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Science and the Trinity: The Christian Encounter with Reality [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

John Polkinghorne
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Kurzbeschreibung

15. Juni 2006
Most often, the dialogue between religion and science is initiated by the discoveries of modern science--big bang cosmology, evolution, or quantum theory, for example. In this book, scientist-theologian John Polkinghorne changes the discussion. He approaches the dialogue from a little-explored perspective in which theology shapes the argument and sets the agenda of questions to be considered. The author begins with a review of approaches to science and religion in which the classification focuses on theological content rather than on methodological technique. He then proceeds with chapters discussing the role of Scripture, a theology of nature, the doctrine of God, sacramental theology, and eschatology. Throughout, Polkinghorne takes the perspective of Trinitarian thinking while arguing in a style that reflects the influence of his career as a theoretical physicist. In the final chapter, the author defends the appropriateness of addressing issues of science and religion from the specific standpoint of his Christian belief. His book provides an important model for theologians and scientists alike, showing how their two fields can inform one another in significant ways.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 184 Seiten
  • Verlag: Yale Univ Pr (15. Juni 2006)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 030011530X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300115307
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.059.527 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Theology and science 22. Februar 2006
Format:Taschenbuch
The task of theology and the task of science have many things in common, and many differences. In some sense, both seek the truth (albeit most often different in context and meaning), and while both make an appeal to reason as a methodology, they vary in their application of this.
Author John Polkinghorne has a combined profession of cleric and theoretical physicist. Physics and theology are both often caterogised as 'big picture' enterprises - I recall the time that I got better grades from in a biblical studies course after talking with the professor Marti Steussy; once she realised that I had had science training in physics, and I realised she'd had science training in biochemistry, we understood each other much better with regard to biblical studies (big picture vs. constitutent parts/small things approaches). Polkinghorne also approaches things from a big picture perspective, albeit involving small things (the smallest of things, in fact, that science can discern).
This book is derivative of lectures given at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2003. Polkinghorne's intention was to draw together science and religion in a dialogue, letting theological issues provide the framework. He covers different key areas in systematic theology (scripture, sacraments, doctrine of God, eschatology), and does so through an expressly trinitarian paradigm. 'I believe that a discussion of this kind has to be undertaken from the standpoint of a particular faith tradition,' Polkinghorne states, and starts with many assumptions of the Christian faith - of course, his audience at Princeton was also primarily Christian, as will be most of the readers of this volume.
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12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Theology and science 2. September 2005
Von FrKurt Messick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The task of theology and the task of science have many things in common, and many differences. In some sense, both seek the truth (albeit most often different in context and meaning), and while both make an appeal to reason as a methodology, they vary in their application of this.

Author John Polkinghorne has a combined profession of cleric and theoretical physicist. Physics and theology are both often caterogised as 'big picture' enterprises - I recall the time that I got better grades from in a biblical studies course after talking with the professor Marti Steussy; once she realised that I had had science training in physics, and I realised she'd had science training in biochemistry, we understood each other much better with regard to biblical studies (big picture vs. constitutent parts/small things approaches). Polkinghorne also approaches things from a big picture perspective, albeit involving small things (the smallest of things, in fact, that science can discern).

This book is derivative of lectures given at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2003. Polkinghorne's intention was to draw together science and religion in a dialogue, letting theological issues provide the framework. He covers different key areas in systematic theology (scripture, sacraments, doctrine of God, eschatology), and does so through an expressly trinitarian paradigm. 'I believe that a discussion of this kind has to be undertaken from the standpoint of a particular faith tradition,' Polkinghorne states, and starts with many assumptions of the Christian faith - of course, his audience at Princeton was also primarily Christian, as will be most of the readers of this volume. Polkinghorne admits that this particularist stance is somewhat at odds with the aims of science: 'Scientists love generality, and they are often wary of particularity.' But for theological reasoning, one must be inside the circle, rather than outside; however, the scandal of particularity must be admitted.

This is not an 'in-depth' book in terms of attempting to provide a deep exposition of modern physics (many concepts are assumed to be familiar to the reader, if not completely understood). However, Polkinghorne avoids complex mathematical and technical terminology and constructions for the most part, so that the general non-scientist reader can follow the text readily. Polkinghorne does draw in elements of the history of science and theology and their often-troubled relationship, and shows something of the development of the way theological thinking since the Enlightenment.

This is an interesting book for those who are interested in the ongoing science/religion debate. It does not address the more-hot-button issue of evolution as a primary theme, although it does come up in several of the essays; this is a more general coverage of science and theology, the way they relate to each other.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A bold New Theological Synthesis 29. August 2005
Von Susan Salisbury - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This may well be one of Polkinghorne's best. He assumes a knowledge of recent discoveries in phyiscs and doesn't really explain them. He does that elsewhere in books like Quarks, Chaos and Christianity, but he does refer to those facts in a determined attempt to develop a theology that is consonant with the physical facts known to scientists. He describes a new theology that sees God as both temporal and atemporal, a God who has created a developing universe in which He is active but which is also independent from Him. His view may not be satisfying to some but it is the grandest attempt I have read by a theologian to answer the questions that physics ask about the nature of the universe. He calls himself a "bottoms=up thinker"-- one who develops theory based on evidence. He does not claim to "prove" the existence of God only to show that it is the most satsifying explanation for the facts shown. His goal here really is not to persuade the unpersuaded to believe in God, rather is is addressed to those who, like him, are believers who nevertheless have many questions that have been undresolved for centuries-- Does God exist only outside of time? Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people. And so on. A great, but as usual, difficult, read for people of faith seeking greater understanding.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Intellectual bridge between science and faith 12. Dezember 2006
Von rowley32256 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
John Polkinghorne is a fine author; the combination of his faith, his deep understanding of physics and his ability to explain the most complex ideas in terms that are relatively easy to follow (sometimes requiring a second read!) make him uniquely qualified for the challenge of showing how it can be intellectually sound to embrace the Christian faith. His willingness to quote sources with whom he clearly disagrees and to do so with integrity towards the opposing view adds tremendously to the depth of his reasoning.

