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On the Moral Nature of the Universe (Theology and the Sciences) [Paperback]

By George Ellis (Author), Plus Urphy (Author) & Nancy Murphy (Author)
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Item Number 145702  
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Item description for On the Moral Nature of the Universe (Theology and the Sciences) by George Ellis, Plus Urphy & Nancy Murphy...

Ellis and Murphy show how contemporary sciences actually support a religiously based ethic of nonviolence, not by appealing to the Enlightment's mechanismic Creator God or revelation's Father God but by discerning the transcendent ground in the laws of nature, the emergence of intelligent freedom, and the echoes of "knoetic" self-giving in cosmology and biology.

Publishers Description
What is the ethical import of contemporary scientific cosmology? How does our understanding of the universe relate to our most pressing social concerns? How do the disparate fields of theology, ethics, and the sciences relate to each other? Murphy and Ellis offer a coherent construction of these relations and show how a particular moral vision-a "kenotic" ethic-is supported "from below" by the social sciences and "from above" by theology. The theological import of contemporary cosmology, they argue, points ultimately to an ethic that centers on self-sacrifice and nonviolence. In ambition, rigor, and scale, in its search for an integrated and coherent worldview at a time of unprecedented complexity and uncertainty, readers will find this volume daring and important.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 1996
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Edition  New  
Series  Theology And The Sciences  
ISBN  0800629833  
ISBN13  9780800629830  

Availability  91 units.
Availability accurate as of May 28, 2017 08:43.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About George Ellis, Plus Urphy & Nancy Murphy

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Zhuo Zhao learned the traditional arts of cooking and healing from her family in Beijing and spent an additional two years of intensive research to create this book. George Ellis traveled extensively in Asia in the 1970s and 1980s, writing and translating texts on Yoga, Ayurveda, and Naturopathy. He is the author of "The Breath of Life: Mastering the Techniques of Pranayama and Qi Gong," Zhuo Zhao and George Ellis met in Beijing in 1985 and married in 1988.

George Ellis was born in 1949.

George Ellis has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Theology & the Sciences

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Product Categories

1Books > Bargain Books > Children > Science, Nature & How It Works
2Books > Bargain Books > Nonfiction > Philosophy
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History & Surveys
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Movements > General
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Movements
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Science & Religion
10Books > Subjects > Science

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Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about On the Moral Nature of the Universe (Theology and the Sciences)?

Science, Theology and Love Integrated  Aug 31, 2004
The book is co-written by Murphy, who is a professor of Christian philosophy, and Ellis, who is professor of applied mathematics. Both are members of the Anabaptist Christian tradition, and their thought, especially as it relates to pacifism and ethics, reveal this connection to Christian tradition. One of the book's virtues is that its authors clearly lay out their proposals in a very accessible manner.

The overall argument for the book is the following: the fine-tuning of the cosmological constants that has produced a life-bearing universe calls for an explanation. The authors believe that a theistic explanation offers a more coherent account of reality than a non-theistic one. The pattern of divine action in the world, however, seems to indicate that God works with nature, "never over-riding or violating the very processes that God has created" (xv). The fact the God does not violate or override the processes leads the authors to believe that divine action entails refusal to do violence to creation. They link this with kenosis, a Christian New Testament word typically translated, "self-emptying." God renounces self-interest for the sake of the other, no matter what the cost is to God, and that this divine activity ought to be emulated by humans. The authors call for a new research program to explore the possibilities of this kenosis thesis in light of science.

The ethical core of the proposal is that self-renunciation for the sake of the other is humankind's highest goal. One of the more illuminating chapters in the book addresses the power of persuasion, non-violent coercion, and violent coercion. The authors argue that persuasion is to be preferred and they speculate that "a consistent policy of using the least coercive means possible in each social situation will affect the character of the individuals involved such that less coercion will be needed in future resolution of conflict" (151). In sum, contemporary cosmology points ultimately to an ethic that centers on self-sacrifice and non-violence.

Thomas Jay Oord
A happy marriage of science and religion.  Jul 22, 2002
I was astonished by this book's ability to analyze and typologize scientific activity within a framework of religious wisdom. It not only generates a field of relative connectivity between scientific disciplines, but places them as a whole within the spiritual and mythological activities of the human psyche. It reassures me regarding the fate of humanity that there are educated, well-trained and perceptive individuals who can see the connection between the imagination and human knowledge, and who in turn recognize human moral responsibility for an authentic embodiment of religious teaching through the renunciation of violence. Einstein is quoted as having said, "Religion without science is blind; science without religion is lame." This work has both vision and movement, both clarity and feeling. It provides a perennial balm in an age where specialization brings its own forms of nihilism, and where human violence is too often normalized with the most egregious and potentially catastrophic of consequences. It both clears the mind and calls to the soul. It seemed, to me, to awaken hope for the future of our species.

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