Between Science and Religion: The Engagement of Catholic Intellectuals with Science and Technology in the Twentieth Century

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2009 - Religion - 249 pages
In exploring the role of Catholic intellectuals in engaging science and technology in the twentieth century, this book initially provides a background context for this evolution by examining the Modernism crisis in the first chapter. In order to unpack the subsequent evolution, Thompson then concentrates in separate chapters on the distinctive contributions of four specific Catholic intellectuals, Jacques Maritain (1882-1973), Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984), and Thomas Merton (1915-1968). All of these intellectuals experienced some degree of official restraint in their efforts but through their distinctive intellectual trajectories, they contributed to a different engagement of the Church with science and technology. In the final chapters, the book first reviews the changes within the institutional Church in the twentieth century toward science and technology. Finally, it then applies some key ideals of the four intellectuals to anneal and extend John Paul II's approach of "critical openness" to suggest how the Church can now engage science and technology.

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The Legacy of the Modernist Crisis
Jacques Maritains Search for Wisdom 18821973
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 18811955 and the Operation of the Divine in the Universe
Bernard Lonergans 19041984 Cognitive Project
Thomas Mertons 19151968 Contemplative Critique
The Transformative Century
The Path of Critical Openness
Concluding Reflections

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About the author (2009)

Phillip M. Thompson is executive director of the Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory University.

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