Site Logo

Hello, you are using an old browser that's unsafe and no longer supported. Please consider updating your browser to a newer version, or downloading a modern browser.

This landmark book, first published in 1987, is now back in print, with a new introduction by its award-winning author. An interdisciplinary approach to the central themes of scientific and religious thought, this book was widely heralded upon its publication for the richness and depth of its contribution to the science and religion dialogue.

According to Holmes Rolston III, there are fundamental questions that science alone cannot answer; these questions are the central religious questions. He uses the scientific method of inquiry to distill key issues from science, and then he integrates them in a study that begins with matter and moves through life, mind, culture, history, and spirit.

Incorporating religious and scientific worldviews, he begins with an examination of two natural sciences: physics and biology. He then extrapolates examples from two human sciences: psychology and sociology. Next, he moves to the storied universe and world history, raising and addressing religious questions. “Never in the histories of science and religion have the opportunities been greater for fertile interaction between these fields, with mutual benefits to both,” states Rolston. The re-publication of this book provides current researchers and students in the field an invaluable, timeless methodological resource. The new introduction offers updated insights based on new scientific research.

Back to Tabs

Requesting an Exam Copy

Exam copies are sent to professors who would like to review the book before deciding whether to use it in a class. To request an exam copy, you must fill out the form below. It will automatically be sent to a staff member.

In our efforts to stay green, reduce expenses, and maintain scholarly accessibility, we are sending examination copies as electronic downloads in the Adobe Digital Edition format for a 90-day review period. If you have any trouble accessing the book in this format, please contact us and we will send a traditional copy of the book instead.

If you chose to review the electronic version of the book and adopt the book for one of your courses, upon notification by you or your bookstore, a traditional bound book will be sent to you free of charge.

Requesting a Desk Copy

Desk copies are complimentary books sent to professors who have already adopted the book for a course. To request a desk copy, please fill out the form below. It will automatically be sent to a staff member.

Proceed to Form

Back to Tabs

Preface / vii

Introduction to the 2006 Edition. Human Uniqueness and Human Responsibility: Science and Religion in a New Millennium / xi

An Open Future / xii
Matter, Energy, Information / xiv
Genetics: Past, Present, and Future / xviii
Human Uniqueness: Brain, Mind, Culture / xxiv
Mind Knowing Nature: Realism and Social Construction / xxxi
Science and Conscience / xxxv
Historical and Cruciform Nature: Life Persisting in Perishing / xxxix

Chapter 1. Methods in Scientific and Religious Inquiry / 1

Theories, Creeds, and Experience / 1
Models, Patterns, Paradigms / 8
Objectivity and Involvement / 16
Scientific and Religious Logic / 22

Chapter 2. Matter: Religion and the Physical Sciences / 33

Newtonian Mechanism / 34
Quantum Mechanics and Indeterminacy / 41
Relativity and Matter-Energy / 54
Microphysical and Astrophysical Nature / 65

Chapter 3. Life: Religion and the Biological Sciences / 81

Biochemistry and the Secret of Life / 82
Evolution and the Secret of Life / 90
The Cybernetics of Life / 124
The Life Struggle / 133

Chapter 4. Mind: Religion and the Psychological Sciences / 151

The Possibility of a Human Science / 151
Religion and Freudian Psychoanalysis / 159
Religion and Behavioral Science 170
Religion and Humanistic Psychologies / 183

Chapter 5. Culture: Religion and the Social Sciences / 198

Society and the Individual: Models, Laws, Causes / 200
Interpretive Social Science / 210
Religion as a Social Projection / 219
Values in Social Science / 226

Chapter 6. Nature and History / 238

Nature after Science / 238
Hard Naturalism / 247
Soft Naturalism / 253
Eastern Perspectives / 258
The Dimension of History / 269
Suffering / 286

Chapter 7. Nature, History, and God / 297

Nature and Supernature / 298
Scientific-Existentialist Theism / 306
Process Theism / 315
Transscientific Theism / 322
Insight in Science and Religion: Doing the Truth / 335

Index / 349

Back to Tabs