Creation and the Abrahamic Faiths
"Creation! How we are here. Not just us, of course, but bluetits and Hereford cattle and cabbages and E. coli and deserts and mountains and suns and nebulae ... in fact, all that is. So not only "Why are we here?" but "Why is there a 'here' for us to inhabit?". That is this book's theme. Inevitably it doesn't answer the question in a mechanistic sense. A telescope cannot look at itself, and neither can an inhabitant of the Universe say how it came to be. But that does not stop those questions haunting us. So where shall we turn? To cosmology? The concept of an initial event, a "Big Bang", is now almost universally accepted. But what caused that? Most would feel that this is not a question science can answer. The first two contributors to this book are professional cosmologists, yet cosmology is only a background for this book, not its core theme. That theme is the conviction that the Universe owes its existence to a divine Creator - and the specific formulations of this conviction in the three great monotheistic religions, the "Abrahamic" faiths. The scriptures of all three faiths include the creation-accounts in the first two chapters of Genesis. Later developments moved the expressions of the three faiths considerably apart, but the social and political conditions of the 21st C world make it imperative that every effort should be put into a recovery of understanding between their practitioners. The purpose of this book is to contribute to that understanding. Of thirteen chapters, two are by Jewish authors and three by Moslems; several of the Christian authors also are deeply versed in the other traditions. Together, the chapters show that the attitudes of the three faiths to Creation have far more in common than otherwise. In particular, they are noticeably and encouragingly coming together in their endorsements of 21st C concerns for the environment. The book derives from a conference of the Science and Religion Forum in Sept 2006, but all chapters have been rewritten for publication, and carefully edited with linking commentaries. "
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