Table of Contents

Title page


Any volume of this size depends on the efforts of many people. Ours is no exception. Early conversations with Ernan McMullin and Karl Giberson helped to give shape to the overall contents. Even before this project was conceived, both of us were privileged to spend three summers in Oxford as Templeton-Oxford Fellows, digging deeper into the field of science and religion. We’re grateful to Jeff Dean at Wiley-Blackwell for his editorial guidance, as well as the help of his editorial assistants, Tiffany Mok and Nicole Benevenia. Kristin Joy Swartz spent many hours carefully formatting bibliographic entries. Chad Meister is a veteran of editing projects like this one; he gave sage advice at several points in the process and friendship throughout. Jim thanks Bethel College (Indiana) for graciously granting a sabbatical and lots of printer toner. Alan would like to thank the Christian community that is Luther Seminary for continued support of serious theological research. And of course our families provided seemingly endless support and encouragement.

Notes on Contributors

Denis R. Alexander is Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, where he is a Fellow. He was previously at the Babraham Institute, where he was Chair of the Molecular Immunology Programme and Head of the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signaling and Development. He is editor of the journal Science and Christian Belief. His latest book is The Language of Genetics: An Introduction (Templeton Foundation Press, 2011).

Francisco J. Ayala is University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He has published more than a thousand articles and is author or editor of more than 30 books. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He received the 2001 US National Medal of Science and the 2010 Templeton Prize. The New York Times named Ayala the “Renaissance Man of Evolutionary Biology.”

Julian Baggini is the author of several books, including Welcome to Everytown: A Journey into the English Mind (Granta, 2007); Complaint (Profile, 2008); and, most recently, The Ego Trick (Granta, 2011). He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, the Financial Times, Prospect and the New Statesman, as well as for the think tanks the Institute of Public Policy Research and Demos. He is editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Philosophers’ Magazine.

Lynne Rudder Baker is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of The Metaphysics of Everyday Life (Cambridge University Press, 2007); Persons and Bodies (Cambridge University Press, 2000); Explaining Attitudes (Cambridge University Press, 1995); and Saving Belief (Princeton University Press, 1987), as well as numerous articles in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and philosophical theology.

Stephen M. Barr is Professor of Physics at the University of Delaware. He received his PhD from Princeton University in 1978. His research is in the area of theoretical particle physics, with emphasis on “grand unified theories” and the cosmology of the early universe. He writes for First Things, on whose editorial board he serves, and is author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (University of Notre Dame Press, 2003).

Justin L. Barrett is the Thrive Chair of Applied Developmental Science and Professor of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, California and a research associate of the University of Oxford’s School of Anthropology. He specializes in the cognitive science of religion, psychology of religion, and cognitive study of culture. He has authored Why Would Anyone Believe in God? (AltaMira Press, 2004); Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology (Templeton Foundation Press, 2011); Born Believers (The Free Press, 2012); and scores of other scholarly and popular publications.

Peter J. Bowler is Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at Queen’s University, Belfast. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was President of the British Society for the History of Science, 2003–2005. He has published a number of books, including Evolution: The History of an Idea (25th anniversary edn, University of California Press, 2009).

Jacqueline Broad is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of Philosophical, Historical, and International Studies at Monash University, Melbourne. She is the author of Women Philosophers of the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and co-author (with Karen Green) of A History of Women’s Political Thought in Europe, 1400–1700 (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1993. His research focuses on field theory, cosmology, and gravitation. He is the author of From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time (Dutton, 2010) and Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity (Addison Wesley, 2004). He blogs at Cosmic Variance and writes for Discover magazine.

Robin Collins is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. He has graduate-level training in theoretical physics and has written over 30 articles and book chapters on a wide range of topics in philosophy of physics, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of mind. He is currently finishing two books on the fine-tuning of the cosmos for life.

Simon Conway Morris holds a chair of Evolutionary Paleobiology in the University of Cambridge, and is a Fellow of St John’s College. He has published extensively, including The Crucible of Creation (Oxford University Press, 1998) and Life’s Solution (Cambridge University Press, 2003). He appears frequently on radio and television, contributing to the public understanding of science. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1990, and amongst other honors has received the Walcott Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.

