Spiritual Information

100 Perspectives on Science and Religion

Edited by Charles L. Harper Jr.

Spiritual Information is a collection of one hundred essays that explore a portion of the vast interdisciplinary approaches to the study of science and religion. Individually and together, the essays show how the study of ourselves, our planet, and the universe helps us understand our place as spiritual beings within God's universe.

The book is a tribute to Sir John Templeton and his pioneering commitment toward new research that results in "one hundredfold more spiritual information than humankind has ever possessed before." It begins with essays that reflect on Sir John's principal domains of interest and expertise: free-enterprisebased finance and accelerating spiritual progress.

Themes of the sections are:

  • Science-Religion Dialogue
  • Cosmology, Physics, and Astronomy
  • Mathematics, Musicology, and Speculation
  • Biological Evolution—the Human Being
  • Social Evolution—the Human Mind and Heart
  • Religion and Health
  • The Nature of the Divine
  • Theology and Philosophy
  • Faith Traditions

"Sir John's leadership has enabled us to edge ever closer to the frontier where knowledge meets wisdom at the threshold of 'ultimate reality,'" notes the editor in the preface to this volume. As Spiritual Information presents an overview of how far we have come in the science and religion dialogue, it also opens windows to the vast possibilities for additional research and further advances in spiritual information.

Preface / xv

Acknowledgments / xix

Part One ~ Perspectives on Sir John Templeton’s Two Domains—Spiritual Capital and Spiritual Information / 1

1. Spiritual Information and the Sense of Wonder: The Convergence of Spirituality and the Natural Sciences / 3
Alister E.McGrath

2. Sir John Templeton’s Three Passions / 8
Michael Novak

3. Spiritual Capital: A New Field of Research / 12
Robert D.Woodberry

4. Spiritual Capital as an Economic Force / 20
Robert J. Barro

5. Spiritual Entrepreneurism: Creating a Plan to Explore and Promote Spiritual Information / 26
Jean Staune

6. Global Spiritual Confusion and the Neglected Problem of Excess Spiritual Information / 33
Wesley J.Wildman

7. Science, Semiotics, and the Sacred: Seeking Spiritual Information in the Deep Structure of Reality / 39
William Grassie

8. What Does a Slug Know of Mozart? Introducing the Ontological Multiverse / 44
Charles L. Harper Jr.

9. Complementarity / 52
Freeman J. Dyson

Part Two ~ Perspectives on the History—and Future—of the Science-Religion Dialog / 57

10. In Praise of Contingency: Chance versus Inevitability in the Universe We Know / 59
Owen Gingerich 

11. Historical Errors Impeding Progress in Science and Religion / 63
Jeffrey Burton Russell

12. The Longing of Johannes Kepler / 68
Kitty Ferguson

13. The Spirit of Galileo / 74
Dallas Willard

14. Eminent Scientists and Religious Belief / 79
Nicolaas A. Rupke

15. Biological Evolution, Quantum Mechanics, and Non-Interventionist Divine Action: New Research Promises Growth in Spiritual Knowledge / 84
Robert J. Russell

16. Religion, Global Trends, and Religious Futurology / 90
Philip Jenkins

17. “Playing God” / 96
Noah J. Efron

18. The New Cognitive Science of Religion / 101
Fraser N.Watts

19. Exploring Inner Space in a New Age of Discovery: The Future of Scientific Survey Research in Religion / 106
George H. Gallup Jr.

