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Serious Talk: Science and Religion in Dialogue [Paperback]

By John Polkinghorne (Author)
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Item description for Serious Talk: Science and Religion in Dialogue by John Polkinghorne...

Polkinghorne argues that the habits of thought that are natural to the scientist are the same habits of thought that can be followed also in the search for a wider and deeper kind of truth about the world.

Publishers Description
Although now an Anglican priest and head of one of the prestigious colleges in Cambridge University, John Polkinghorne has spent most of his adult life working as a theoretical physicist. He is therefore uniquely qualified and frequently called upon to set forth the relationship between science and theology in a way that takes the two disciplines seriously. Polkinghorne argues that the habits of thought that are natural to the scientist are the same habits of thought that can be followed also in the search for a wider and deeper kind of truth about the world. He calls this bottom-up thinking, that is starting not with general principles but with the particularity of experience, and then asking what is sufficient to explain the phenomena and give an understanding of what is going on. Portions of this book were delivered as the Pascal Lectures at the University of Waterloo (1992) and as the William Belden Noble Lectures at Harvard University (1993). The first half of the book seeks to establish an acceptable meeting point for science and religion. The second half looks at some specific theological issues approached creation, the role of chance, God s engagement with time, the anticipation of a destiny awaiting humanity beyond death, and the end of the universe. John Polkinghorne is President of Queens College in Cambridge University. He is the author of many books, including Reason and Reality, published by Trinity Press International.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Trinity Press International
Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.54" Width: 5.53" Height: 0.39"
Weight:   0.43 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 1995
Publisher   Trinity Press International
ISBN  1563381095  
ISBN13  9781563381096  

Availability  132 units.
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More About John Polkinghorne

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS, is fellow and retired president, Queens' College, Cambridge University. He was founding president of the International Society for Science and Religion and in 2002 was awarded the Templeton Prize. The author of numerous books, he lives in Cambridge, UK.

John Polkinghorne has an academic affiliation as follows - Queens' College, Cambridge University University of Cambridge Universi.

John Polkinghorne has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Theology for the 21st Century
  2. Yale Nota Bene

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Science & Religion
7Books > Subjects > Science > History & Philosophy > Science

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Serious Talk: Science and Religion in Dialogue?

Not as impressive as I'd hoped  Nov 10, 2008
I was assigned to read this book for a basic science class at the college I attend. Bottom line: Polkinghorne is an open theist, doesn't believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, and doubts God's ability to perform miracles. Further, he seems to take Gould's general NOMA model, which basically says that science and religion deal with different questions: science with the question of how, and religion with the question of why.

Polkinghorne's general ideas seem to be more about how theology is influenced by science than vice versa; thus, the book may well be a discussion on how theology and science are related, but if so, it is only of how liberal theology (Polkinghorne even goes so far as to appeal to process theology!) can be integrated with science. As such, it will be of little interest for those trying to understand how a conservative theologian can approach scientific issues.

A final criticism is that the basic question--what is the relationship between science and theology?--is neither scientific nor theological; it is philosophical. The author dabbles a bit in basic philosophy, but his idea that epistemology affects ontology is somewhat bizarre. How could what we know (or think we know?) about reality change what reality actually IS? The reverse is true. Our knowledge is affected by reality, not reality by our knowledge. That Polkinghorne misunderstands this admittedly basic philosophical idea should give anyone pause in accepting his further musings on more sophisticated philosophical questions.

2/3 stars: 3 for general usefulness, especially for his exposition of modern quantum theory, but minus one for somewhat cumbersome language.
Accesible treatment of issues in science and religion  Apr 17, 2000
Once again, scientist-theologian John Polkinghorne has written a lucid and accessible treatment of the relationship between science and religon. "Serious Talk" is just what its title implies: a conversational, but by no means superficial, discussion of key issues in the ever-growing dialogue between science and theology, to which Polkinghorne himself has made significant contributions. These issues include the interpretation of quantum theory, parallel features of the two disciplines, creation, resurrection,and eschatology. The chapter on "Providence" is especially helpful, as it relates developments in chaos theory to our understanding of God's interaction with the world. Overall, this book makes an essential contribution to the Polkinghorne corpus and to the larger science-theology debate; readers of his earlier works will not be disappointed, as some material here (again, note the "Providence" chapter} marks clear advances in his consideration of these issues.

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