William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. Research interests include the interface of philosophy of religion, metaphysics, philosophy of space and time, and philosophy of mathematics. He has authored or edited over 30 books, including The Kalam Cosmological Argument (Wipf and Stock, 2000); Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (with Quentin Smith, Clarendon Press, 1995); Time and the Metaphysics of Relativity (Kluwer, 2001); and Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity (edited with Quentin Smith, Routledge, 2008).

Edward B. Davis is Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. Best known as editor (with Michael Hunter) of The Works of Robert Boyle, 14 vols (Pickering & Chatto, 1999–2000), he has also written dozens of articles on historical and contemporary aspects of Christianity and science. With support from the John Templeton Foundation and the National Science Foundation, he is presently studying the religious lives and beliefs of prominent American scientists from the 1920s.

Paul Draper is Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University, Indiana. His primary area of specialization is philosophy of religion. He is the author of “Pain and Pleasure: An Evidential Problem for Theists” (Noûs, 1989) and the co-editor of A Companion to Philosophy of Religion (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). He also edits the journal Philo and serves on the editorial boards of Faith and Philosophy, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, and Religious Studies.

Dylan Evans is the author of several popular science books, including Placebo: The Belief Effect (HarperCollins, 2003). He holds a PhD in philosophy from the London School of Economics, and has lectured in robotics at the University of the West of England (UWE). In September 2008 he moved to the School of Medicine at University College Cork, where he is now Lecturer in Behavioral Science.

John H. Evans is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on the sociology of religion, culture, knowledge, science, and, in particular, bioethics. He is the author of Playing God? Human Genetic Engineering and the Rationalization of Public Bioethical Debate (University of Chicago Press, 2002). His most recent book is Contested Reproduction: Genetic Technologies, Religion, and Public Debate (University of Chicago Press, 2010).

Michael S. Evans is a PhD candidate in sociology and science studies at the University of California, San Diego. His interdisciplinary research interests include science, religion, politics, and culture. He is author or co-author of several articles and chapters on these topics. His dissertation examines American public debates about religion and science in terms of representation, democracy, and morality.

Maurice A. Finocchiaro is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy (Emeritus), University of Nevada, Las Vegas; recipient of fellowships and grants from NSF, NEH, Guggenheim Foundation, and American Council of Learned Societies; and author of numerous publications in logical theory and the history and philosophy of science. Among his books are Arguments about Arguments (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Defending Copernicus and Galileo (Springer, 2010).

Philippe Gagnon currently teaches philosophy as well as science and theology at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota. He is author of Christianisme et théorie de l’information (Guibert, 1998); L’expérience de Dieu avec Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Fides, 2001); La théologie de la nature et la science à l’ère de l’information (Éditions du Cerf/Fides, 2002); and Teilhard de Chardin: Les terres inconnues de la vie spirituelle (Fides, 2002). He has published many articles in philosophical theology and philosophy of science.

Richard M. Gale is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His areas of specialization include philosophy of time, negation and non-being, William James, John Dewey, and philosophy of religion. Among his major publications are The Language of Time (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968); Problems of Negation and Non-being (AMQ monograph, 1976); On the Nature and Existence of God (Cambridge University Press, 1991); The Divided Self of William James (Cambridge University Press, 1999); and John Dewey’s Quest for Unity: The Journey of a Promethean Mystic (Prometheus Press, 2010).

Gregory E. Ganssle is Senior Fellow at the Rivendell Institute and part-time lecturer in the philosophy department at Yale University. He has published Thinking about God: First Steps in Philosophy (InterVarsity Press, 2004) and A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism (Baylor University Press, 2009).

Nathan J. Hallanger currently serves as Special Assistant to the Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received his PhD in systematic theology from The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and is co-editor (with Ted Peters) of God’s Action in Nature’s World: Essays in Honour of Robert John Russell (Ashgate, 2006).

