The last sixty years have witnessed a virtual explosion of interest in how modern science and traditional Christianity intersect. This new rapprochement with science has irrevocably altered how Christians think of God, providing a foundation from which we cannot retreat, but from which we also cannot move forward until we examine the presumptions on which it is based. For the first time, Richard J. Coleman interprets in a clear and meaningful way the themes and practitioners that make this rapprochement different, and what it has achieved. But this book is more than description - it is an inquiry into whether Christian theology has lost its authentic voice by its singular focus on accommodating modern science.
||James Clarke & Co Ltd
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Richard J. Coleman is the author of two previous books exploring the subject matter of religion and science: 'Competing Truths: Theology and Science as Sibling Rivals' and 'Eden's Garden: Rethinking Sin and Evil in an Era of Scientific Promise'. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Princeton Theological Seminary, the author has retired from a career as teacher, executive director, and minister in the United Church of Christ.
- Front cover
- Title page
- 1. The Contemporary Scene:
- The New Atheism
- Liberal Protestant Theology
- The Evangelical Turnaround
- The Roman Catholic Tradition
- Bothersome Questions
- 2. Irreconcilable Differences:
- Rereading History
- A History of Irreconcilable Differences
- A Clash of Methodologies
- 3. The New Rapprochement with Science:
- Amicable Separation
- The New Rapprochement
- 4. Lingering Questions and Some Tentative Conclusions:
- Lingering Questions
- Some Tentative Conclusions
- 5. The Distinctiveness that Is Science:
- The Measure of All Things
- Radical Reductionism
- To Think Mathematically
- Tinker, Inventor, and Engineer
- Problem Solving
- Methodology Per Se
- 6. The Distinctiveness that Is Christian Theology:
- What Counts as Theologizing
- Theology's Faith Factor
- The Real that Really Matters
- Word Truth
- Methodology Per Se
- 7. Where Do We Go From Here?:
- Level the Playing Field
- The Shortfall of Separate but Equal Domains
- Science and Theology Complement Each Other
- A Place at the Table
- Engagement as Disputants
- What Lies Ahead
- Selected Bibliography
- Back cover
"In this candid survey and synthesis, Richard Coleman states clearly what he considers to be both right and wrong in contemporary attempts to integrate science with the world of faith and theology. This well-informed book deserves careful reading and commentary."
-John F. Haught, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
"Rejecting simple models, Coleman calls for Christian theology to be a 'holy irritant,' to 'redescribe' a world only 'partially explained by science.' This is a valuable contribution to the state of affairs it describes so well."
-Karl Giberson, Stonehill College, Easton, MA
"About fifty years ago, a new dialogue between science and religion began to replace the older period of conflict. While the dialogue has been rewarding, it's time for some hard questions. Is it really possible to do interdisciplinary work between science and religion? Is a new academic field being launched? Or are theologians and scholars of religion just being too accommodating, seeking to be relevant in a culture of science but losing their own distinctive voice? . . . Honest, forthright, sometimes disturbing, but always insightful and instructive."
-Ron Cole-Turner, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA
"This book is essential reading for anyone who believes we need to reexamine the suppositions of the academic discourses of theology and science, and who wonders what it would take for Christian theology to develop a more critical - dare I say prophetic - voice."
-Lisa Stenmark, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
"There is much that is perceptive in Coleman's construal of the very different tasks and distinctiveness of the science and theology: his encouragement to theology to adopt a more robust attitude to science is surely valuable. Also, his 'lingering questions' for the NR are spot-on in identifying some of the outstanding problems with the science-religion discourse."
-Mark Harris, Theology 119.1 2016
"This is a book worth grappling with, even if the outcome is inevitably further deliberation and stringent self-assessment. As a biomedical scientist I responded positively to the brief references to the need for dealing with specifics and not simply generalities, paying greater attention to biology and less to physics, and the ever-present need for humility on the part of both theologians and scientists."
-D. Gareth Jones, Theological Book Review, Vol. 27 No.1, 2016
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