A Concealed God
Religion, Science, and the Search for Truth
Highly acclaimed in Sweden where it was first published in both hardcover and paperback editions, A Concealed God poses two intriguing questions:
- Does God truly exist?
- If so, is the concept of God logical and in agreement with the knowledge of the world that science has provided to date?
The God presented by most religions doesn't make sense in today's world; we have little room for miracles. Furthermore, there are irreconcilable aspects in the world's religions. Must we abandon our faith or belief in God? Perhaps not, says popular Swedish thinker Stefan Einhorn. We can behave as scientists do when they run experiments only to obtain contradictory results. They ask themselves whether there might not be a logical conclusion that binds all the results together and leads to the most probable explanation.
Einhorn hypothesizes that if God truly exists, then many different religions would have discovered this. He finds a common denominator in the concept of a hidden God in seven major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. But even with this shared belief, can we know if God exists? Did humankind create the idea of God to answer the unexplainable? What about evil and suffering, the absence of meaning in life, loneliness and insecurity? And most importantly, how do we search for a concealed God?
Most religions share common principles for the search for "that which is concealed," including meditation, contemplation, and prayer. Whatever route is chosen, the search for God may bring us some answers. Einhorn concludes that two themes are central to the search: one is that God is both concealed and simultaneously omnipresent; the other is that only with utter humility and an awareness of our inability to fully understand may we approach the divine.
In the end, there are no definite answers. But the search sheds light on the many paths to enlightenment offered by the world's religions.
- A lively and accessible addition to the science and religion dialogue
- A timely reminder that all major world religions share common bonds
- Introduces a prominent Swedish thinker to U.S. readers
Acknowledgments / xi
Introduction / 3
Part I: On God and Religions / 9
1. What Is a Religion? / 11
2. God: What God? / 19
3. Can There Be a Concealed God? / 29
Part II. The Concealed God of Monotheism / 35
4. God Is Not the Highest God: On Jewish Mysticism / 37
5. Beyond the Trinity: God in Christian Mysticism / 47
6. Behind the Veils: God in the Mysticism of Islam / 57
Part III. The Concealed God in Eastern Religions / 65
7. God and Gods in Hinduism / 67
8. Buddhism: A Religion Without God? / 75
9. Chinese Religions: God in Taoism and Confucianism / 85
Part IV. Science and God / 93
10. The Encounter Between God and Contemporary Physics / 97
11. God and Biology / 105
12. A God in the Depths of Our Consciousness? / 113
13. God and Science: A Few Conclusions / 121
Part V. A Concealed God? / 127
14. Is There a God? Arguments and Counterarguments / 129
15. The Search for a Concealed God / 143
16. What Is God? / 155
17. Is It Important to Seek a Concealed God? / 169
Index of Names / 179