Faith and the Marvelous Progress of Science

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Faith and the Marvelous Progress of Science

Page Count
190 pages
Publication date
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    About the book

    Many Christians today favor the approach of dialogue between faith and science. As Pope Francis writes, “all of society can be enriched thanks to this dialogue, which opens up new horizons for thought and expands the possibilities of reason.” After all, faith is not fearful of reason. It seeks and trusts reason. It values science for the simple reason that since there is only one Truth and since the light of reason and the light of faith both come from God, they cannot contradict each other. The Catholic Church’s position, therefore, is that she has no wish to hold back the marvelous progress of science. Indeed, the pathway of dialogue is needed, not least because it is linked to the promotion of peace and harmony in the world.

    Table of Contents

      • List of Contributors
      • Introduction

    Part 1 Learning from History

    • Common Historical Roots; Common Practitioners

    Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ

    • Notes on the History of the Dialectic between Scientific and Humanistic Knowing

    Sergio Rondinara

    • Chenu’s Recovery of Theology as a Science

    Patricia Kelly

    Part 2 Topics in Contemporary Debate

    • A ‘Cosmic Authority Problem’ Lawrence Krauss’s and Thomas Nagel’s approach to the question of God

    Brendan Purcell

    • Modern Physics, the Beginning, and Creation

    Stephen M. Barr

    • Science Is Not Scientific

    David Walsh

    • Can it be Reasonable for a Scientist to Believe in God?

    William Reville

    Part 3 Christian Perspectives on the Destiny of the Cosmos

    • Striving Towards the “Omega Point” Henri De Lubac on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

    Noel O’Sullivan

    • Do We Know Where We Are? Creation and the Trinity

    Brendan Leahy

    • From Beginning to End: The Scientific Relevance of Creation and New Creation

    David Wilkinson

    List of Contributors

    Stephen Barr is a professor of Particle Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware, and a member of its Bartol Research Institute.

    Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, SJ, is an American research astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory.

    Patricia Kelly is Senior Lecturer in Catholic Studies at Leeds Trinity University, England.

    Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick, Ireland, and formerly Professor of Systematic Theology, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

    Noel O’Sullivan is a lecturer in Systematic Theology at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Ireland.

    Brendan Purcell is Adjunct Professor in Philosophy at Notre Dame University, Sydney, and assistant priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

    William J. Reville is Professor of Biochemistry at University College, Cork, Ireland.

    Sergio Rondinara, Professor of Epistemology and Cosmology at the Sophia University Institute, Loppiano, Florence, Italy.

    David Walsh is Professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

    David Wilkinson is Principal of St John’s College and Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, England.

    It is a surprise, almost a shock, to encounter a Christian book with a title such as this one, in which the progress of science is described as ‘marvelous.’ The contributors stem largely, but not entirely, from the Roman Catholic tradition, and their contributions fall into three sections: learning from history, topics in contemporary debate, and Christian perspectives on the destiny of the cosmos. For anyone wanting a good introduction to the relationship between science (particularly physics and related disciplines) and faith, there is much robust theology that will be of value, with some of the chapters providing detailed analyses and assessments well beyond the elementary.

    D Gareth Jones
    Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand.
    Theological Book Review

    For those of us who are called to be scientists, the exploration of God’s creation is a response to an invitation to spend time with the Creator. We get to play with Him, so to speak, uncovering the delightful puzzles He sets for us and marveling at the way the laws of the universe fit together with a logic that is both harmonious and elegant. Science does not replace God; rather, it reveals that God is more amazing than we could ever have realized.

    Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ
    Research astronomer and Planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory
    Recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal and Contributor of Chapter 1

    A book like Faith and the Marvelous Progress of Science may very well contribute to the dawn of a new era in our understanding of the natures of both science and theology, an era where justice is done to each of these disciplines as we appreciate that while their methods are different, they are not opposed to each other, an era in which we might react, as we look back at the history of popular attitudes towards these two disciplines, by asking: Science versus Religion? Aren't they both good guys?

    Robert Egan
    The Furrow

    About the author

    Most Rev. Brendan Leahy is Bishop of Limerick, Ireland. Formerly professor of Systematic Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, he is a von Balthasar scholar and an ecumenist and has authored articles and books on interreligious dialogue, issues facing the Church in the 21st century, the life and teachings of Pope John Paul II, renewal in the Church, charisms, and the priesthood.