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The Big Question

Why We Can’t Stop Talking About Science, Faith and God

Alister McGrath

St. Martin's Press

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ISBN10: 1250077923
ISBN13: 9781250077929


272 Pages


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Alister McGrath's The Big Question is an accessible, engaging account of how science relates to faith, exploring how the working methods and assumptions of the natural sciences can be theologically useful. McGrath uses stories and analogies, as well as personal accounts, in order to help readers understand the scientific and theological points he makes, and grasp their deeper significance. An extremely accomplished scientist and scholar, McGrath criticizes the evangelism of the New Atheists and paves a logical well-argued road to the compatibility between science and faith.

Some of his main discussion points include:
1. There is much more convergence between science and faith than is usually appreciated
2. How the three great models of scientific explanation can be adapted to religious belief
3. Belief in God provides a "big picture" of reality, making sense of science's successes


Praise for The Big Question

“Lucidly explaining the evolution of both scientific and religious ideas, McGrath demonstrates the false dichotomy of the too-often joined battle between them. He argues persuasively that each provides a different, but powerful "lens" through which we comprehend more clearly our universe and the human condition. Rather than fomenting the rivalry between science and religion, he shows that we need not forego either.”—Susan Hockfield, 16th President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“It would be nice to think that this elegant, wide-ranging and superbly balanced and intelligent book might put an end to the phoney war between faith and science; but we should probably not hold our breath, given the investment of energy that still prevails in the marketing and parroting of fashionable myths about their enmity. But it will provide a deeply useful guide for any believer in search of facts and arguments to counter this mythology—and also, we can hope, a salutary shock to anyone who has simply taken for granted the received unwisdom on this subject. Another splendid contribution from Alister McGrath to the intellectual and imaginative treasury of belief.”—Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

"McGrath, a crackling storyteller . . . points out that both science and religion involve the search for meaning, and that 'interweaving the narratives'of science and religion can help us to understand the richness and complexity of the universe and human nature."Publisher's Weekly

“Another deeply felt entry on two divergent, yet ultimately compatible, ways of engaging the world and understanding reality.”Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Alister McGrath

ALISTER MCGRATH is a scholar in the interaction of theology and the sciences and currently holds the post of Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, the world's most prestigious academic position dedicated to the exploration of the relation of science and faith. McGrath is author of many books on theology and religion, including The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine. He lives in Oxford, UK.

Michael Moyle, Isle of Man

Alister McGrath

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