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John Polkinghorne Science and Theology Series (12 vols.)
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John Polkinghorne Science and Theology Series (12 vols.)

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4 publishers 1994–2011

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Overview

Physicist, theologian, author, and Anglican priest, John Polkinghorne is well-known and respected for his writings on the relationship between science and religion. His works emphasize the integral role science plays in understanding core Christian beliefs. In 12 volumes, he presents a scientific, analytical, and rational perspective on various aspects of the Christian religion, including creation, theology, and Christianity’s central tenets. Polkinghorne tackles the thorniest issues in theology, addresses recent developments in scientific research, and answers questions that arise at the intersection of science and religion. This collection includes Polkinghorne’s autobiography, following the development of his thoughts and tracking his journey from scientist to theologian.

The Logos Bible Software edition of the John Polkinghorne Science and Theology Series is designed to encourage and stimulate your understanding of the relationship between science and religion. With Logos, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the importance of science in the Christian faith.

Key Features

  • Provides 12 volumes on the relationship between science and religion
  • Addresses current scientific developments
  • Provides scientific answers to theological issues
  • Includes Polkinghorne’s autobiography

Product Details

Individual Titles

Reason and Reality: The Relationship between Science and Theology

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Series: SPCK Classics
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 119

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Written by perhaps the world’s foremost authority on the relationship between science and theology, Reason and Reality brings together essays in which John Polkinghorne pursues more deeply themes touched on in his earlier works.

The result is a deeply satisfying interpretation of the nature and scope of human knowledge, the extent and limits of science, and the proper place of theology as what Polkinghorne calls science’s “cousin under the skin.”

Polkinghorne impresses with a rare combination of theological sensitivity and technical grasp of the scientific and metascientific issues involved.

Publisher’s Weekly

Perhaps the core achievement of the book is its demonstration of how both science and theology, despite postmodernist skepticism to the contrary, are fundamentally rational in character. Substantial and significant.

Christian Marketplace

Science and Religion in Quest of Truth

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 160

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This book draws together all the key insights and arguments from John Polkinghorne’s previous books and presents them in a clear, concise, and readable format for the general reader.

I believe that on its own the present book lays out the core concepts that are fundamental in what is surely one of the most significant interdisciplinary interactions of our time, pursued in a wide quest for truthful understanding. The book concentrates on my own work, not at all because I think that I have said all that need be said, but simply because, after more than 30 years of reflection, this is what I have to offer.

—From the introduction

Encountering Scripture: A Scientist Explores the Bible

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 108

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Encountering Scripture provides a fresh look at the Bible from the analytical and rational perspective of a scientist. It tackles the big themes of the Bible and the questions a modern Western thinker might bring to it. The nuanced, rational, and honest approach will be appreciated by any reader with an open and enquiring mind.

Issues of Scripture and authority, contradiction, and ambiguity are tackled with characteristic clarity, and the theological challenges of the Old Testament, the Gospels, and the writings of St. Paul are addressed with energy.

John Polkinghorne’s belief that God’s creation helps make itself at every level allows him to fit into one picture evolution and its costliness and the Christian redemptive answer to human and natural evil.

Times Literary Supplement

From Physicist to Priest: An Autobiography

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 182

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

From Physicist to Priest is an autobiography from well-known author, John Polkinghorne, with a unique perspective arising from his roles as both a theologian and a physicist. It tells the story of his journeys into both disciplines from a human angle, including the formative experiences and key relationships he experienced as a child, an undergraduate, graduate, and beyond into university teaching, priesthood, and writing. He describes his developing thoughts and understanding of the value and interdependence of each of the major disciplines and, by so doing, brings a human touch to the big questions that each approach raises.

Quarks, Chaos and Christianity: Questions to Science and Religion

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 98

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Is science fact and religion just opinion? Is there the mind of a creator behind the universe? Can a scientist pray?

John Polkinghorne has spent many years considering and writing about such questions, and now distills that insight and experience into a clear, lively and frank set of answers to these fundamental issues.

This new edition has been fully revised in the light of recent developments in scientific research, and provides a valuable entry point into this fascinating area and to the thought of this key thinker and theologian.

Faith, Science, and Understanding

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 128

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In Faith, Science, and Understanding, one of the most highly regarded scientist-theologians of our time explores the interaction of science and theology. John Polkinghorne discusses the role of revelation in religion as a legitimate record of experience and not the communication of unchallengeable propositions. He discusses how to reconcile theology’s belief in a God who is active in creation with what science says about the processes of the universe. The author examines two related concepts in depth: the first is divine self-limitation in creation, which leads to an important reappraisal, and the other is the nature of time and God’s involvement with it, an issue that Polkinghorne shows can closely link recent developments in science and theology. In the final section of the book, the author provides a brief overview of the science and theology debate and assesses the work of major contemporary contributors to the discussion: Wolfhart Pannenberg, Thomas Torrance, and Paul Davies.

Science and Theology: An Introduction

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 152

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this short masterpiece, eminent scientist and theologian John Polkinghorne offers an accessible, yet authoritative, introduction to the stimulating field of science and religion. After surveying their volatile historical relationship, he leads the reader through the whole array of questions that arise at the intersection of the scientific and religious quests.

The author provides a marvelously clear overview of the major elements of current science including quantum theory, chaos theory, time and cosmology. He offers a concise outline of the character of religion and shows the potential to illumine some of the thorniest issues in theology today—creation, nature of knowledge, human and divine identity, and agency. He introduces complex ideas so gently and persuasively that at each turn one is inspired to follow the next step of the argument.

