Item description for The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion by Hans Kung...
Overview In an age when faith and science seem constantly to clash, can theologians and scientists come to a meeting of minds? Yes, maintains the intrepid Hans KA 1/4ng, as he brilliantly argues here that religion and science are not mutually exclusive but complementary. Focusing on beginnings - beginnings of time, of the world, of man, of human will - KA 1/4ng deals with an array of scientific precepts and teachings. From a unified field theory to quantum physics to the Big Bang to the theory of relativity - even superstring and chaos theories - he examines all of the theories regarding the beginning of the univererse and life (of all kinds) in that universe. KA 1/4ng seeks to reconcile theology with the latest scientific insights, holding that "a confrontational model for the relationship between science and theology is out of date, whether put forward by fundamentalist believers and theologians or by rationalistic scientists and philosophers." While accepting evolution as scientists generally describe it, he still maintains a role for God in founding the laws of nature by which life evolved and in facilitating the adventure of creation. Exhibiting little patience for scientists who do not see beyond the limits of their discipline or for believers who try to tell experts how things must have been, KA 1/4ng challenges readers to think more deeply about the beginnings in order to facilitate a new beginning in dialogue and understanding.
Publishers Description Translated by John Bowden / In an age when faith and science seem constantly to clash, can theologians and scientists come to a meeting of minds? Yes, maintains the intrepid Hans Kng, as he brilliantly argues here that religion and science are not mutually exclusive but complementary. / Focusing on beginnings beginnings of time, of the world, of man, of human will Kng deals with an array of scientific precepts and teachings. From a unified field theory to quantum physics to the Big Bang to the theory of relativity even superstring and chaos theories he examines all of the theories regarding the beginning of the universe and life (of all kinds) in that universe. / Kng seeks to reconcile theology with the latest scientific insights, holding that "a confrontational model for the relationship between science and theology is out of date, whether put forward by fundamentalist believers and theologians or by rationalistic scientists and philosophers." While accepting evolution as scientists generally describe it, he still maintains a role for God in founding the laws of nature by which life evolved and in facilitating the adventure of creation. / Exhibiting little patience for scientists who do not see beyond the limits of their discipline or for believers who try to tell experts how things must have been, Kng challenges readers to think more deeply about the beginnings in order to facilitate a new beginning in dialogue and understanding.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion by Hans Kung has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Commonweal - 06/06/2008 page 28
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.02" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2008
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802863590 ISBN13 9780802863591
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More About Hans Kung
Hans Küng, (born March 19, 1928, Sursee, Switz.), Swiss Roman Catholic theologian whose controversial liberal views led to his censorship by the Vatican in 1979.
Küng studied at Gregorian University in Rome and obtained a doctorate in theology from the Catholic Institute at the Sorbonne in 1957. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1954, and he taught at the University of Münster in West Germany (1959–60) and at the University of Tübingen (1960–96), where he also directed the Institute for Ecumenical Research from 1963. In 1962 he was named by Pope John XXIII a peritus (theological consultant) for the second Vatican Council.
Küng’s prolific writings questioned the formulation of such traditional church doctrine as papal infallibility, the divinity of Christ, and teachings about the Virgin Mary. In 1979 a Vatican censure that banned his teaching as a Catholic theologian provoked international controversy, and in 1980 a settlement was reached at Tübingen that allowed him to teach under secular rather than Catholic auspices. His more recent research has focused on interreligious cooperation and the creation of a global ethic. His publications include Rechtfertigung: Die Lehre Karl Barths und eine Katholische Besinnung (1957; Justification: The Doctrine of Karl Barth and a Catholic Reflection), Konzil und Wiedervereinigung (1960; The Council, Reform, and Reunion), Die Kirche (1967; The Church), Unfehlbar? (1970; Infallible?), Christ sein (1974; On Being a Christian), Existiert Gott? (1978; Does God Exist?), and Ewiges Leben? (1982; Eternal Life?).
Hans Kung has an academic affiliation as follows - Global Ethics Foundation.
Hans Kung has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion?
A Scientifically Literate Theologian Mar 10, 2008
In this book Kung uses his broad familiarity with modern science to consider how recent findings and theories relate to the question of faith in God. He is particularly good in the area of physics, where he provides a wealth of excerpts from the writings of some of the great physicists of the 20th century as they consider fundamental questions raised by their discoveries. He clearly points out the difference between scientific and religious thinking, not hesitating to reproach religious as well as scientific thinkers for not recognizing the validity of the other's methods and points of view. Along the way he never hesitates to reproach Church authorities for the methods they have used and unfortunately continue to use in their attempts to maintain orthodoxy. As a Catholic scientist I find his tone somewhat harsh in this regard, but I support his steadfast refusal to accept their disciplinary procedures in his uphill attempts at making the faith comprehensible to modern men and women. He is definitely ahead of the curve and this makes for controversy. It is important to point out that in spite of his left-of-center theological opinions he remains a priest in good standing and is held in respect by his former colleague and friend from Tübingen, the current pope, Benedict XVI. In fact in the fall of 2005 he had a friendly dinner and extended conversation with the pope, on which occasion he presented him with a copy of this book and received the pope's appreciation for his efforts in promoting dialog between science and religion.
