[A] well-grounded discussion of important scientific, philosophical, and theological inter-relationships, which demands, deserves, and repays serious study, and challenges many popular preconceptions. It would be helpful, though, for readers to have some background knowledge of the field.
The rewards are great, despite the intellectual effort required to follow some of the arguments. The big questions of the time cover such great topics as the beginning and end of the universe, evolution, miracles, the nature of time and space, the soul, scientific explanations of religion, and divine action.
There is a refreshing open-mindedness about Ward's approach to them. This is in sharp contrast to that of some of his Oxford colleagues, who recently appear to have been more interested in scoring debating points than in the patient exploration of what religious statements actually mean, and of how they can help to interpret different realms of experience.
To those familiar with other, more conventional books on science and religion, some of the most interesting and unusual features of his general argument are likely to be the insights drawn from different religions. Buddhism, for instance, makes no claims about God, but entails a profound exploration of human spiritual experience, and is thus a good antidote to the excessively rationalist approach to religion which is all too prevalent in Western culture.
By drawing on a variety of faiths, Ward also makes it clear that this awareness of a spiritual dimension to life is not an oddity, but a universal phenomenon that all religions, and the vast majority of the world's inhabitants, have in common.
Ward has provided many valuable starting-points for further exploration. —The Rt Revd Lord Habgood, former Archbishop of York.