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:
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
"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.
Table of Contents
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
The vast knowledge presented in this book requires serious reading time. As many of the essays are highly technical, access to resources for information is recommended. One need not read the entire book to enjoy many of the essays and thought-provoking ideas. One may also find the information useful for "spirited" discussions.
Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith—Ipswich, MA
Ten sections comprise the volume dealing respectively with spiritual capital and spiritual information (two terms favored by Sir John), the history and future of science and religion dialogue, cosmology, and physics, quantum mechanics and mathematics, evolution and purpose, sociology and ethics, religion and health, contemplation and the virtues, theology and philosophy, and world religions. A typical essay is five pages long and includes a brief bibliography. Many essays admirably summarize selected key recent developments within a field and show their value to core concerns about spiritual realities (as Sir John terms them) such as unlimited love, accelerating creativity, worship, and the benefits of purpose in persons and the cosmos. ASA readers will find insightful ideas in topics of interest to them and stimulating reading in areas well beyond their own fields of expertise. The overall quality of entries is excellent and good editing has resulted in a smooth flow to most essays despite the wide range of cultures, native languages, and disciplines included in this unique volume. Charts, diagrams, tables, and other illustrative material are incorporated in selected essays when warranted by the topic or the discussion. Paragraph biographies of each contributor appear at the end of each respective essay and an alphabetical list of all contributors and their institutional affiliations appears at the end of the book. It is regretful that an index was not produced but the organization of the entries by topics makes up somewhat for this decision. This is an important addiction to a personal or institutional library on science and religion.
In his preface to the book, Dr. Harper notes that Sir John’s commitment to expanding the science-religion dialogue has enabled us to edge ever closer to the frontier where knowledge meets wisdom and the threshold of "ultimate reality."
The hope, he adds, is that these essays "will inspire others to pursue his quest to discover more spiritual information."
To help people better understand themselves as spiritual beings, 100 essays from diverse fields have been collected into a volume that shows what we have learned from studying ourselves, our planet an the universe.
This is essential reading for academics engaged in the science and religion dialogue and a thought-provoking textbook which exemplifies Templeton’s vision "to unite inquiry into the essential nature of the universe through the scientific method with humanity’s basic spiritual and religious quest to understand human and cosmic purpose." Highly recommended.
—Barry L. Whitney, University of Windsor
As a tribute to Sir John, his vision, his inspiration, and his philanthropic support of the science-religion dialogue, one hundred essays have been collected into a volume that illustrates the excitement of discovery, the challenge of debate, the diversity of thinking, and the excellence of multidisciplinary research: Individually and together, the essays show how the study of ourselves, our planet, and the universe help us understand our place as spiritual beings within God's universe.
This book, presented to Sir John Templeton on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday, offers a hundred contributions on science and religion. These essays reflect fundamental themes at the core of Templeton’s philanthropic vision; the stimulation of progress in humanity’s spiritual journey and quest. Templeton’s goal is to bring together the dynamism of the sciences and that of the spiritual quests in order to generate new spiritual information. In the spirit’s quest there is no reason why the progressive model of science should not be effective. Templeton contends that the spiritual quest should be open to new insights. The various essays in this stimulating and important collection are characterized by critical open-mindedness.
A new day is dawning in the relationship between theology/spirituality and science. Emblematic of the change is a 1998 cover of Newsweek announcing; "Science Finds God." After the rupture between theology and religion following Darwin’s writings and the uneasy truce of the past years, both science and theology have found some common ground. Both are now facing a crisis of authority. In theology, the house of authority has collapsed under the weight of historical criticism. In science, a certain relativism has challenged the objectivity of science.
Sir John Templeton has described his vision as the "humble approach." The crisis of authority both in theology and science has produced a humbling effect. Humility often leads to docility in the quest for truth. This is elaborated in a contribution by Munawar A. Anees, "Humility and the Future of Islam." According to this author, humility is at once an agent of both spiritual and cognitive progress.
The contributions in this collection are organized in sections reflecting different and creative perspectives. I found the last four sections particularly interesting: perspectives on religion and health; perspectives on contemplation and the virtues; perspectives from theology and philosophy; and perspectives from world religion. Essays in these various sections reflect a move away from dogmatic and self-assured theological vision to a more open vision based on humility. They also deflect from a scientific, materialist and mechanistic vision of the universe that is closed in on itself to a universe open to transcendence. The last few decades have brought an important new opening for science-based reflection on the nature of God.
This collection makes a very important contribution to the dialogue of science and religion. The contributions, while short, are substantial. I highly recommend this book to any reader interested in one of the most important dialogues of our day, that of religion and science. The French novelist and essayist Andre Malraux is said to have once summarized humanity’s future with the following statement: "The twenty-first century will be religious or it will not be." The Catholic theologian Karl Rahner affirmed: "In the coming age we must all become mystics or be nothing at all."