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Science And Faith: Understanding Meaning, Method, And Truth [Paperback]

By William H. Chalker (Author)
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Item description for Science And Faith: Understanding Meaning, Method, And Truth by William H. Chalker...

Overview
In this introduction to religion and science, William Chalker outlines the nature of knowledge involved in claims about science and about religion and delineates a compatible relationship between these two fields of understanding. According to Chalker, both science and theology have their proper realms. While science and theology are different in several crucial respects, they are not incompatible. Science, he explains, is a human intellectual activity whose aim is to produce knowledge claims that will maximize utility. Theology, in contrast, is a human intellectual activity whose aim is to produce knowledge claims about ultimate purpose. The two areas of knowledge are grounded in two very basic and very different kinds of human needs. Through explaining the differences in the nature of truth claims in science and theology, Chalker hopes to dissolve the seemingly intractable conflict between scientific and theological ways of thinking.

Publishers Description
In this introduction to religion and science, William Chalker outlines the nature of knowledge involved in claims about science and about religion and delineates a compatible relationship between these two fields of understanding. According to Chalker, both science and theology has its proper realm. While science and theology are different in several crucial respects, they are not incompatible. Science, he explains, is a human intellectual activity whose aim is to produce knowledge claims that will maximize utility. Theology, in contrast, is a human intellectual activity whose aim is to produce knowledge claims about ultimate purpose. The two areas of knowledge are grounded in two very basic and very different kinds of human needs. As such, through explaining the differences in the nature of truth claims in science and theology, Chalker hopes to dissolve the seemingly intractable conflict between scientific and theological ways of thinking. Written accessibly and engagingly, Science and Faith will be welcomed both by the general reader and by students in undergraduate and seminary classes.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   218
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.56"
Weight:   0.84 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 3, 2006
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664227538  
ISBN13  9780664227531  


Availability  111 units.
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More About William H. Chalker


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! William H. Chalker is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at Albertson College of Idaho.

William H. Chalker was born in 1927.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Science & Religion


Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Science, Faith & Evolution



Reviews - What do customers think about Science And Faith: Understanding Meaning, Method, And Truth?

Explains Layman's Misconceptions About Science and Religion  Dec 28, 2007
In 1977, I took a religion course from the author called "Introduction to Biblical Literature". Since I was attending a Presbyterian-supported college, religion was a graduation requirement. Jaded by the stereotypical (fundamentalist) view of religion, I expected to be bored and annoyed. Instead, I was enlightened. It finally all made sense to me. Over the years, Dr. Chalker's words and wisdom stood me in good stead.

Some 30 years later, I discovered that he had written this book. A lot of the basic philosophy from the course is contained in this book, although the book has more emphasis on the relationship between science and religion, and less about specific biblical stories and literature.

This book is quite scholarly and rigorous. Dr. Chalker makes formal arguments, intended to stand up to close (and possibly harsh) scrutiny. If you are not used to this writing style, it might take some getting used to, but the mental excercise is well worth the effort, and you will come away with a much better understanding about the role and purpose of science, and the role and purpose of religion. Moreover, this book should make a religious fundamentalist less hostile to science, and an atheist scientist less hostile to religion. I think most people will respect Dr. Chalker's intellectual integrity even if they do not become true believers.

Dr. Chalker does not address the subject specifically, but after reading this book, you should have the tools to reconcile evolution vs. creationism, and most other scientific vs. dogmatic arguments. You should also be able to explain why Intelligent Design is neither good dogma nor good science.
 
An interesting rubric  Feb 13, 2007
This book attempts to address the dichotomy between truth-claims of science and faith by establishing some ground rules (what he calls "rubrics":

1. In our analyses, we do not describe reality as it actually is, but only as we "experience" it (because all we know has come to us through our personal experience (whatever medium of learning) and so we can only know about the "putative" reality we describe/construct from our experiences.

2. Science is a paradigm operating from the rubric of utility. Our putative scientific experiments and theorization are directed toward accurately describing what we see in putative reality, but do not necessarily describe what really IS in "metaphysical reality" (because putative reality is all we can know about, via our experience.) There are no scientific "facts" which have an independent existence of their own, but only scientific theories which more and more accurately describe what we encounter in putative reality. If a later scientific formulation or theory more accurately corresponds with observed putative reality, then that scientific formulation would replace earlier iterations.

3. Religion is a paradigm operating within the rubric not of utility (which would lead to heresy) but instead operates within the rubric of ultimate purposes. (The ultimate purpose of existence is for all creation to be fulfilled according to the intention/desire of a loving, all-caring Father.) Therefore theology is most properly understood as that which aligns with this rubric (holiness is what aligns with God's desire for fulfillment of creation, "sin" is what turns us away from God's desire/plan, etc.)

By realizing that science and religion operate within these two different paradigms, or rubrics, we can understand that apparent conflicts between "science" and "faith" do not occur. When we deal with science, we know we are operating from the rubric of "utility" and understand that what science does/says is from that premise. When we deal with theology, we know we are operating under the rubric of "ultimate purposes" and understand that theology is not impaired/contradicted by "science" based in our "putative reality." Chalker suggests that conflict occurs when we discuss science in terms of "ultimate purposes" of putative reality, and/or discuss theology in terms of "utility" in putative reality.

I found this book to be somewhat dry reading, but after plowing through it I feel that it presents an interesting thesis.

A further thought for reflection - what is "utility" but a description of the "ultimate purpose" of something? In this way, are the two rubrics a false dichotomy?
 

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