20. Theological Fiction and the Future / 111
Gregory A. Benford

Part Three ~ Perspectives from Cosmology, Physics, and Astronomy / 115

21. Outward Bound / 117
John D. Barrow

22. An Echo of Ancient Questions from Contemporary Cosmology / 121
Marco Bersanelli

23. Progress in Scientific and Spiritual Understanding / 127
George F. R. Ellis

24. The Universe—What’s the Point? / 132
Paul C.W. Davies

25. Choose Your Own Universe / 137
Andrei Linde

26. The Goldilocks Universe: Finesse and Firepower / 142
Karl W. Giberson

27. Emergent Realities in the Cosmos / 147
Marcelo Gleiser 

28. Cosmic Order and Divine Word / 151
Lydia Jaeger

29. Science of the Unseen: A Perspective from Contemporary Physics / 155
Hyung S. Choi

30. Design and the Designer: New Concepts, New Challenges / 161
Robin A. Collins

31. Henderson’s “Fine-Tuning Argument”: Time for Rediscovery / 167
Michael J. Denton

32. What God “Whispers” through Radio Telescopes / 172
Jennifer J.Wiseman

Part Four ~ Perspectives from Quantum Mechanics, Mathematics, and Symbolic Logic / 179

33. The “Trialistic” Structure in Physics: New Insights for Metaphysics and Natural Theology / 181
Gennaro Auletta

34. On the Perennial Oneness of Being / 188
Michael D. Silberstein

35. Quantum Logic and the God-World Relationship: A New Resource for Exploring Modern Christian Theology / 199
Thierry Magnin

36. Between Mathematics and Transcendence: The Search for the Spiritual Dimension of Scientific Discovery / 208
Joseph M. Zycinski

37. Rejecting the Realm of Numbers / 213
Edward Nelson

38. Is God a Mathematician? / 217
Mario Livio

39. Mathematical Theology / 221
Sarah Voss

40. From Now to Infinity / 228
Michael Heller

41. One Universal Computation: First Zero, Then One / 232
Kevin Kelly

42. “Neoreality” and the Quest for Transcendence / 237
Clifford A. Pickover

43. Belief in a Superior Being: A Game-Theoretic Analysis / 242
Steven J. Brams

44. On the Problem of the Existence of Evil: Reflections of a Jewish Physicist-Philosopher / 250
Max Jammer

45. Do Quantum Experiments Challenge Kant’s Criticism of the Proofs for the Existence of God? / 255
Antoine Suarez

46. Proof or Persuasion? / 261
F. Russell Stannard

47. From Information to Spirit: A Sketch for a New Anthropology / 265
Gianfranco Basti

Part Five ~ Perspectives on Evolution and Purpose / 273

48. Do Chimpanzees Have Souls? Possible Precursors of Religious Behavior in Animals / 275
Jane Goodall

49. Shamanic Practices in the Painted Caves of Europe / 279
Jean Clottes

50. Naturalistic Spiritual Information / 286
Ursula Goodenough

51. Hath Darwin Suffered a Prophet’s Scorn? Evolutionary Theory and the Scandal of 
Unconditional Love / 291
Jeffrey P. Schloss

52. Living Purpose: The Study of Purpose in the Living World as a Source of New
Spiritual Information / 300
Paul K.Wason

53. The Evolution of Altruism: From Game Theory to Human Language / 308
Martin A. Nowak and Natalia L. Komarova

54. The Form of Freedom / 315
William B. Hurlbut

Part Six ~ Perspectives on Sociology and Ethics / 321

55. Preparing the Way for the Lord: Evolution, Christianity, and the Dialog on Moral Freedom / 323
Alain J-P. C. Tschudin

56. Planetary Spiritual (In)formation: From Biological to Religious Evolution / 330
Holmes Rolston III

57. Is There a Place for “Scientific” Studies of Religion? / 337
Robert Wuthnow

58. Sociology and Spiritual Information: Challenging “Obvious” Opinions / 343
David A.Martin 

59. The Emergence of Ethics from Science: An Examination of the Ideals of

Einstein and Gandhi / 348
Ramanath Cowsik

60. Science in the Service of Meaninglessness Sociological Change and the Decline of Faith / 356
M. A. Casey

61. Secularization and the Sciences / 360
Peter L. Berger

Part Seven ~ Perspectives on Religion and Health / 365

62. The Faith Factor in Medicine, the Health Factor in Religion: Reflections on a New Research Tradition / 367
Anne Harrington

