The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-up Thinker

Front Cover
Fortress Press, Jan 1, 1996 - Religion - 211 pages
3 Reviews
"It has become fashionable to write books with titles such as Religion in an Age of Science (Barbour), Theology for a Scientific Age (Peacocke), or Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning (Murphy). They signify the recognition that the interaction between science and religious reflection is not limited to those topics (such as cosmic history) concerning which the two disciplines offer complementary insights. It involves also an engagement with habits of thought which are natural in a culture greatly influenced by the success of science. To take this stance is not to submit to slavery to the spirit of the age, but simply to acknowledge that we view things from where we stand, with all the opportunities and limitations inherent in that particular perspective. . . . My concern is to explore to what extent we can use the search for motivated understanding, so congenial to the scientific mind, as a route to being able to make the substance of Christian orthodoxy our own. Of course, there are some revisions called for in the process, but I do not find that a trinitarian and incarnational theology needs to be abandoned in favour of a toned-down theology of a Cosmic Mind and an inspired teacher, alleged to be more accessible to the modern mind. A scientist expects a fundamental theory to be tough, surprising and exciting. "Throughout, my aim will be to seek an understanding based on a careful assessment of phenomena as the guide to reality. Just as I cannot regard science as merely an instrumentally successful manner of speaking which serves to get things done, so I cannot regard theology as merely concerned with a collection of stories which motivate an attitude to life. It must have its anchorage in the way things actually are, and the way they happen. . . . A bottom-up thinker is bound to ask, What makes you think this story is a verisimilitudinous account of Reality? The anchorage of Christianity in history is to be welcomed, despite its hazards. For me, the Bible is neither an inerrant account of propositional truth nor a compendium of timeless symbols, but a historically conditioned account of certain significant encounters and experiences. Read in that way, I believe it can provide the basis for a Christian belief with is certainly revised in the light of our twentieth-century insights but which is recognizably contained within an envelope of understanding in continuity with the developing doctrine of the Church throughout the centuries." - from the introduction

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Faith of a Physicist

User Review  - BHodges - Goodreads

"Every atom of carbon in every living being was once inside a star, from whose dead ashes we have all arisen" (72). Just finished this book for an upcoming course on cosmology and Christology. It's a ... Read full review

Review: Faith of a Physicist

User Review  - Bruce - Goodreads

John Polkinghorne has a distinguished career in particle physics, and went from that to being a distinguished theologian and priest. He presents a marvelous case for the marriage of science and faith ... Read full review

Related books


Son of God
We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

References from web pages

Commonweal: The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-up ...
The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-up Thinker. - book reviews. Chet Raymo. There is a kind of "God-shaped hole in many people's lives," says ... p/ articles/ mi_m1252/ is_n10_v121/ ai_15254339/ print

Geist 2008.03.03 08:03 http://findarticles ...
The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker ... The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker. - book reviews ... bbs/ view.php?id=polkinghorne& page=1& sn1=& divpage=1& sn=off& ss=on& sc=on& select_arrange=headnum& desc=asc...

Books in Review:The Faith of a Physicist
The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker. By John Polkinghorne. Princeton University Press. 205 pp. $24.95. Reviewed by Ted Peters ... articles/ peters_faithofaphysicist.html

The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996. One of the best introductions to Polkinghorne's thought on ... polkinghorne.htm

Books - Religion and Science
Beyond Science : The Wider Human Context; *; The Faith of a Physicist : Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker (Theology and the Sciences); ... oursaviour/ science.html

The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker. The Gifford. Lectures, 1993–1994. By J. OHN. P. OLKINGHORNE . Princeton, nj: Prince- ... doi/ pdf/ 10.1111/ 0591-2385.75997074
The Faith Of A Physicist: Reflections Of A Bottom-Up Thinker · Belief In God In An Age Of Science. Books by Robert Wright:. Nonzero | The Moral Animal ... video.php?speaker=polkinghorne& topic=evil

Belief in god in an age of science by John Polkinghorne | librarything
... science meets religion by Ian G. Barbour · The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker (Theology and the Sciences) by jc Polkinghorne ... work/ 45827

ingentaconnect How Religious tradition Survives in the World of ...
The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker John Polkinghorn. Judaism and the Doctrine of Creation Norbert Samuelson ... content/ bpl/ zygo/ 1997/ 00000032/ 00000001/ art00010;jsessionid=4hveta64m8ut0.alice?format=print

THE FAITH OF A PHYSICIST: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker by John Polkinghorne. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994. 211 pages. ... ASA/ book_reviews/ 12-95.htm

About the author (1996)

John Polkinghorne, K.B.E., F.R.S., is past president and now fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge, and Canon Theologian of Liverpool, England.

Bibliographic information