Published by Routledge Science and Religion Series, 2012
This book presents a celebration, survey and critique of the theological work of arguably the most important and most widely-read contributor to the modern dialogue between science and theology, John Polkinghorne. Including a major survey by Polkinghorne himself of his life's work in theology, this book draws together contributors from among the most important voices in the science-theology dialogue today to focus on key aspects of Polkinghorne's work, with Polkinghorne providing responses. Anybody exploring contemporary aspects of the science-religion debate will find this book invaluable.
Fraser Watts comments: “I have huge admiration for John Polkinghorne. He thinks, talks and writes with elegant clarity about difficult topics. The interface between theology and theoretical physics is complex territory, and too often discussion of it gets vague and foggy, but Polkinghorne knows exactly what he thinks, and he is always beautifully clear in the way he expresses his views.
I sometimes think his writing style is influenced by his background in mathematical physics. He uses words as though he was writing equations. When I first started reading his books I tried to make notes summarising his key points, but found that you can’t really condense his writing any further. It is already as precise and economical as it can be.
One of my first meetings with John Polkinghorne was when he was on the panel that interviewed me before my appointment as the Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Science at the University of Cambridge. I discovered afterwards that he was keen to appoint someone who had experience of scientific research, and it seems I was the only short-listed candidate who had. Later I became a Fellow at Queens’ College where he was President, and we became good personal friends. I was a great pleasure to edit this book of essays in his honour.
1 Reflections of a Bottom-up Thinker
2 John Polkinghorne on Three Scientist – Theologians
Ian G. Barbour
3 Is Informational Causality Primary Causality?
A study of an Aspect of John Polkinghorne’s Account of Divine Action
4 Polkinghorne on Mathematics and Chaos Theory
5 Queen Physics:
How much of the Globe is Painted Red?
Nancy Cartwright and Eric Martin
6 God and Time: A New Flowing Time Interpretation of special Relativity and its importance for Theology
Robert John Russell
8 Bishop Berkley’s Castle
John Polkinghorne on the Soul
9 Theology and Scientific Cosmology
10 Christian Hope in Dialogue with Natural Science:
John Polkinghorne’s Incorporation of Bottom-up Thinking into Eschatology
11 Subtle and Supple:
John Polkinghorne’s Engagement with Reality
12 On Revising Natural Theology:
John Polkinghorne and the false Modesty of Liberal Thinking
Russell Re Manning
13 John Polkinghorne’s Kenotic Theology of Creation and its Implications for a Theory of Human Creativity
James M. Watkins
14 Science-and-Theology from the Standpoint of Divine Kenosis
15 Processes of Discovery in Science and theology:
Bottom-up Approach, Critical Realism and Interdisciplinary Inspiration
16 Some Responses
A selected Bibliography of Works on the Science – Theology Dialogue