63. Heal Thyself: Spirituality, Medicine, and Misunderstandings / 376
Harold G. Koenig

64. Can the Body Heal the Spirit? / 381
Ted Peters

65. Mental Health, Spiritual Information, and the Power of the Mind to Shape the Brain / 389
Jeffrey M. Schwartz

66. Navajo Spirituality: Native American Wisdom and Healing in the Modern World / 395
Lori Arviso Alvord

67. Of Monocytes and the Spiritual Man / 400
Gregory L. Fricchione

68. Miracles Confront Materialism: A Scientist Reflects on the Life of Christian Healer Dorothy Kerin / 406
Stevens Heckscher

Part Eight ~ Perspectives on Contemplation and the Virtues / 413

69. Reflection and Its Use: From Source to Meditation / 415
Hendrik P. Barendregt

70. Disgust and Elevation: Opposing Sources of Spiritual Information / 424
Jonathan Haidt

71. Goodness Matters / 429
Barbara L. Fredrickson

72. Psychological Science and Spiritual Pursuits / 433
David G. Myers 

73. Spiritual Giftedness: Identifying and Measuring “Religious Genius” / 440
Arthur J. Schwartz

74. Research on Forgiveness: Ten Lessons Learned (So Far) / 445
Everett L.Worthington Jr.

75. Giving Thanks: Psychological Research on Gratitude and Praise / 451
Robert A. Emmons

76. “Ecce Homo”: To Welcome the Suffering Is the Sign of Our Humanity / 457
Xavier Le Pichon

77. Unlimited Love / 464
Stephen G. Post

Part Nine ~ Perspectives from Theology and Philosophy / 471

78. If Theologians Do Not Measure, Can They Measure Up? Rules for Acquiring Spiritual Information / 473
Martin E.Marty

79. God, Spiritual Information, and Downward Causation / 479
John W. Bowker

80. The Value of Risk-Taking: Human Evolution and the Love of God / 484
Niels Henrik Gregersen

81. A New Relationship between Theology and Science? One Theologian’s Reflections / 490
Anna Case-Winters

82. The Emergence of Spirit / 498
Philip D. Clayton

83. A Sense of Calling as a Clue to the Character of the Universe / 504
C. Stephen Evans

84. The Role of Discernment in Seeking Spiritual Knowledge / 510
Nancey C.Murphy

85. Spiritual Information for Integral Transformation / 514
Kuruvilla Pandikattu

86. Reading an Unfinished Universe: Science and the Question of Cosmic Purpose / 519
John F. Haught

87. The Dawn of the Clone Age: Where Might Wisdom Be Found? / 524
Celia Deane-Drummond

88. Moving in Mysterious Waves: Music, Meter, Silence, and Hope / 529
Jeremy Begbie 

89. Grasping Eternity: Notions of God and Time / 534
William Lane Craig

90. Divine Temporality and Human Experience of Time / 539
Wolfgang Achtner

Part Ten ~ Perspectives from World Religions / 545

91. Progress in Religion? Interfaith Opportunities / 547
John C. Polkinghorne

92. Interfaith Dialog in the Global World: Theological and Intellectual Constructs for the Future / 551
Bruno Guiderdoni

93. Humility and the Future of Islam / 557
Munawar A. Anees

94. Brahman and Progress: By What Knowledge Is the Spirit Known? / 561
Ravi Ravindra

95. The Scientific Frontier of the Inner Spirit / 567
B. Alan Wallace

96. From Biblical Story to the Science of Society: How Judaism Reads Scripture / 572
Jacob Neusner

97. Technology and Human Dignity / 578
Jonathan Sacks

98. Pentecostal/Charismatic Worship: A Window for Research / 582
Margaret Poloma

99. Catholicism and Science: Renewing the Conversation / 588
James L. Heft

100. Quest for the Flame of the Spirit: The Pilgrim Soul Follows the “Kindly Light” / 593
Russi M. Lala

Contributors / 599