William Hasker is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Huntington University, Indiana. He is the author of Metaphysics (InterVarsity Press, 1983); God, Time, and Knowledge (Cornell University Press, 1989); The Emergent Self (Cornell University Press, 1999); Providence, Evil, and the Openness of God (Routledge, 2004); and The Triumph of God over Evil (InterVarsity Press, 2008), and has authored numerous articles in journals and reference works. He was the editor of Faith and Philosophy from 2000 until 2007.

John F. Haught is Senior Fellow, Science and Religion, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC. His area of specialization is systematic theology, with a particular interest in issues pertaining to science, cosmology, evolution, ecology, and religion. He is the author of Making Sense of Evolution (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010) and Is Nature Enough? Meaning and Truth in the Age of Science (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Noreen Herzfeld is the Nicholas and Bernice Reuter Professor of Science and Religion at St John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. She holds degrees in computer science and mathematics from The Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in theology from The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. Herzfeld is author of In Our Image: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Spirit (Fortress Press, 2002); Technology and Religion: Remaining Human in a Co-created World (Templeton Foundation Press, 2009); and The Limits of Perfection in Technology, Religion, and Science (Pandora Press, 2010).

Rodney D. Holder is Course Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, and was formerly priest in charge of the parish of the Claydons, Diocese of Oxford. He carried out postdoctoral research in astrophysics at Oxford, and for 14 years worked as an operational research consultant. Dr Holder is the author of Nothing but Atoms and Molecules? (Monarch, 1993) and God, the Multiverse, and Everything (Ashgate, 2004).

Lydia Jaeger is Professor and Academic Dean at the Institut Biblique de Nogent-sur-Marne, France, and an associate member of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. She holds postgraduate degrees in physics and in theology and a PhD in philosophy. She is author of Einstein, Polanyi and the Laws of Nature (Templeton Foundation Press, 2010) and Lois de la nature et raisons du cœur: les convictions religieuses dans le débat épistémologique contemporain (Peter Lang, 2007).

Christopher B. Kaiser began his professional life as an astrophysicist and is now Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Michigan. His publications include The Doctrine of God (Wipf and Stock, 1982, 2001); Creational Theology and the History of Physical Science (Brill, 1992, 1997); and Toward a Theology of Scientific Endeavour (Ashgate, 2007).

John F. Kilner is Professor of Bioethics and Contemporary Culture, and director of Bioethics Programs at Trinity International University, Illinois. He also holds the Franklin and Dorothy Forman Chair of Christian Ethics and Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has authored or edited 16 books, including Who Lives? Who Dies? Ethical Criteria in Patient Selection (Yale University Press, 1992); Genetic Ethics (Eerdmans, 1997); and Does God Need Our Help? Cloning, Assisted Suicide, and Other Challenges in Bioethics (Tyndale, 2003).

Robin J. Klay is Professor Emerita of Economics at Hope College, Holland, Michigan. Klay’s principal area of research and publication is the connections between Christian faith and practice and economic theory and policy. She is co-author of Economics in Christian Perspective: Theory, Policy and Life Choices (InterVarsity Press, 2007). Her articles have been published in Christian Century, Perspectives, Faith and Economics, and Markets and Morality.

Christopher C. Knight obtained a doctorate in astrophysics before studying theology. He began his serious study of the relationship between science and theology while Chaplain, Fellow, and Director of Studies in Theology at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Now, while still teaching for a number of colleges within the University of Cambridge in the science–religion dialogue, he works primarily as the Executive Secretary of the International Society for Science and Religion.

E. J. Lowe is Professor of Philosophy at Durham University, UK, specializing in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind and action, the philosophy of logic and language, and the philosophy of John Locke. His recent books include The Possibility of Metaphysics (Oxford University Press, 1998); The Four-Category Ontology (Oxford University Press, 2006); Personal Agency (Oxford University Press, 2008); and More Kinds of Being (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009).

