Science and the Eastern Orthodox Church explores core theological and philosophical notions and contentious topics such as evolution from the vantage point of science, Orthodox theology, and the writings of popular recent Orthodox critics as well as supporters.
Examining what science is and why Eastern Orthodox Christians should be concerned about the topic, including a look at well known 20th century figures that are considered holy elders or saints in the Orthodox Church and their relationship and thoughts about science, contributors analyse the historical
contingencies that contribute to the relationship of the Orthodox Church and science both in the past and present. Part II includes critiques of science and considers its limitations and strengths in light of Orthodox understandings of the experience of God and the so called miraculous, together with analysis of two Orthodox figures of the 20th century that were highly critical of science, it's foundations and metaphysical assumptions. Part III looks at selected topics in science and how they relate to Orthodox theology, including evolution, brain evolution and consciousness, beginning of life science, nanotechnology, stem cell research and others.
Drawing together leading Orthodox scientists, theologians, and historians confronting some of the critical issues and uses of modern science, this book will be useful for students, academics and clergy who want to develop a greater understanding of how to relate Orthodoxy to science.
Contents: Preface; Part I Science and Orthodox Christianity: Compatibility and Balance: Living with science: Orthodox elders and saints of the 20th century, Daniel Buxhoeveden; Science and the Cappadocians: Orthodoxy and science in the 4th century, Valerie Karras; Divine action and the laws of nature: an Orthodox perspective on miracles, Christopher Knight; Ecology, evolution and Bulgakov, Gayle Woloschak. Part II Science and Orthodox Christianity: Limitations and Problems: Science and reductionism, Thomas Mether; Limitations of scientific knowledge and Orthodox religious experience, Daniel Buxhoeveden; Discerning the spirit in creation: Orthodox Christianity and environmental science, Bruce Foltz; Orthodox bioethics in the encounter between science and religion, John Breck. Part III Science and Orthodox Christianity: Selected Topics: The broad science-religion dialogue: Maximus, Augustine, and others, Gayle Woloschak; Technology: life and death, Gayle Woloschak; Apophaticism and political economy, C. Clark Carlton; Towards an Orthodox philosophy of science, Thomas Mether; Bibliography; Index.
About the Editor: Daniel Buxhoeveden is Director of religion and science Initiative at USC. He is the recipient of two grants on Orthodoxy and Science, multiple federal and private grants on neuroscience or evolution, and author on thirty scientific papers and book chapters in neuroscience and evolution. He teaches honors classes on religion and science.
Gayle E. Woloschak, Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, is the author of over 130 scientific papers, co-editor of 1 scientific book and the author of 3 books on religion.
Reviews: 'This is a much needed contribution from a new voice to the current debates over questions of science and religion. The Orthodox Christian Tradition presented here shows that the conversation between theology and science began well before the modern era and took place in an openness that may shock those accustomed to the black and white thinking that often characterizes today's debate. That openness is reflected as scientists and theologians, representing the best in their respective fields, engage the other. Religious people will encounter a Christian Tradition that engages scientific inquiry seriously and allows for its findings to deepen their Faith. Scientists will encounter a religious tradition that values inquiry while opening horizons about the mystery and wonder of our created world.'
Anton C. Vrame, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, USA