It is hard to think of an area of Christian theology that provides more scope for interdisciplinary conversation than the doctrine of creation. This doctrine not only invites reflection on an intellectual concept: it calls for contemplation of the endlessly complex, dynamic, and fascinating world that human being inhabit. But the possibilities for wide-ranging discussion are such that scholars sometimes end up talking past one another. Productive conversation requires mutual understanding of insights across disciplinary boundaries. Knowing Creation offers an essential resource for helping scholars from a range of fields to appreciate one another’s concerns and perspectives. In so doing, it offers an important step forward in establishing a mutually-enriching dialogue that addresses, amongst others, the following key questions:
Who is the God who creates?
Why does God create?
What is “creation”?
What does it mean to recognize that a theology of creation speaks of a natural world that is subject to the observation of the natural sciences? What does it mean to talk about both a “natural” order and a “created” order?
What are the major tensions that have arisen between the natural sciences and Christian thinking historically, and why? How can we move beyond such tensions to a positive and constructive conversation, while also avoiding facile notions such as a “god of the gaps”?
Is it feasible for a natural scientist to maintain a belief in God’s continuing creative activity?
In what ways might a naturalistic understanding of the natural world be said to be limited?
How can biblical studies, theology, philosophy, history, and science talk better together about these questions?
At a time when the doctrine of creation - and even a mention of “creation” - has been disparaged due to its supposed associations with anti-scientific dogma, and theological offerings sometimes risk appearing a little more than reactionary exercises in naive apologetics, ill-informed by science or distinctly wary of engagement with it, it is more important than ever to offer a cross-disciplinary resource that can voice a positive account of a Christian theology of creation, and do so as a genuinely broad-ranging conversation about science and faith.
Contributors to Knowing Creation include Marilyn McCord Adams, Denis Alexander, Susan Eastman, C. Stephen Evans, Peter van Inwagen, Christoph Schwobel, John H. Walton, Francis Watson, and more.
Knowing Creation brings together leading Christian thinkers to enrich our understanding of the relationship between Christianity and science on the subject of creation. I found myself enlightened and encouraged in my faith and my thinking. These are important issues that are explored by some of the best minds in philosophy, science, and theology. I recommend this book with great enthusiasm to a broad readership. – Tremper Longman III, Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Westmont College
Knowing Creation is a rich collection of theologically informed essays. The authors engage an impressive array of conversations partners from Job and Moses, to Plato and Aristotle, to Luther and Calvin, to Derrida and Dawkins. This is a valuable contribution to the science and religion dialogue. – Karl Giberson, professor of science and religion at Stonehill College
Editors Torrance and McCall have assembled a first-ratecast of authors writingwith unusually sharp insight about God, science, and the created realm. Thegreat achievement of their book is to demonstrate how productive–ratherthan how contentious–classicalChristianity and contemporary scientificinvestigation can be. The book is accessible, but deeply considered chaptersmake a stellar contribution. – Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus, the University of Notre Dame
Torrance and McCall bring together leading scholars in theology, biblicalstudies, philosophy, and the sciences to offer intelligent and immenselyaccessible perspectives on creation. Anyone who cares about the future ofChristian theology and its potential to reinvigorate the meaning and purposeof the sciences should read this volume. – Elaine Howard Ecklund, Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, Rice University
Andrew Torrance and Thomas McCall have brought together an outstandinggroup of philosophers, theologians, biblical scholars, and scientists to reflecton the notion of creation. The result is a deep examination from diversepoints of view on the relation of religion and science that ought to be requiredreading for anyone interested in this important topic. – Eleonore Stump, Robert J. Henle SJ Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University
This volume includes chapters that exemplify awareness of relevant areas ofcontemporary science and biblical scholarship. Other contributors set thetopic firmly within an historical context. The uses of the concept of creationare carefully scrutinised by philosophers determined to identify and exposemuddled thinking wherever it occurs. The result is a challenging book whichwill fully reward careful and critical reading. – Malcolm Jeeves, emeritus professor, School of Psychology and Neuroscience, St. Andrews University
Knowing Creation moves beyond jaded conflict narratives to innovative,substantive dialogue about creation. By assembling a team of scientificallysavvy theologians, philosophers, and biblical scholars in conversation withtheologically informed scientists, Knowing Creation breaks new ground inthinking deeply about the astonishing richness of God’s creation. – Jeff Hardin, Raymond E. Keller Professor of Integrative Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Knowing Creation is a wide-rangingresource for those who want to thinkmore deeply about the complexity and wonder of the created world. Weare indebted to the authors of these essays for their stimulating–andoftenchallenging–reflectionsabout our knowledge of God’s creation. – J. Richard Middleton, professor of biblical worldview and exegesis, Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College
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