The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention

David F. Noble, Author Knopf Publishing Group $27.5 (304p) ISBN 978-0-679-42564-9
Perhaps the most persistent view of the relationship between science and religion in modern culture is one of conflict. Noble, professor of history at York University, Toronto, sets out in this book to resolve that view by demonstrating the compatibility of science and religion. Noble begins by indicating the intimate relationships between science and religion in both preoccupation and language: ""Artificial Intelligence advocates wax eloquent about the possibilities of machine-based immortality and resurrection."" In his first section, titled ""Technology and Transcendence,"" Noble narrates the history of Western religious response to the mechanical arts to show the ways in which the focus on the divine likeness of humankind became an end for both religious and scientific activity to achieve. Here he points to alchemists like Paracelsus and Cornelius Agrippa, scientists like Isaac Newton and natural theologians like Joseph Priestley as examples of scientists and religionists who combined science and religion in quest of human perfectibility. In a second section, ""Technologies of Transcendence,"" Noble examines the contemporary conversation between science and religion and points to some of the darker sides of the quest for transcendence and perfection through science in the advent of atomic weapons and genetic engineering. Through clear and precise writing, Noble provides a lucid guide through the history of the relationship between science and religion. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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Paperback - 273 pages - 978-0-14-027916-0
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