentally Conditioned and Preprogrammed      172
Brain and Mind     174
Determined by Physical-Chemical Brain Processes?     174
Is Free Will an Illusion?     175
The Trivialization of Responsibility and Guilt by the Neurosciences     177
The Limits of Brain Research     179
Ignorance about the Decisive Levels of the Brain     180
The Big Questions of the Neurosciences     181
Chemistry and Physics Do Not Explain the Self     184
Experience of Freedom     187
The Spiritual Cosmos     189
The Beginnings of the Human Ethic     191
Evolutionary Biological and Sociocultural Factors     192
The Primal Ethic as the Basis for a Global Ethic     193
Even the Biblical Ethic Has a History     194
The One Light and the Many Lights     195
Epilogue: The End of All Things     199
Hypotheses of the End in Physics     199
Apocalyptic Visions of the End     201
The Significance of the Biblical Visions     203
Dying into the Light     205
A Word of Thanks     207
Index     209
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