Item description for Cosmology: From Alpha to Omega (Theology And The Sciences) by Robert John Russell...
Overview In ten provocative chapters Russell explores such topics as: The Contingency of Creation and Big Bang Cosmology; Does 'The God Who Acts' Really Act?; New Approaches to Divine Action In Light of Contemporary Science; Entropy and Evil: The Role of Thermodynamics in the Ambiguity of Good and Evil in Nature; The Transfiguration of the Cosmos: A Fresh Exploration of the Symbol of a Cosmic Christ; and more.
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Studio: Fortress Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.08" Width: 5.92" Height: 0.84" Weight: 1.29 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2008
Publisher AUGSBURG FORTRESS PUB. #99
Series Theology And The Sciences
ISBN 0800662733 ISBN13 9780800662738
Availability 0 units.
More About Robert John Russell
Robert John Russell is the Ian G. Barbour Professor of Theology and Science in residence at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He is the author or co-editor of seventeen books, including Cosmology From Alpha To Omega: Theology And Science In Creative Mutual Interaction and Resurrection: Theological And Scientific Assessments. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.
Robert John Russell currently resides in the state of California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Cosmology: From Alpha to Omega?
A challenging read for a layman Oct 2, 2009
In addition to being a Professor of Theology and Science, and the founding director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS), Robert John Russell was an active participant in the Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action Program sponsored by the CTNS and the Vatican Observatory. Many of the footnotes in this book are references to books and papers from that program.
This book was written for an academic audience and therefore was not an easy read for a layman like me, but parts of it definitely were interesting and thought-provoking. One of his major themes is that not only does science impact on theology (theologians integrating an old earth and some form of evolution into our Christian faith) but that theology has had and could continue to have an impact on science, e.g., scientific programs to attempt to investigate what the transfiguration of Jesus Christ at the resurrection might enable us to say about the transfiguration of the universe into the New Creation (vs. the long-term future of the universe predicted by the various Big Bang theories: freeze or fry). Russell calls this approach his Creative Mutual Interaction (CMI) model for theology and science. He defines five ways in which science can interact with theology and three ways in which theology can interact with science.
Russell discusses general providence and special providence, and views special providence as "consisting in the objective acts of God in nature and history to which we respond through faith and we can interpret these acts in a non-interventionist manner consistent with the natural sciences." (p. 112) He makes a case for a quantum mechanics-based approach to non-interventionist objective divine action (QM-NOIDA) and applies it to biological evolution. He also discusses a number of related topics, including infinity, time, entropy, chaos, chance, the soul, general and special relativity, the problem of evil, etc. On each topic, Russell reviews and critiques the positions of other scientists, philosophers and theologians, then states and defends his own view.
Getting through this book was challenging for this layman, but worth the effort because Russell presented a number of new ways of looking at the science-theology debate.
very sophisticated Sep 6, 2008
R.J. Russell is one of the leading scientists in the field of science and religion. This volume contains his papers on a number of subjects (see also product description), all of which at a very sophisticated level and by no means easy reading. It is broadly divided into three parts: the first of which deals with the beginning of the universe and its relation to the theological concept of creation, including a paper on the mathematics of infinity; the second deals with the evolution of the cosmos and life, arguing for "Non-Interventionist Objective Divine Action" - it proposes the model of continuous Divine Action in evolution, with the quantum level and its intrinsic indeterminacy as its possible locus (this latter issue is of course disputed in the science-religion debate); and thirdly, Christian eschatology and the future of the universe - Russell acknowledges scientific predictions pose a profound challenge to Christian hope, but it is also clear that the absence of such a hope only leaves one with "unyielding despair", in the words of Bertrand Russell. The key to such a hope for a new heaven and a new earth is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In short, this is sophisticated science and solid theology, and should be widely read by scientists, philosophers and theologians.