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Reason and Wonder

Why Science and Faith Need Each Other

Edited by Eric Priest

Often science and religion are seen as completely separate enti­ties. Science exists in the realm of fact, whereas religion exists in the realm of faith. Conversations about genes, psychology, or even the meaning of life occur in silos. But as Eric Priest, Keith Ward, David Myers, N. T. Wright, and others show, these conversations are so much richer when both science and faith are incorporated.

This is exactly what Reason and Wonder does. Eric Priest has brought together twelve of the leading thinkers in science and theology to discuss everything from the origins of the universe to evolution and evil. At the heart of each essay is an understanding that the best science—and the best theology— are both undergirded by an appeal to reason as well as a deep sense of wonder.

Each of these great scientific and theological thinkers offers a chapter on their area of expertise, and the book closes with a stimulating set of questions for group discussion or personal reflection.

  • Contributors and their topics include:
  • Eric Priest: Towards an integration of science and religion
  • Keith Ward: God, science and the New Atheism
  • Eleonore Stump: Natural law, reductionism and the Creator
  • David Wilkinson: The origin and end of the universe: A challenge for Christianity
  • Jennifer Wiseman: Universe of wonder, universe of life
  • Kenneth R. Miller: Evolution, faith and science
  • Michael J. Murray and Jeff Schloss: Evolution and evil
  • Pauline Rudd: Is there more to life than genes?
  • David G. Myers: Psychological science meets Christian faith
  • John Wyatt: Being a person: Towards an integration of neuroscientific and Christian perspectives
  • John Swinton: From projection to connection: Conversa­tions between science, spirituality and health
  • Mark Harris: Do the miracles of Jesus contradict science?
  • N. T. Wright: Can a scientist trust the New Testament? 

List of illustrations / xi

List of contributors / xii

Preface    / xvii

Acknowledgements / xix

Introduction: Towards an integration of science and religion? / 1  
Eric Priest

God, science and the New Atheism / 40
Keith Ward

Natural law, reductionism and the Creator / 54
Eleonore Stump

The origin and end of the universe: A challenge for Christianity / 64
David Wilkinson

Universe of wonder, universe of life / 74
Jennifer Wiseman

Evolution, faith and science / 86
Kenneth R. Miller

Evolution and evil / 94
Michael J. Murray and Jeff Schloss

Is there more to life than genes? / 110
Pauline Rudd

Do the miracles of Jesus contradict science? / 169
Mark Harris

Can a scientist trust the New Testament? / 185
N. T. Wright

Questions for private thought or group discussion / 192

References and further reading / 199

Index / 209

This treasure-chest of a volume surely belongs on the shelves of those who are tired of the worn-out myth that science and religion are inherently conflicted . . . Eric Priest has assembled a rich round-table of authors from the physical, life, and medical sciences, philosophy, and theology . . . I rather hope that this collection might be read as well by those who do still buy into the ‘conflict narrative.’ They might just change their minds.

Tom McLeish, Professor of Physics, Durham University

Choice, Vol. 54 No. 12

"In this anthology, many thoughtful writers explain why science and religion, resting on reason and faith and urged by wonder, are mutually indispensable."

V. V. Raman, Rochester Institute of Technology


"Seeking knowledge and meaning is a starting point for both religion and science, and that idea underpins much of the writing in the collection Reason and Wonder."

"The book’s essays, on origins, reductionism, the problem of evil and more, proclaim that science and religion are not the rivals simplistic histories and polemics make them out to be, and that a dialogue between the two enriches both. This would be no surprise to those enthusiasts in the 17th and 18th centuries who pioneered the modern scientific project. They knew that how and why questions are equally valid."

Nick Mattiske

The Christian Librarian–Vol. 6, Issue 1

“[A] fascinating look at the connection between science and religion. . . . Even though the book is obviously geared towards a scientific audience, it’s overall message is one that should resonate with readers of all academic backgrounds. Hopefully, this book will help change the minds of those who believe that science and religion are in conflict and uncomplimentary.”

Addison Lucchi