A Brief Summary of Belief in God in an Age of Science
A major figure in the debate over the compatibility of science and religion, John Polkinghorne brings unique qualifications to this ever-growing debate due to the experience he has because of the unusual career switch from award-winning physicist to a respected theologian. Making him the only ordained member of the Royal Society.
In this thought-provoking book, “Belief in God in an Age of Science“, Sir Polkinghorne focuses on the collegiality between science and theology, inferring that these “intellectual cousins” are both concerned with interpreted experience and with the quest for reality itself. He argues the standpoint that scientific and theological inquiries are both interconnected and parallel.
Beginning with a brief discussion of what belief in God can mean in our current times. John explores a new natural theology and encourages the importance of moral and aesthetic experience and the human intuition of value and hope. In other chapters he addresses questions from both areas of the subject and compares their likeness, such as science struggle to understand the nature of light and with the Christians struggle to understand the nature of Christ; ultimately asking the question, Does God Act in the physical world?
Concluding the Belief in God in and Age of Science book with a consideration of the nature of mathematical truths and the links between complementary realities of the mental and physical experience.
Belief in God in an Age of Science: Review
Theology, once known as the “Queen of the Sciences” shaped peoples understanding of the natural world in the Middles Ages. As time went on and Enlightenment swept across Europe, many scientific findings clashed with the old ways of thinking, and soon after science and theology once knitted together became separate disciplines; sort of opposites of once close relatives. It widened over the years through scientific discoveries contradicting more and more with religious beliefs until Darwin’s theory of evolution which one and for all severed the relationship between science and religion, debunking the concept of a Designer.
At the forefront of the discussion in the 1990’s internationally known particle physicist and theologian John Polkinghorne. As an Anglican Priest, Sir Polkinghorne is the only ordained member of the Royal Society. In Belief in God in Age of Science, Polkinghorne discusses and encourages his faith whilst exploring the latest scientific theories and explaining the repercussions in which they have when linking to both subjects.
From the get-go, he states that he believes there is a “divine purpose behind this fruitful universe, whose fifteen-billion-year history has turned a ball of energy into the home of saints and sinners.” (For more thought-provoking quotes like these, check out John Polkinghorne Quotes)
He then, controversially may I add, go on to propose a new version of natural theology that combines scientific insight with value and hope; comparing the scientist beliefs of light as both wave and particle to the theologians understanding of Christ’s dual nature; whilst defending a critical understanding of both science and religion.
Due to Belief in God in an Age of Science ‘birth’ sparking from Yale University lectures Polkinghorne gave in 1996, this book is clearly not for everyone and is geared towards those who already have a grasp on the understanding of physics, theology, and philosophy. Despite this it addresses universal questions concerning the belief of God and his/her actions within the physical world, so for any persistent readers, you will be greatly rewarded with new and refreshing insight into the age-old battle of science and religion.
Purchase Belief in God in an Age of Science
The first thing you should be doing when purchasing books online is going straight to Google Books, this is because they allow you to find the book you need at the price you want by comparing the prices and edition across all websites which sell this book. Whether you’re looking for paperback, hardback or a digital copy, you are guaranteed to find exactly what you’re looking for over on Google Books as this is exactly where I found my copy of Belief in God in an Age of Science!
Sites like Goodreads are great for purchasing books especially if you’re looking for a copy of Belief in God in an Age of Science as you can see articulate reviews from customers who have purchased and read this book. The majority of the reviews are from well-read people, allowing you to come to a well-informed decision if you wish to purchase this book or not; similar to Google Books, Goodreads offers a way of finding different websites as to where you can purchase this John Polkinghorne masterpiece, despite not comparing price to price it does help you get a grasp of what may be in store if eventually purchase this edition.
Hywel Owen over at Goodreads says:
A disappointing read, as I am told by my non-scientist, religious friends that this is a great essay. Don’t get me wrong though: Polkinghorne knows his material inside out – both the high energy physics and the theology – and as an introduction to the issues at the heart of the relationship between science and religion (and in particular, Christianity) it is very good.
However, Polkinghorne offers no compelling resolution of the real difficulties between faith and reason in the late 20th (and now 21st) century. At best, this is a ‘one-idea’ book, the idea being the notion that God somehow pushes quantum probabilities one way rather than another in our Universe, and that is how his action comes about. The problem of the historical placement of Jesus is way too casually brushed over.
All in all, a frustrating read.
Purchasing from your favourite online retailer, Amazon, is also valid option since you can get both the Belief in God In An Age of Science UK and Belief in God in an Age of Science USA editions at competitive prices. Depending on what part of the world you are from of course.
If you were looking to steer away from Amazon and also want something that cheaper, then Book Depository is also a great option. Offering quick delivery along with a guarantee of it being a fresh book, you can’t really go wrong with picking up your copy of Belief in God in an Age of Science from this magnificent supplier.
Now if you’re still not convinced by our review and countless customer reviews you’ve read on the seller’s websites, then why not go read a great and in-depth review online that gives you a detailed analysis of each chapter, offering insight into what information you could be enlighted with or perhaps missing out on…
Read the full review in mention over at Infidels.org – Belief in God in An Age of Science by John Polkinghorne