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Rubenstein grounds the current debate on the plurality of universes on solid scholarship, skillfully exploring its historical and philosophical roots. -- Marcelo Gleiser, Dartmouth College This is a work that performs the 'many-oneness' of the multiverse, whose history and potentiality it maps. As she traces the startling philosophical depths, mystical ancestry, and scientific shocks of this cosmic boundlessness, Rubenstein's brilliance sparkles like its innumerable stars. -- Catherine Keller, author of Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming Some physicists suggest that our cosmos has been caught in an endless loop, repeatedly cycling between big bangs since time immemorial. In Worlds Without End, Mary-Jane Rubenstein provides a remarkable tour of how such ideas--and competing ideas about whether our universe is embedded within some larger multiverse--have likewise been cycling throughout Western thought for millennia. This deeply learned excavation is a rare accomplishment: a page-turner that asks large questions about science, philosophy, and religion. Fascinating. -- David Kaiser, author of How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival We are living through a golden age of cosmology, when observations reveal a universe 13.8 billion years big and new theories and new evidence vie with one another almost on a daily basis. Rubenstein is an expert guide to this dramatic scene. Uncovering humorous comparisons with the past, she shows that our golden age is tarnished in only a few ways. We cannot tell which of the many-worlds hypotheses is the right one, whether they exist under an integrated set of laws, and we may never be able to so. Yet the quest continues and produces many profound insights. Rubenstein shows the way scientific worldviews grow from the kind of questions we ask, how metaphysics and physics are mutually entangled, and how the many worlds of her title emerge, again and again over two thousand years, often in spite of their authors' intentions and taste. A witty and mature view of views. -- Charles Jencks , author of The Garden of Cosmic Speculation A must read for anyone who is interested in the evolution of human thought about the cosmos. The reader is led through the history of philosophical, religious and scientific ideas and arguments for the existence of many worlds then left to contemplate their own ending to the cosmic story. A beautiful and authoritative description of the struggles and developments of competing ideas about nature for the past three millenia -- Laura Mersini-Houghton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Rubenstein's witty, thought-provoking history of philosophy and physics leaves one in awe of just how close Thomas Aquinas and American physicist Steven Weinberg are in spirit as they seek ultimate answers. Publishers Weekly Wonderful... A fun, mind-stretching read, clear and enlightening. San Francisco Book Review A fascinating and very well-written book... Green Spirit Magazine An excellent starting point for those wishing to go even deeper down the throat of the wormhole. Recommended. CHOICE If one seeks a scholarly account of the main ideas rather than of the detailed science, then Worlds Without End is excellent. Physics Today
Mary-Jane Rubenstein is associate professor of religion at Wesleyan University and the author of Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe.