In this provocative assessment of the world's current ecological crisis, the author of the critically acclaimed In the Beginning exposes the false assumptions underlying the conflicts between science and religion, and proposes an innovative approach to saving the planet.
Traditionally, science and religion have been thought of as two distinct and irreconcilable ways of looking at the world, and scientists have often chastised the world's religions for keeping their eyes on the heavens and paying scant attention to the destruction of Earth's precious resources and its natural wonders. In The Reenchantment of Nature , Alister McGrath, who holds doctorates in both molecular biology and divinity, challenges this long-held and dangerously misguided dichotomy.
Arguing that Christianity and other great religions have always respected and revered the bounty and beauty of the earth, McGrath calls for a radical shift in perspective. He shows that by defining the world in the narrowest of scientific terms and viewing it as a collection of atoms and molecules governed by unchanging laws and forces, we have lost our ability to appreciate nature's enchantments. In order to address the threats to our environment, he maintains, it is essential to reawaken our sense of awe and look at the world as a glorious creation, an irreplaceable gift of God.
In setting forth a new framework for the debate between science and religion on ecological theory, The Reenchantment of Nature points the way to integrating two different traditions in a sane and productive effort to rescue the natural world from its present environmental decline.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Religion eBook: The Reenchantment of Nature|
|Release Date: 09-17-2002|
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|Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group|
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The Reenchantment of Nature
The Meaning of Life and Other Enigmas
What is life all about? Does it possess any intrinsic meaning? Or is this "meaning" just something we impose upon a meaningless void? These are sincere and important questions, and there has been no shortage of answers. In his comic masterpiece Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams tells how a race of superintelligent beings from a very advanced civilization constructed a supercomputer called Deep Thought to answer the question "What is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything?" Deep Thought's circuit boards pulsed with activity for seven and a half million years and finally produced a result: 42--an enigmatic answer, to say the very least. Perhaps an even more puzzling answer is offered in Alan Dean Foster's Glory Lane, which tells of a group of people who visit another advanced civilization and ask its similarly advanced supercomputer more or less the same question. This time, the meaning of life is defined in less numerical, but still slightly baffling, terms: shopping.
Perhaps these answers are meant to caution us concerning the reliability of some of the more serious answers to this question. Precisely because these answers are of such importance, people tend to treat them with suspicion, even cynicism. And they are right to do so. How many people have been deluded, hoodwinked, or pressured into accepting less than adequate, and even dangerous, answers? Yet this understandable degree of cynicism must not force us to draw the conclusion that there is no meaning to life; or that, if there is indeed a meaning, it is so hidden and obscure that none can hope to find it.
Many of the answers given to these...