This volume summarizes physicist and theologian Ian Barbour’s decades-long exploration of the relationships between science and religion. In a clear and orderly writing style, he addresses big questions at the intersection of scientific and religious interests: the big bang, quantum physics, Darwin and Genesis, human nature (the question of determinism), and the relationship between a free God and a law-bound universe. In each chapter to illustrate possible ways of responding to the issues posed by these topics Ian applies his four-fold typology: conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration. In summary he acknowledges that his own commitments lie at an intersection of dialogue with integration.
Ian Barbour (1923-2013) was Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Carleton College where he taught for 31 years. Acknowledged as the "father" of contemporary science and religion scholarship he was the recipient in 1999 of what was then called the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. In his nomination of Ian, theologian John Cobb wrote, "No contemporary has made a more original, deep and lasting contribution toward the needed integration of scientific and religious knowledge and values than Ian Barbour. With respect to the breadth of topics and fields brought into this integration, Barbour has no equal."
Of this work, Robert John Russell, Founding Director of The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley, has written, "At last we have a volume in religion and science by the pioneer of the field, Ian G. Barbour, which uses Barbour's now classic four-fold typology to address fundamental issues of importance to us all. This book will be an invaluable resource to teachers, scholars, ministers, scientists and everyday inquirers who want to become part of the positive and creative interaction now growing rapidly and internationally between religion and science. Read this book and prepare for a wondrous experience!"