cover image The Big Question: Why We Can't Stop Talking About Science, Faith, and God

The Big Question: Why We Can't Stop Talking About Science, Faith, and God

Alister McGrath. St. Martin's, $28 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-07792-9

Oxford professor McGrath (Science and Religion) brings the personal and practical together in a book combining memoir with a critical exploration of the modern relationship between science and religion. McGrath, a crackling storyteller, chronicles his childhood fascination with science and his university study of chemistry. During his university days of reading around in other disciplines, he realizes that scientific knowledge does not provide the only authentic knowledge and that nature can be interpreted in many ways. His professor, Charles A. Coulson, points out to McGrath the coherence between science and faith, and in this book McGrath ranges over the many ways that science and religion diverge and intersect. For example, he explores the conflicts between faith and science over Darwin's theory of evolution: Christians oppose Darwin's ideas because, in their view, these ideas posit a materialist understanding of human nature, eliminate God from the world, and challenge traditional interpretations of Genesis. McGrath points out that both science and religion involve the search for meaning, and that "interweaving the narratives" of science and religion can help us to understand the richness and complexity of the universe and human nature. (Nov.)