Some of the questions covered in the book are: what is the nature of reality; what came before the big bang; what does religion mean by creation; is there a role for empirical science in the question of God; how did life originate; how did humans come to be; what is the relationship between the brain and consciousness; and many other flash points in the contemporary exchanges between science and religion. He concludes his book with a magnificent description of the end of life as not dying into nothingness, as many in modern science would have it, but rather as dying into the ultimate reality we call God. To quote him: "dying is a farewell inward, an entry and homecoming into the ground and origin of the world...dying into the light." A beautiful book!
Kung's Summation Jan 26, 2008
Hans Kung has been a formidable intellect in theology for many years having written over 50 books. His writing is characterized by breadth of learning. His book Infallible? An Enquiry (1978) led to loss of his license to teach theology in Roman Catholic schools but did not discourage him from pushing the theological envelope. For those who regard it as important, Kung's views were never found to be heretical. Now retired from his professorship at Tubingen University, Kung turns his attention in this volume to the question whether science and religion can coexist. His answer is that they do more than coexist; they are complimentary. Kung defines complementarity as a state "between science and religion in which the distinctive spheres are preserved, all illegitimate transitions are avoided and all absolutizations are rejected, but in which in mutual questioning and enrichment people attempt to do justice to reality in all its dimensions."
Kung immediately engages the skeptic's question whether he argues for an unenlightened biblical belief in a being that created the world in six days. Kung replies: "Certainly not! I want to take the Bible seriously, but that doesn't mean I want to take it literally."
Kung begins with an engaging and clear tour through cosmology. He leaves nothing out from Copernicus to Newton, Einstein, Big Bang theory, Heisenberg's indeterminacy and Godel's incompleteness. Kung's point is, not surprisingly, that science cannot account for everything. Kung draws us back to the fundamental questions about the origin of the first structures in the universe. Science may be able to explain the fine tuning of the first structures but the question remains: where did the minimal structure that already existed at the Big Bang come from? Why isn't there nothing? Kung offers God as a reasonable hypothesis that can provide intellectual answers to the questions of the beginning.
In succeeding chapters Kung takes up the debate between creationism and evolution, life in the universe and the development of human beings. He includes discussion of the brain and the mind, the limits of brain research and the beginning of human ethics. Having started with the beginning of all things, his epilogue deals with the end of all things - hypotheses of the end of the universe and apocalyptic visions of the end.
Kung does not set out new theories of science or religion and does not insist on one or the other as the final arbiter of reality (his term). Discussion today, like so much else, tends to polarize between those who view God as irrelevant versus the creationists and the left-behinders. Kung proposes to raise the level of discussion by invoking serious scientists and philosophers. The Beginning of All Things is a good starting point for clear and dispassionate descriptions of the interplay between serious science and serious philosophy/theology about the most intriguing and still unsolved mysteries of the universe and humanity.
Terrific as Usual Jan 19, 2008
First, my bias - Hans Kung is a genius. I have read the majority of his works and find them all to be great. I have often said that I am still a Catholic because him. For those of you not in the know, Hans is a Catholic and a theologian, but cannot call himself a Catholic Theologian. If this last sentence makes sense to you, than this book is for you.
I read this directly after reading Dinesh D'Sousza What's So Great about Christianity. While many of their point are similar Kung has a much deeper understanding of the subtleties. It is not an easy a read as D'Sousza (I think this is probably due to the fact that is a translation), but it gives you a deeper understanding of the concepts. His argument that is it bizarre that scientist see no problem in the duality of light (wave/particle), yet squawk of the notion of the duality of Christ is sheer genius.
major theologian on science controversy Dec 27, 2007
Kung is one of the clearest theologians thinkers writing today. There are a glut of books out there promising to weigh in on some pressing issue that concerns the science/ religion controversy. I personally believe that it is a bogus issue largely fed by the publishing industry. That said, I think Kung's book is one of the few on the subject worth reading. I have read Dawkins and Hitchens and am generally sympathetic with their views. But Kung points out that while science (and history) may have much to say about human beings and perhaps what drives religious movements, it has absolutely nothing to say about God. Kung reminds us of the often forgotten distinction between religious experience and religious organizations. This book lays out the fundamental issue more clearly than any I have encountered.
Conflicts of Science and Religion? Dec 1, 2007
Hans Kung happens to be my favorite theologian. He writes very readable books, epitomizes a huge amount of scholarship, and offers brief and perceptive summaries of points of view hostile to his own. I think this is one of his best books. For all who labor in the vinyards of the conflicts between science and religion, this will be not only a very helpful book, but a very enjoyable one to read.