The author is a sturdy player in this emergent enquiry and he demonstrates that a sturdy faith has nothing to fear and much to gain from an intellectually honest appraisal of the new horizons of contemporary science.

A remarkably clearly written, direct, and attractive book, which should appeal not just to students but to everyone who wishes to understand the issues. . . . It is a most enjoyable book to read and offers a vast amount of information in a very accessible way.

The Expository Times

Polkinghorne’s prose is crisp and concentrated. He knows his material and conveys a marvelous grasp of his subject. . . . A helpful entrée and a handy reference.

Anglican Journal

An important book for both theologians and scientists. It gives a balanced account of the many issues emerging out of the encounter of science and religion.

—Lucien Richard, professor of theology, Boston University

Scientists as Theologians: An Introduction

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Pages: 112

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Ian Barbour, Arthur Peacocke, and John Polkinghorne are major contributors to the current interaction between science and religion. Though they began as scientists, all three have produced important work by crossing into the field of theology. But as their thinking has developed, differences between them have emerged. Distinctive approaches to questions such as the significance of Jesus, the Bible, and the relationship between modern scientific knowledge and traditional theology have revealed variety in their approaches to the subject. In Scientists as Theologians: An Introduction, Polkinghorne gives his survey of the debate. He outlines where these thinkers disagree, why they differ, and draws conclusions about possible future directions. His account is an accessible introduction to the field of science and religion and an assessment of what is at stake.

Science and Christian Belief: Theological Reflections of a Bottom-up Thinker

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 1994
  • Pages: 224

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

John Polkinghorne has become widely known for his elegant and well-informed contributions to our understanding of the relationship between scientific thought and religious faith. Science and Christian Belief is his most important book to date. It is the first attempt to apply scientific habits of thought to the core of Christian belief, to examine in turn the central tenets of the creeds in light of a thoroughly modern worldview. The result is a fascinating and intellectually compelling new presentation of orthodox Christianity—but then, as Polkinghorne writes in his introduction, “a scientist would expect a fundamental theory to be tough, surprising, and exciting.”

Science and Providence: God’s Interaction with the World

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Pages: 140

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Internationally renowned priest-scientist Dr. John C. Polkinghorne examines whether a personal, interacting God is a credible concept in today’s scientific age. Encouraging the belief that there is a compatibility between the insights of science and the insights of religion, this volume focuses on the viewpoint that the world is one in which both human beings and God have the freedom to act.

A modern understanding of the physical world is applied to questions of prayer and providence, such as: Do miracles happen? Can prayer change anything? Why does evil exist? Why does God allow suffering? Why does God need us to ask him?

God’s involvement in time is considered, from both a temporal and an eternal perspective. The roles of incarnation and sacrament are discussed in terms of whether or not they have a credible place in today’s worldview. And the Final Anthropic Principle (FAP) is presented, with its attempt at a physical eschatology, showing it to be an inadequate basis for hope. Real hope can reside only with God, Polkinghorne concludes.

Science and Creation

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 152

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this volume, Dr. Polkinghorne illustrates how a scientifically-minded person approaches the task of theological inquiry, postulating that there exists a close analogy between theory and experiment in science and belief and understanding in theology. He offers a fresh perspective on such questions as: Are we witnessing today a revival of a natural theology—the search for God through the exercise of reason and the study of nature? How do the insights of modern physics into the interlacing of order and disorder relate to the Christian doctrine of creation? What is the relationship between mind and matter?

Polkinghorne states that the “remarkable insights that science affords us into the intelligible workings of the world cry out for an explanation more profound than that which it itself can provide. Religion, if it is to take seriously its claim that the world is the creation of God, must be humble enough to learn from science what that world is actually like. The dialogue between them can only be mutually enriching.”

One World: Interaction of Science and Theology

  • Author: John Polkinghorne
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 1986
  • Pages: 152

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

One World introduces issues in science and religion that Dr. Polkinghorne subsequently continues in Science and Providence and Science and Creation.

Both science and religion explore aspects of reality, providing “a basis for their mutual interaction as they present their different perspectives onto the one world of existent reality,” Polkinghorne argues. In One World he develops his thesis through an examination of the nature of science, the nature of the physical world, the character of theology, and the modes of thought in science and theology. He identifies “points of interaction” and points of potential conflict between science and religion. Along the way, he discusses creation, determinism, prayer, miracles, and future life, and he explains his rejection of scientific reductionism and his defense of natural theology.

Science does not have an absolute superiority over other forms of knowledge, nor does religion have all the answers. Both are searching for “the truth.” Both explore the universe as it is and submit to the evidence before them. And both must be open to continual correction. We live in one world. Polkinghorne’s insights continue to illuminate it as a world in which science and religion can stimulate and benefit each other.

Why do I regard this book as so important? Primarily because it makes sense of the scientific enterprise and the pursuit of theology, and in doing so it makes sense of the universe. . . . For arguing this so persuasively and with clarity and caution we owe him grateful thanks.

The Expository Times

About John Polkinghorne

John Polkinghorne is past president and now fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge. Former professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge University, he is a priest and canon theologian of Liverpool Cathedral. He won the Templeton Prize for Science and Religion in 2002. His books have been translated into 18 languages so far.