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Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
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Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit

2.9 33
by Krista Tippett
 

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A New York Times bestseller
"An exhilirating exploration of the meaning of it all." --Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God

Drawn from Krista Tippett's Peabody Award-winning public radio program, the conversations in this profoundly illuminating book reach for a place too rarely explored in our ongoing exchange of ideas--the nexus of

Overview

A New York Times bestseller
"An exhilirating exploration of the meaning of it all." --Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God

Drawn from Krista Tippett's Peabody Award-winning public radio program, the conversations in this profoundly illuminating book reach for a place too rarely explored in our ongoing exchange of ideas--the nexus of science and spirituality. In fascinating interviews with such luminaries as Freeman Dyson, Janna Levin, Parker Palmer, and John Polkinghorne, Krista Tippett draws out the connections between the two realms, showing how even those most wedded to hard truths find spiritual enlightenment in the life of experiment and, in turn, raise questions that are richly, theologically evocative.

Whether she is speaking with celebrated surgeon and author Sherwin Nuland about the biology of the human spirit or questioning Drawin biographer James Moore about his subject's religious beliefs, Tippett offers a rare look at the way our best minds grapple with the questions for which we all seek answers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Krista Tippett has a knack for finding thinkers who tackle deep and important questions in a sober but uninhibited fashion. The result is an exhilarating exploration of the meaning of it all."
-Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God

"Some are writing obituaries for American religion. Krista Tippett is documenting its revolution. . . . [She is] the doyenne of religion journalism." -The Washington Post

"Tippett's intelligence is like a salve for all thinking people who have felt wounded or marginalized by the God Wars." -Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic

"Krista Tippett is a master of nuance for whom the great questions of belief transcend the simple answers that modern religion too often supplies. This is a vision of faith as a grand and unifying struggle with the very nature of being, and it is both deeply thought and deeply felt. It is a reminder, in a time when too much that is evil happens in the name of creed, that the search for God can be transcendent and exquisite. Tippett's prose is lyrical and elegant, and her formulations are wise and profound; her arguments should move the secularist and the dogmatist alike to a new vision of peace." -Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143116776
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/23/2010
Pages:
286
Sales rank:
196,459
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

The science-religion “debate” is unwinnable, and it has led usastray. To insist that science and religion speak the same language,or draw the same conclusions, is to miss the point of both ofthese pursuits of cohesive knowledge and underlying truth. Tocreate a competition between them, in terms of relevance orrightness, is self-defeating. Both science and religion are set toanimate the twenty-first century with new vigor. This will happenwhether their practitioners are in dialogue or not. But the dialoguethat is possible—and that has developed organically, belowthe journalistic and political radar—is mutually illuminating andlush with promise. This book is a conversational introduction toan interplay between scientific and religious questions—not asargued, but as lived—that I began to discover a decade ago.At that time, in the late 1990s, I started a media experimentthat eventually became a weekly public radio program about religion,ethics, and questions of meaning, Speaking of Faith. Iwanted to explore the intellectual and spiritual content of thispart of life we call “religious” and “spiritual” and all the complexity with which it finds expression. Since the passing of Niebuhr andHeschel, of Tillich and King, we had lost a robust vocabulary forspiritual ethics and theological thinking in American public life.In polite, erudite, public-radio-loving circles, religion had becomesomething, as the sociologist Peter Berger quips, “that wasdone in private between consenting adults.”

I came to adulthood in such a milieu and never questioned itsrightness. I went to Brown, studied Ostpolitik in Bonn, landedin divided Berlin as the New York Times stringer, and spent most ofthe eighties there, most of my twenties, as a journalist and thena diplomatic appointee. Politics on that cold war fault line wasmorally as well as strategically thrilling. Spiritually I was agnostic,I suppose, though I’m not sure I gave religion enough thoughtin those years to claim the label.

Yet I had grown up in the intellectual and spiritual domain ofthe Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of the world. Like them,my grandfather was a preacher of hellfire and brimstone. At thesame time, though the product of a second grade education, hehad a large, unexcavated mind that frightened him, I think, butfascinated me—a sharp wit, a searching attentiveness, a mysteriousability to perform mathematical feats in his head. People likemy grandfather were badly represented by Jerry Falwell and PatRobertson and the journalists who gave them powerful platformsin the eighties and nineties. Later, perhaps understandably, peoplelike him became the object of erudite parody, straw meneasily blown down by prophets of reason. His kind of religiositywas small-minded at best, delusional at worst, and, most damnably,the enemy of science.

The mundane truth is this: my grandfather did not knowenough about science to be against it. I summon his memoryby way of tracing, for myself, why I’ve found my conversationswith scientists to be so profoundly sustaining. It is not just that they are intellectually and spiritually evocative beyond compare.

Cumulatively they dispel the myth of the clash of civilizationsbetween science and religion, indeed between spirit and reason,that we’ve accepted as the backdrop for so many tensions of themodern West.

***

Having two feet on earth in our time means knowing aboutblack holes and brain chemistry; it means pondering whether theuniverse is infinite or finite and what the matter in “dark matter”might be. My conversations with scientists leave me with an exhilaratingsense of the immediacy and vastness of both reality andmystery, of the importance of asking seemingly unanswerablequestions, and of the “rationality” of insisting on a world in whichethics, theology, and “spiritual genius” claim their place alongsideand in collaboration with the wondrous capacities of science. Tothe faithful I say this: if God is God, we cannot be afraid of whatwe can learn with the remarkable three-pound brain. I offer thisbook to all—religious and nonreligious, theologians, scientists,and people of all walks of life in between—who want to engageour kindred capacities to think and to live together more richlythan our debates would ever suggest is possible.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Krista Tippett has a knack for finding thinkers who tackle deep and important questions in a sober but uninhibited fashion. The result is an exhilarating exploration of the meaning of it all."
-Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God

"No one has a better ear for the most interesting facets of faith than Krista Tippett. And few topics lend themselves better to her nuanced interviews than the clash/collaboration/interplay of science and religion. If you want something beyond black-and-white culture war battles, you'll find these interviews powerfully stimulating."
-Steven Waldman, founder and editor in chief, Beliefnet

"In this sparkling book of interviews, Krista Tippett demonstrates that science and religion both benefit from a genuine dialogue. It doesn't matter if Tippett is talking about free will or the anatomy of the soul-she is always probing, measured, and illuminating. This book is a hopefully reminder that the intellectual conflicts we take for granted don't need to exist."
-Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide

Meet the Author

Krista Tippett is a Peabody Award–winning broadcaster and the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Wise, Einstein’s God, and Speaking of Faith. In 2014, she received the National Humanities Medal at the White House for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.” She is the host of the public radio program and podcast On Being.

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Einstein's God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
DennisOFM More than 1 year ago
I'd listened to Krista Tippett on the radio for a long time, so when I saw this book I knew what to expect. One can even hear her voice while reading. This series of essays, based on conversations and interviews from her radio programs, delves into the relationship between physics and spirituality. I appreciate the balnced, open and respectful tone of the writing. As a person of faith (a Catholic priest), I have long cherished the relationship between science, faith and spirituality. This book will provide you with thoughtful questions.
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