cover image Cosmology and Creation: The Spiritual Significance of Contemporary Cosmology

Cosmology and Creation: The Spiritual Significance of Contemporary Cosmology

Paul Brockelman. Oxford University Press, USA, $45 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-19-511990-9

""For too long,"" writes Brockelman (The Greening of Faith), ""science and religion have lived in separate and often antagonistic worlds."" He argues that this separation has grown from falsely dividing humankind into groups of thinkers and knowers (science) and spiritual and moral agents (religion)--yet each group sets out to discover meaning and purpose in the universe. In addition, he contends that religion often blames science for robbing people of their awe and wonder for the majesty of the universe. Brockelman's thesis is that the scientific cosmology developed over the last 50 years or so by physicists can be regarded as a creation myth that ""reveals a wider reality to which we belong, a reality that is ultimate and against which we can see the significance and purpose of our own lives."" The author begins by examining creation myths from various religions in order to show that the cosmology of the Big Bang contains many of the elements of these myths. He then proceeds to demonstrate that humans feel connected to the universe because our stories, a key element in mythologies, are embedded in the story of the universe, even today's new scientific cosmology. As a result of his investigation, Brockelman concludes, ""the new scientific cosmology shows us a universe in which we have an origin, an inclusive home, and a meaningful destiny."" Far from deadening our wonder for the universe, science, the author says, reanimates the wonder and the awe with which we look at it. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the dialogue between science and religion, offering a passionate plea for the integration of science and religion. (May)