Ebook also available at:

Envisioning Nature, Science, and Religion

Edited by James D. Proctor

Contemporary scholarship has given rise to several different modes of understanding biophysical and human nature, each of which is entangled with related notions of science and religion. Envisioning Nature, Science, and Religion represents the culmination of three years of collaboration by an international group of fourteen natural scientists, social scientists, humanists, and theologians. The result is an intellectually stimulating volume that explores how the ideas of nature pertain to science and religion.

Editor James D. Proctor has gathered sixteen in-depth essays, each of which examines and compares different aspects of five central metaphors or "visions" of biophysical and human nature. These visions are evolutionary nature, emergent nature, malleable nature, nature as sacred, and nature as culture. The book's diverse contributors offer a wide variety of unique perspectives on these five visions, spanning the intellectual spectrum and proposing important and often startling implications for religion and science alike. Throughout the essays, the authors do a great deal of cross-referencing and engaging each other's ideas, creating a cohesive dialogue on the visions of nature.

Envisioning Nature, Science, and Religion offers a blend of scholarly rigor and readable prose that will be appreciated by anyone engaged in the fields of religion, philosophy, and the natural sciences.

Acknowledgments / vii

Introduction: Visions of Nature, Science, and Religion / 3
James D. Proctor

1. The Nature of Visions of Nature: Packages to Be Unpacked / 36 
Willem B. Drees

2. Visions of Nature through Mathematical Lenses / 59 
Douglas E. Norton

3. Between Apes and Angels: At the Borders of Human Nature / 83 
Johannes M.M.H. Thijssen

4. Locating New Visions / 103 
David N. Livingstone

5. Enduring Metaphysical Impatience? / 131 
Robert E. Ulanowicz

6. God from Nature: Evolution or Emergence? / 149 
Barbara J. King

7. Who Needs Emergence? / 166 
Gregory Peterson

8. Creativity through Emergence: A Vision of Nature and God / 180 
Antje Jackelén

9. Rereading a Landscape of Atonement on an Aegean Island / 205 
Martha L. Henderson

10. The Vision of Malleable Nature: A Complex Conversation / 227 
Andrew Lustig

11. Visions of a Source of Wonder / 245 
Fred D. Ledley

12. Nature as Culture: The Example of Animal / Behavior and Human Morality / 271 
Nicolaas A. Rupke

13. Environment after Nature: Time for a / New Vision / 293 
James D. Proctor

14. Should the Word Nature Be Eliminated? / 312 
John Hedley Brooke

Afterword: Visualizing Visions and Visioners / 337 
James D. Proctor

Contributors / 353

Index / 357