Tapio Luoma is Bishop of the Diocese of Espoo in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and has been a Research Fellow in the Project for Theology and Science in the Faculty of Theology of the University of Helsinki. He has written articles and given lectures on the relationship between theology and natural sciences. His book Incarnation and Physics was published by Oxford University Press in 2002.

Stephen C. Meyer, formerly a geophysicist and college professor, now directs Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He has authored, edited, or co-authored several books including Darwinism, Design and Public Education (Michigan State University Press, 2004); Explore Evolution: The Arguments for and against Neo-Darwinism (Hill House Publishers, 2007); and, most recently, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2009).

J. P. Moreland is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, California. He has authored, edited, or contributed papers to over 30 books, including Does God Exist? (Prometheus, 1993); Universals (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001); Consciousness and the Existence of God (Routledge, 2008); and The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (edited with William Lane Craig, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). He has also published over 75 articles in journals such as Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, American Philosophical Quarterly, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, MetaPhilosophy, Philosophia Christi, Religious Studies, and Faith and Philosophy.

Paul K. Moser is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Loyola University, Chicago. He is the author of The Evidence for God: Religious Knowledge Reexamined (Cambridge University Press, 2010); The Elusive God: Reorienting Religious Epistemology (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Philosophy after Objectivity (Oxford University Press, 1993); and Knowledge and Evidence (Cambridge University Press, 1991). He is co-editor of Divine Hiddenness (with Daniel Howard-Snyder, Cambridge University Press, 2002) and The Wisdom of the Christian Faith (with Michael McFall, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). He is also editor of Jesus and Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and Rationality in Action (Cambridge University Press, 1990), and editor of American Philosophical Quarterly.

Alexei V. Nesteruk is Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Portsmouth, UK, where his research is concerned with problems in the foundations of cosmology and quantum physics. His writing has increasingly focused on science from the perspective of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. He is the author of Theology, Science and the Eastern Orthodox Tradition (Fortress, 2003) and The Universe as Communion: Towards a Neo-Patristic Synthesis of Theology and Science (T&T Clark, 2008).

Graham Oppy is Professor and Head of the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies at Monash University, and Chair of Council of the Australasian Association of Philosophy. He is the author of Ontological Arguments and Belief in God (Cambridge University Press, 1995); Arguing about Gods (Cambridge University Press, 2006); and Philosophical Perspectives on Infinity (Cambridge University Press, 2006); and co-editor (with Nick Trakakis) of The History of Western Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Alan G. Padgett is Professor of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of many books and articles in biblical studies, theology, and philosophy, including several works in religion and science. He advocates a mutuality model for the relationship between Christian theology and science in Science and the Study of God (Eerdmans, 2003).

Don N. Page is a theoretical physicist who taught physics at Penn State University and now is professor at the University of Alberta, Canada. His research focuses on quantum cosmology and black holes. He studied at the University of Cambridge and has published several articles with Stephen Hawking.

James C. Peterson is the Charles Schumann Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Religion and Society at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. He is an editor of the journal Perspectives in Science and Christian Faith and the author of several books, including Genetic Turning Points (Eerdmans, 2001) and Changing Human Nature: Ecology, Ethics, Genes, and God (Eerdmans, 2010).

Alvin Plantinga is the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. His work in philosophy lies primarily in philosophy of religion, epistemology, and metaphysics. Several published volumes and dissertations discuss his work. He has twice been invited to give the Gifford lectures in Scotland, the first being published as Warranted Christian Belief (Oxford University Press, 2000), with the more recent course on the topic of science and religion (St Andrews, 2005).

John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS, began his academic career in theoretical physics, and was Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge until 1979. He then began his studies for the Anglican priesthood, and discovered a second vocation in theology and science. Author of some 30 books on science and religion, including the published version of his Gifford lectures (Science and Christian Belief, SPCK, 1994), he received the Templeton Prize in 2002 for his contribution to religion and science.

Alexander R. Pruss is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University, Texas and has PhDs in mathematics (University of British Columbia) and philosophy (University of Pittsburgh). He is the author of The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and Actuality, Possibility and Worlds (Continuum, 2011).

