The Revd. Dr. John Polkinghorne is a world-renowned authority in the field of science and religion. His numerous books in this area, written over the past three decades, have been hugely influential. The Polkinghorne Reader brings together key extracts from his writings on core issues such as the nature of science, the physical world, human nature, love, theology, creation, providence, prayer and miracle, time, evil, Jesus, the resurrection, the Trinity, eschatology, and world faiths.
Ideal for readers who are new to Polkinghorne or who are just beginning to explore the interplay between science and religion, this collection will also be welcomed by all who have read his earlier works but would like one handy resource that presents the major facets of his thought in an accessible and systematic fashion.
Table of Contents
Preface / ix
Introduction / 1
Part 1; THE WORLD
1 The nature of science / 9
2 The nature of the physical world / 25
3 Human nature / 36
4 The nature of reality / 51
5 A brief history of science and religion / 56
6 Science and religion as cousins / 61
7 The work of love / 68
Part 2: GOD
8 The nature of theology / 79
9 Deity / 88
10 Natural theology / 94
11 Creation / 104
12 Providence / 110
13 Prayer and miracle / 126
14 Time / 133
15 Evil / 137
Part 3: CHRISTIANITY
16 Scripture / 147
17 The historical Jesus / 159
18 The resurrection / 176
19 Trinitarian theology / 189
20 Eucharist / 197
21 Eschatology / 209
22 World faiths / 225
Books by J. C. Polkinghorne / 233
Bibliography / 235
A very valuable collection of writings from Britain's leading scientist-theologian, demonstrating clearly that good scientists can be believing Christians.
This clearly organized volume weaves together extended selections from Polkinghorne's prolific writings on a wide range of significant issues in the burgeoning field of science and religion. It is the best introduction to the creative thought of one of the pioneers in the field.
John Polkinghorne is probably the most-read defender of the religion-science dialogue. Imagine that someone were to take the best passages out of his thirty-one books, spanning forty-four years, and weave them together seamlessly into a single text. Imagine that the resulting book were beautifully organized around the central themes of religion and science, while still reading as smoothly as if it had been written by the author in a single sitting . . . you're holding that book in your hand.
Theological Book Review—Vol. 22, No. 2 (June 1, 2010)
“John Polkinghorne, as scientist and Christian, is regularly cited as a counter-example to the idea that science and religion are incompatible. Here, editor TJ Oord, has collected key chapters, from more than John Polkinghorne’s thirty books, which explore Christianity’s compatibility with science…I recommend this book to students of philosophy as a book worth arguing over. Christian students, meanwhile, will find the later focus on more specific doctrinal issues particularly of interest.”
Observations on Life, Religion, and Chess (August 10, 2015)
“When a leading particle physicist like John Polkinghorne dons the Anglican vestments and shows up at the theological party, then, he is pretty much guaranteed to produce some very thought-provoking insights. And when that physicist is also well-schooled in the theological craft, he communicates those insights ably to those not trained in science. This compendium of Polkinghorne’s probing explorations is therefore mandatory reading for those who care about theology.”