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Featured Book: Belief in God in an Age of Science


John Polkinghorne calls science and theology “intellectual cousins,” because, as questionsoftruth.org explains, both are “concerned with interpreted experience, and with the quest for reality itself.” In its take on Sir John’s classic Belief in God in an Age of Science, Princeton University Press puts it this way, citing St. Anslem’s famous axiom: “’Faith seeking understanding’ is, according to Polkinghorne, like the scientific quest.”  Certainly, the author knows of what he writes: he is both a renowned mathematical theoretical physicist and an ordained Anglican priest and theologian.

“He sees theology as dealing with God in essentially the same way science is dealing with nature. This is a grand vision,” Freeman Dyson explains in his nybooks.com critique. Nevertheless, “much as I admire Polkinghorne’s vision, I cannot share it. …If you have not grown up in Polkinghorne’s culture, where words such as ‘incarnation’ and ‘trinity’ have a profound meaning, you cannot share his vision.”

So, maybe enotes.com is right, and this book “is not for everyone,” since “the material is geared to the who have some knowledge of physics.” Or is Kirkus Reviews correct in declaring, “If you read one book on science and religion, this should be it”? What do you say?

Belief in God in an Age of Science by John Polkinghorne
Yale University Press, 1998