Nicholas Rescher is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is Chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science. He has served as President of the American Philosophical Association and of the American Catholic Philosophy Association. He was the founding editor of the American Philosophical Quarterly. He has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received the Order of Merit (First Class) of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2011.

Michael Ruse is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He is the author of many books, including Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? The Relationship between Science and Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Robert John Russell is the Ian G. Barbour Professor of Theology and Science in Residence, at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. He is also Founder and Director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley, and co-editor of the journal Theology and Science. He is the author of Cosmology, Evolution, and Resurrection Hope: Theology and Science in Creative Mutual Interaction (Pandora Press, 2006). Fifteen writers engaged Russell’s thought in God’s Action in Nature’s World: Essays in Honour of Robert John Russell.

James F. Salmon, SJ is a professor in the chemistry and theology departments at Loyola University Maryland and Senior Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He founded the Annual Cosmos and Creation conference that was inspired by the writings of Teilhard de Chardin. He has authored books in both chemistry and theology, and is co-editor of The Legacy of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Paulist Press, 2011).

Hans Schwarz has been Professor of Systematic Theology and Contemporary Theological Issues at the University of Regensburg, Germany, since 1981. Before that he taught at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio (1967–1981). He has authored more than 30 books, the most recent in English being Theology in a Global Context (Eerdmans, 2005), and has been the principal advisor for 40 doctoral students who teach on five continents.

Lisa H. Sideris is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, with research interests in environmental ethics, religion and nature, and the science-religion interface. She is author of Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection (Columbia University Press, 2003) and editor with Kathleen Dean Moore of an interdisciplinary collection of essays on Rachel Carson titled Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge (SUNY Press, 2008).

Taede A. Smedes is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Heyendaal Program on Theology and Science of the Faculties of Theology and Religious Studies of the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He is the author of Chaos, Complexity, and God: Divine Action and Scientism (Peeters, 2004).

Lisa L. Stenmark teaches in the comparative religious studies program at San Jose State University, California. She founded and was Director of Women in Religion, Ethics and the Sciences (WiRES). Her scholarly interests include religion and culture, especially in relation to politics and science. Her current project is “A Disputational Friendship: Religion, Science and Democracy,” on scientific and religious authority in public life.

Mikael Stenmark is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Uppsala University, Sweden. His books include How to Relate Science and Religion: A Multidimensional Model (Eerdmans, 2004); Environmental Ethics and Environmental Policy Making (Ashgate, 2002); Scientism: Science, Ethics and Religion (Ashgate 2001); and Rationality in Science, Religion, and Everyday Life (University of Notre Dame Press, 1995).

J. B. Stump is Professor of Philosophy and directs the philosophy program at Bethel College, Indiana. He is the philosophy editor of Christian Scholars Review, and has published articles there as well as in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science and Philosophia Christi. He has co-authored (with Chad Meister) Christian Thought: A Historical Introduction (Routledge, 2010).

Richard Swinburne was Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at the University of Oxford, 1985–2002. He is the author of many books on the meaning and justification of theism and of Christian doctrines, including his trilogy on theism, The Coherence of Theism (Clarendon Press, 1993); The Existence of God (2nd edn, Oxford University Press, 2004); and Faith and Reason (2nd edn, Oxford University Press, 2005). He has also written books on epistemology and on mind and body. He lectures regularly at universities around the world.



The last few decades have seen an enormous increase in the scholarly attention paid to issues at the intersection of science and religion. Books and articles have been written, conferences have been organized, and even professorial chairs and programs of study have been formed to further explore this fascinating area of inquiry. The present volume is an attempt to contribute to this ongoing conversation. The original pieces collected here provide a snapshot of the current scholarly research in the area; they are written for a broad academic audience and introduce many of the important themes in the dialogue between science and Christianity.

