The philosophy of religion and the quest for spiritual truth preoccupied Albert Einsteinso much that it has been said "one might suspect he was a disguised theologian." Nevertheless, the literature on the life and work of Einstein, extensive as it is, does not provide an adequate account of his religious conception and sentiments. Only fragmentarily known, Einstein's ideas about religion have been often distorted both by atheists and by religious groups eager to claim him as one of their own. But what exactly was Einstein's religious credo? In this fascinating book, the distinguished physicist and philosopher Max Jammer offers an unbiased and well-documented answer to this question.
The book begins with a discussion of Einstein's childhood religious education and the religious atmosphereor its absenceamong his family and friends. It then reconstructs, step by step, the intellectual development that led Einstein to the conceptions of a cosmic religion and an impersonal God, akin to "the God of Spinoza." Jammer explores Einstein's writings and lectures on religion and its role in society, and how far they have been accepted by the general public and by professional theologians like Paul Tillich or Frederick Ferré. He also analyzes the precise meaning of Einstein's famous dictum "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind," and why this statement can serve as an epitome of Einstein's philosophy of religion.
The last chapter deals with the controversial question of whether Einstein's scientific work, and in particular his theory of relativity, has theologically significant implications, a problem important for those who are interested in the relation between science and religion. Both thought-provoking and engaging, this book aims to introduce readers, without proselytizing, to Einstein's religion.
Einstein and Religion: Physics and Theology 3.5 out of 5based on
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Einstein's Affect on Religion, June 14, 2009
By Michael Gooch "Author of Wingtips with Spurs:... (Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
I greatly enjoyed this book.
Certainly, as most people, I am interested in what Einstein thought about God and the Big Question. Just as curious, I have always been intrigued at how Einstein has influenced the way we think about religion or more specifically, spirituality. Countless times I have read about Einstein's quote regarding "spooky action at a distance" when reading books that attempt to explain spirituality. In addition to this quote, several other Einsteinisms pop up in these tomes.
The book guides us on a journey of how deeply affected Einstein was about the spiritual realm but also how his theory of relativity has influenced theological thought ever since.
Written in clear, concise language, Einstein and Religion is not a path of conversion to Einstein's concept of religion. The reader will not find a single sentence or word with a missionary intent. The book presents a philosophical and historical perspective without bias. Exactly what I wanted and exactly what I got.
I would also recommend Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World and God and the New Physics.
I hope you find this review helpful
Michael L. Gooch