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From the General Interest section

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Science and Religion in the Twenty-first Century

edited Russell Re Manning, Michael Byrne

Jacket

Paperback
Price: £35.00
Publisher:SCM imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Published:31 January 2013
ISBN:978-0-334-04594-6
Review:
The famous chemist Robert Boyle left money in his will for a series of lectures to defend the Christian religion. The first forty Boyle lectures were delivered between 1692 and 1731; this book contains the first ten of a new series of Boyle lectures, delivered from 2004-2013. A major theme of this book is not how to defend religion in a battle with science but how the only true practical, sensible and productive way forward is for science and religion to be in dialogue with each other: "science and religion interact and complement each other… [they] are friends and not foes in the great quest for truthful understanding."

Covering topics such as evolution, cosmology and the psychology of religious beliefs, the discussions by "leading scientists, theologians and philosophers" are of a high level - this book is definitely not an introductory book to this topic. I found that the high level set by the writers often, however well they explained their arguments, necessarily demanded at least a little knowledge from both the science and theology sides of the debates.

In my opinion this book is enlightening, exciting and, admittedly, dense (with the exception of John Polkinghorne's refreshingly easy to read lecture at the end of the book). Cover to cover, it was a slow read, though my sense of this was perhaps enhanced by there being a 40 page trilogy of preface, forward and introduction before the lectures began!

If you are very new to the debates between science and religion I would advise looking elsewhere for now. Otherwise, this is an excellent, highly informative book that comes at the science and religion debates from a very positive direction.

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Reviewer: Tim Hupfield   (23/03/13)
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