The academic field is now maturing as the second generation of scholars in this field reflects on the seminal work of the founding generation. One of the implications of the maturing of the field is the need for a more fine-grained analysis of the issues – hence our focus on Christianity in particular rather than religion in general. There are some fine handbooks that look at world religions and science, and we commend them. In this work, we narrow the conversation to science and Christianity to allow for greater specificity and depth on the topics. Of course there are some commonalities among religions with respect to their interactions with science, but as we get into specific doctrines, it is the differences in both the sciences and in the various world religions that become important after a certain basic introduction to this fascinating interdisciplinary field. For example, the nature of God in Christian theism is very different from the understanding of God or gods in Hinduism or of ultimate (non)reality in some forms of Buddhism. And even within the traditional monotheistic religions which affirm the same Creator God, there are significant discrepancies in understanding how God relates to the natural world and how God has revealed the divine nature to humans.

Focusing more narrowly on Christianity is not at all to suggest that it is the only relevant religion in dialogue with science. Other volumes have been, and should in the future be, devoted to Buddhism, Islam, or Judaism and science, and so for all the great world faiths. These religions have their own histories and methodologies and should be accorded the respect that is due them, rather than trying to subsume them under a generic heading or by giving them a paragraph or two of attention in a work that is in reality discussing Christianity. As a matter of historical fact, it is Christianity that has been the dominant religious system interacting with modern science, because of the dominance of the Christian faith when early modern science got going in Europe. Thus, we hope it will be very helpful to the larger conversation and debate in religion and science to devote this work entirely to the mutual interaction of modern science with Christianity.

While the authors all write with Christianity in mind, they are not all themselves Christians. This is not a work defending or promoting Christian faith, apart from the normal academic sense in which better understanding should promote greater appreciation and overcome misunderstanding. Many of the authors here do have Christian commitments of various sorts, but others represent different religions or none at all. We’ve not attempted to give equal space to each perspective on a particular issue, but we do hope that taken as a whole the chapters give a fair representation of the kinds of perspectives found at, say, an academic conference on science and Christianity.

On the whole, the volume aims for a philosophical and historical approach to the topic. We have found that both of these disciplines – philosophy and history – provide a very helpful and insightful space in which religion and science can get down to serious talk. Many of the authors are trained as scientists, but their work here is not of the kind you’d expect to find in Nature or Science. We do not aim to “do” science in these pages, any more than we seek to “do” religion. We are seeking to introduce and advance serious thinking and talking about science and Christianity, particularly as they interconnect. We are reflecting on the work of scientists and theologians, trying to find points of contact and points of tension which help to illuminate these practices and doctrines in clear, scholarly light.

Many of the authors will be recognizable to those familiar with the literature in science and religion. We’re pleased that some of the world’s leading scholars have contributed to this volume in their areas of expertise. But we’ve also invited younger scholars who will be voices for the discipline in the next generation. We’ve also aimed for as much diversity as is practical among the contributors in what is admittedly a field dominated by males from America and Britain.

The articles here are not meant to be condensed overviews which cover every aspect of a topic, as one might expect from encyclopedia articles. We’ve asked for fair presentation of the topics, but have also encouraged authors to defend their own views and pick out salient points for discussion. This has allowed us to devote several chapters to similar topics that are treated differently by their authors. We believe this has resulted in a lively collection that encourages deeper engagement.

Books like this one can be organized variously; we have opted for a somewhat traditional ordering. The 54 chapters are grouped into 11 parts. Of course subjects like natural theology, cosmology, and evolution have substantial sections devoted to them (Parts Three, Four, and Five). And preceding these are sections on historical episodes (Part One) and methodology (Part Two). But then we aimed to broaden the typical discussion to include Christianity’s interaction with some human sciences (Part Six). The interaction of Christian theology and science is seen perhaps most transparently in the discussion of various technologies; Part Seven is accordingly devoted to Christian bioethics. Part Eight collects several topics in metaphysics, and Part Nine gives significant attention to various perspectives on the mind. Part Ten looks at several points of theology that have been reconsidered in light of modern science. Finally, Part Eleven introduces some of the leading voices in the contemporary dialogue surrounding religion and science. Overall we as editors have been guided by a common vision: to provide an up-to-date and helpful resource to readers looking to become acquainted with the various scholarly discussions at the interface of science and Christianity.