His comment on page 63 is typical: "The universe has proved to be astonishingly rationally transparent, and the human mind remarkably apt to the comprehension of its structure. We can penetrate the secrets of the subatomic realm of quarks and gluons, and we can make maps of cosmic curved spacetime, both regimes that have no practical impact upon us, and both exhibiting properties that are counterintuitive in relation to our ordinary habits of thought. Our understanding of the workings of the world greatly exceed (sic) anything that could simply be required for human survival."

When I reflect on insights such as this (and the book is full of them) I find them so much more valuable than the confrontational approach of the materialists on one side and the Intelligent Design zealots on the other.
5.0 von 5 Sternen I wish I had discovered this 2004 book sooner. 1. Oktober 2013
Von Paul R. Bruggink - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
In this relatively small book, John Polkinghorne suggests that science and theology have a lot in common. Polkinghorne begins by discussing Ian Barbour's four approaches to the dialogue between science and theology: conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration. He then proposes a different kind of classification is needed: deistic, theistic, revisionary, and developmental. This chapter was a bit of a struggle for this layman, but the reader can begin with Chapter 2 and still benefit from the rest of the book.

Chapter 2 on the role of scripture was essentially how to think about scripture in 27 insightful pages. For instance, Polkinghorne points out that "Those who attempt to read Genesis 1 and 2 as if these chapters were divinely dictated scientific texts, kindly provided by God to save us the trouble of attempting to read the book of nature for ourselves, are committing just such an act of literary violence [confusing one genre with another]. They also put themselves in peril of missing the true theological point of the text, with its eightfold reiteration of the message that nothing exists except through the creative will and effectual utterance of God (`And God said "Let there be . . ."')." (p 44)

Polkinghorne suggests that " . . . just as individual scientists are the indispensable originators of ideas, yet have to submit their proposals to the judgement of the competent community of their peers, so what is often thought of as a Protestant emphasis on the individual believer's right to read and interpret scripture has to be qualified by what is often thought of as a Catholic emphasis on the sifting and receiving role played by the whole Christian community." (p. 52)

In Chapter 3, Polkinghorne suggests that Trinitarian theology is a true `Theory of Everything', " . . . not that we can infer the Trinity from nature, but that there are aspects of our scientific understanding of the universe that become more deeply intelligible to us if they are viewed in a Trinitarian perspective." (p. 61) He suggests that "The more we understand scientifically the process of the world, the more it seems closely integrated--a package deal from which it is not possible in a consistent way to retain the `good' and remove the `bad'. I do not for a moment believe that this insight eliminates all the anguish and perplexity that we feel at the evil and suffering in the world, but it does suggest that its presence is not gratuitous." (p. 72)

In Chapter 4, Polkinghorne mentions numerous analogies between science and theology, e.g., "Perhaps a scaled-down analogy to the ambition of theological discourse about the divine infinity can be provided from within the experience of the fundamental physicist by considering the confident way in which quantum cosmologists talk about the extremely early universe and about the proliferating cosmic sequences of a hypothesized quantum multiverse. Their talk is both fascinating and precarious. The pretty arabesques that the quantum cosmologists perform are executed on the thinnest of intellectual ice and to the sound of cracking. (pp. 91-92)

In Chapter 6, Polkinghorne identifies and discusses four eschatological criteria whose fulfillment seemed to be essential for a credible theology: (1) if the universe is a creation, it must make sense everlastingly and so ultimately it must be redeemed from transience and decay, (2) if human beings are creatures loved by their Creator, they must have a destiny beyond their deaths, (3) in so far as present human imagination can articulate eschatological expectation, it has to do so within the tension between continuity and discontinuity, and (4) the only ground for eschatological hope lies in the steadfast love and faithfulness of God, which is testified to by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

He then raises and suggests an answer for the question: "If the possibility of such a world [the world to come] is accepted, however, it does raise an acute theological question. If the new creation is to be such an attractive state, why did God bother with the old creation. (p. 164)

"Science and the Trinity" is good introduction to and/or summary of John Polkinghorne's books. My only disappointment is that I did not discover this 2004 book sooner.
9 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Three and a half stars, dissapointing 25. Dezember 2005
Von Jesse Rouse - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Polkinghorne is just not at his best in this volume. It starts out good, but just goes downhill. If he could just stay on the topic of the relationship between science and theology he would be great. No one but Stanley Jaki is as good when it comes to that subject, and that was what I wanted in this book. Unfortunately, Polkinghorne soon leaves this behind to talk about theology (mostly) apart from science, and some of his theological views are just wacko. For example, when discussing God and time, he concluded that God is bound by time (in His temporal pole at least), but of course time is relative, so we have to decide what "time-zone" God is on. Polkinghorne concludes that he is probably on the same time-zone as the cosmic background radiation, since that is the most common time zone! And I assure you he is not joking when he comes to this conclusion, he is quite serious. Also, on the way to this conclusion, he passes through a discussion on the bipolarity of God, sounds dangerously like a process theist. In fact, after reading this book, I am fairly convinced that Polkinghorne is either a process theist or something very close to it, certainly not a traditional Christian theist, and I am certain that he goes far beyond the bounds of even open theism. This was a very dissapointing discovery, but the book is still good in parts. If only he would stay on subject, for he discusses the main subject better than any other but one!
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