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Confusing paradox surrounds the Bible. Some look to it as the definition of reality and deny science; others see science alone as the arbiter of truth and deny the Bible. Both extremes are merely symptoms of a still wider debate on the place of ancient spiritual wisdom in a science-dominated world. Following the Reformation and Enlightenment, the Western world gained great power but lost its spiritual bearings. This book draws on numerous sources, ancient and modern, to examine what the missteps were that have brought us to a point of such confusion, and in doing so argues cogently against the modern philosophy of scientific materialism. With the aid of biblical stories and imagery it suggests how we might find our way back to balance, where ancient wisdom and modern science can together shed light on humans and their encompassing reality.
Vincent Smiles is professor of theology at Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota.
Table of Contents
|Essential Preliminaries for the Road Ahead||p. 1|
|Debate and Confusion about Theology and Science||p. 4|
|Purpose, Meaning, and Value in Human Life||p. 9|
|The Relationship of Faith and Reason||p. 10|
|Reasons to be Skeptical about Scientific Naturalism||p. 13|
|The Bible and Science as Partners in Understanding Reality||p. 17|
|Overcoming Arrogance||p. 20|
|The Bible||p. 24|
|The Problem of Content||p. 26|
|The Problem of Interpretation||p. 28|
|Avoiding Extreme Views about the Bible||p. 30|
|Richard Dawkins||p. 30|
|Biblical Fundamentalism||p. 33|
|Interpreting the Bible: The Problem of Method||p. 36|
|The Historical-Critical Method: Benedict Spinoza||p. 38|
|The ˘Four Assumptions÷ of the Ancient Interpreters and ˘The Very Idea of the Bible÷ (James Kugel)||p. 43|
|A Response to Kugel: Historical Criticism and Faith||p. 49|
|Learning from the Bible and Science: The Assumptions behind the Combination||p. 53|
|The Bible in the Context of the Science-Theology Dialogue||p. 58|
|The ˘Problem÷ of God||p. 64|
|Origen: The Highest ˘Branch of Learning÷||p. 66|
|Symbolism and Contemplation of God||p. 69|
|The Loss of Symbolism||p. 72|
|A Science-Dominated World||p. 74|
|The Trivializing of God and Humanity||p. 76|
|Theology and Science: Sources of Knowing||p. 81|
|Science's Suggestions of God||p. 85|
|God of Creation and Hope||p. 91|
|Conclusion: Rediscovering God||p. 97|
|What Is a Human Being?||p. 100|
|Scientific Materialism||p. 103|
|The Liberation of the Human Spirit||p. 109|
|The Many Facets of Knowledge||p. 116|
|Michael Polanyi: Scientist and Philosopher||p. 121|
|Conclusion: All of the Evidence||p. 130|
|Types of Knowing in the Bible||p. 134|
|Tacit Knowing and the Language of Scripture||p. 134|
|Bridging the Distance||p. 139|
|The Silence of God||p. 149|
|God, Creation, and Suffering||p. 151|
|Jesus and the Demons||p. 159|
|Spiritual Experience and Theological Creativity among Jesus' Earliest Followers||p. 165|
|Jesus as Lord of the Sea||p. 169|
|Life after Death||p. 175|
|The Old Testament||p. 175|
|The New Testament||p. 180|
|Near-Death Experiences||p. 184|
|Eternal Life||p. 188|
|Index of People and Sujects||p. 203|
|Scripture Index||p. 208|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|