Item description for Beyond the God Delusion: How Radical Theology Harmonizes Science and Religion by Richard Grigg...
Overview It is ironic but true that most theologians do not understand God in the same way that is being criticized so heavily in such works as Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion. In fact, argues Richard Grigg, most theologians left behind an unalloyed, classical theism about two hundred years ago. Yet, Grigg argues, the many efforts to reconcile contemporary scientific worldviews with Christian faith stop shy of the radical reconception of God begun in contemporary theology and made necessary by contemporary science. Grigg's erudite and provocative book calls for a more radical theology, in which notions of divine transcendence and immanence, personhood, power, and the divine role in the evolving universe are radicalized and reconceived. Building on the work of such theologians as Sallie McFague and Gordon Kaufman, and with a strong grasp of the particulars of contemporary cosmology and biology, Grigg's exciting work challenges us to an intellectual honesty as sturdy as our faith.
Citations And Professional Reviews Beyond the God Delusion: How Radical Theology Harmonizes Science and Religion by Richard Grigg has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Commonweal - 09/25/2009 page 23
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Studio: Fortress Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.42" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.41" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2008
Publisher AUGSBURG FORTRESS PUB. #99
ISBN 0800662725 ISBN13 9780800662721
Availability 0 units.
More About Richard Grigg
Richard Grigg is Professor of Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University and the author of several books, including most recently, When God Becomes Goddess: The Transformation of American Religion.
I commend the author for acknowledging this. I quote:
"[regarding] the decidedly unscientific notion of vitalism. Science can understand the dynamism of the universe and wonder of life purely in terms of the categories supplied by physics, chemistry, and biology; it does not need the added idea of a vitalistic force. That idea was buried a long time ago, and it ought not be disinterred now [p.055]."
Scientific sophistry for the non-scientist. May 31, 2008
Richard Grigg starts his book by arguing that there is no personal God who interferes in our lives. If there were one who did, then he would be violating the First Law of Thermodynamics that calls for the conservation of the total energy in a system. Grigg maintains that every possible action of God, even sending thoughts into our minds, would result in an increase in the amount of energy in our universe, and hence is strictly forbidden by the First Law. This, of course, is not true, since movements along equipotential lines do not require energy input although they may impact the environment differently.
And what about the Second Law of Thermodynamics that calls for all operations in a system to tend towards increased randomness? Obviously the evolution of our universe does not seem to follow this Law. We started with a bunch of quarks and electrons before the Big Bang and ended up with a universe of galaxies, and stars, and planets, and a periodic table of over 100 elements. We started with one-cell microbes and evolved into complex human beings. We see everywhere a movement from the simple to the more complicated, not the reverse. How can that happen in face of the Second Law?
The usual answer is that the Laws of Thermodynamics hold for "closed" systems, and our universe is an "open" system. But if the Second Law is not applicable, then neither is the First. Furthermore, if God is part of our universe why is he restricted from acting while the rest of us are free to do so? There may be other, better, arguments against the existence of a personal God or regarding the necessary restrictions on his actions, but they are not the ones Professor Grigg lists.
The author goes on to describe his Radical Theology as a version of pantheism: God is part of the universe, or even the entire universe, and so we are all part of God. As he puts it, "a human person embodies the universe." To be more accurate, he embodies a few of the original quarks and electrons that were present during the Big Bang. The rest of the book is mildly interesting, although his scientific arguments could have used a science editor. Indeed his entire book could have used a more active editor as it seems to have been written for his university students rather than for the average person. Mercifully, the book is a short one.
(The writer is the author of "The Way of the Butterfly: A Scientific Speculation on God and the Hereafter," and of "Christianity Without Fairy Tales: When Science And Religion Merge.")