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God and Contemporary Science
POD; Published: 5/26/1998
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4460-6
Price: $ 29.50
286 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.25 X 9.25
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It is widely believed that contemporary science has ruled out divine action in the world. Arguing that theology can and must respond to this challenge, Philip Clayton surveys the available biblical and philosophical resources. Recent work in cosmology, quantum physics, and the brain sciences offers exciting new openings for a theology of divine action.

If Christian theism is to make use of these opportunities, says Clayton, it must place a greater stress on divine immanence. In response to this challenge, Clayton defends the doctrine of panentheism, the view that the world is in some sense "within" God although God also transcends the world. God and Contemporary Science offers the first book-length defense of panentheism as a viable option within traditional Christian theology.

Clayton first defends a "postfoundationalist" model of theology that is concerned more with the coherence of Christian belief than with rational obligation or proof. He makes the case that the Old and New Testament theologies do not stand opposed to panentheism but actually support it at a number of points. He then outlines the philosophical strengths of a panentheistic view of God's relation to the world and God's activity in the world.

The remainder of the book applies this theological position to recent scientific developments: theories of the origin of the universe; quantum mechanics, or the physics of the very small; the debate about miracles; and neuroscientific theories of human thought.
Templeton Foundation, Templeton Prize for Outstanding Books in Theology and the Natural Sciences
Christian Scholar's Review
"Philip Clayton has done the Church and the academy a real service in the publication of this book. . . Clayton sets for himself the task of reflecting on and advancing our conception of God as Christian theologians in the light of contemporary science. He admirably meets this goal and has written a clear, learned, and engaging text. . . Phil Clayton helps us reflect more fully on the manner in which theology and natural science are (and should be) brought into fruitful, mutual engagement. He has provided us with a thoughtful, learned and important book. If we do not always agree with him, one can admire the clarity and insight he brings to the task. The task he set himself, of bringing theology and science into dialogue, is one of the greatest challenges facing the Church in the twenty-first century. I recommend this volume to everyone interested in serious engagement between theology and science."
Cross Currents
"An excellent summary of a contribution to the current dialogue over the nature of God's relation to the world and the problem of divine agency, this erudite and lucid piece of constructive theology was (deservedly) awarded the 1998 Templeton Book Prize in Science and Religion. . . Thinkers across the theological spectrum will learn from and be challenged by this important and highly readable book; it is a model of theological and philosophical argumentation and should not be missed."
Journal of Religion
"In this instructive and generally persuasive book, Philip Clayton's central concern is to develop and defend a model of God, God's relation to the world, and God's activity in the world that is both faithful to the Christian tradition and does justice to the contemporary scientific and philosophical context. . . This book provides a cogent argument for a panentheistic solution to the problem, made pressing by modern science, of how to make sense of the claim that God acts in the world."
Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
"I highly recommend this book; it serves as an excellent introduction to many of the important topics in the science/theology reconciliation, while advocating an intriguing solution to some of the inherent problems."
Anglican Theological Review
"Clayton brilliantly and clearly addresses key issues that all theists who choose to bring their religious commitments into dialogue with other aspects of culture must face. He carefully outlines a procedure for thinking theologically in a contemporary age, offers valuable descriptions of alternative positions being taken on a number of issues at the junction of theology and science, and boldly states a program to be pursued in addressing the core theological problem: the God-world relationship. . . For those just getting acquainted with the present interdisciplinary discussions between theology and the sciences, God and Contemporary Science offers clear insight into what is at stake and where the big issues are in the relationship between theology and contemporary science."