The Bible and Science: Longing for God in a Science-dominated World

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-06-15
  • Publisher: Liturgical Pr
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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.

Author Biography

Vincent Smiles is professor of theology at Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Overturep. 1
Essential Preliminaries for the Road Aheadp. 1
Debate and Confusion about Theology and Sciencep. 4
Purpose, Meaning, and Value in Human Lifep. 9
The Relationship of Faith and Reasonp. 10
Reasons to be Skeptical about Scientific Naturalismp. 13
The Bible and Science as Partners in Understanding Realityp. 17
Overcoming Arrogancep. 20
Conclusionp. 22
The Biblep. 24
Introductionp. 24
The Problem of Contentp. 26
The Problem of Interpretationp. 28
Avoiding Extreme Views about the Biblep. 30
Richard Dawkinsp. 30
Biblical Fundamentalismp. 33
Interpreting the Bible: The Problem of Methodp. 36
The Historical-Critical Method: Benedict Spinozap. 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 Faithp. 49
Learning from the Bible and Science: The Assumptions behind the Combinationp. 53
The Bible in the Context of the Science-Theology Dialoguep. 58
Godp. 64
The ˘Problem÷ of Godp. 64
Origen: The Highest ˘Branch of Learning÷p. 66
Symbolism and Contemplation of Godp. 69
The Loss of Symbolismp. 72
A Science-Dominated Worldp. 74
The Trivializing of God and Humanityp. 76
Theology and Science: Sources of Knowingp. 81
Science's Suggestions of Godp. 85
God of Creation and Hopep. 91
Conclusion: Rediscovering Godp. 97
Humanityp. 100
What Is a Human Being?p. 100
Scientific Materialismp. 103
The Liberation of the Human Spiritp. 109
The Many Facets of Knowledgep. 116
Michael Polanyi: Scientist and Philosopherp. 121
Emergencep. 127
Conclusion: All of the Evidencep. 130
Types of Knowing in the Biblep. 134
Tacit Knowing and the Language of Scripturep. 134
Bridging the Distancep. 139
Sufferingp. 145
The Silence of Godp. 149
God, Creation, and Sufferingp. 151
Miraclesp. 154
Jesus and the Demonsp. 159
Spiritual Experience and Theological Creativity among Jesus' Earliest Followersp. 165
Jesus as Lord of the Seap. 169
Conclusionp. 174
Life after Deathp. 175
The Old Testamentp. 175
The New Testamentp. 180
Near-Death Experiencesp. 184
Eternal Lifep. 188
Conclusionp. 194
Bibliographyp. 196
Index of People and Sujectsp. 203
Scripture Indexp. 208
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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