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A Scientific Theology: Reality [Hardcover]

By Alister E. McGrath (Author)
Our Price $ 42.50  
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Item Number 143645  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   362
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.54" Width: 6.32" Height: 1.29"
Weight:   1.28 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 4, 2002
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802839266  
EAN  9780802839268  


Availability  0 units.


Scientific Theology - Full Series Preview
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  A Scientific Theology: Theory   $ 44.00   In Stock  


Item Description...
Overview
Widely hailed as a groundbreaking work, Alister McGrath's three-volume "Scientific Theology" is the most extended and systematic exploration of the relation of theology and science ever undertaken. "Reality," the much-anticipated second part of McGrath's comprehensive project, provides a detailed and thorough defense of theological realism against radical challenges from Western philosophy. Drawing on both his firsthand experience with scientific research and his vast knowledge of the Christian tradition, McGrath sets out a sophisticated affirmation of theological realism that challenges head-on counterarguments lodged by modern and postmodern critics. McGrath shows how a true and reliable view of the world finds a solid foundation in natural theology, and he demonstrates the implications of this position for every aspect of Christian thought.

Publishers Description
The awaited second installment in a lauded work of theology Widely hailed as a groundbreaking work, Alister McGrath's three-volume Scientific Theology is the most extended and systematic exploration of the relation of theology and science ever undertaken. Reality, the much-anticipated second part of McGrath's comprehensive project, provides a detailed and thorough defense of theological realism against radical challenges from Western philosophy. Drawing on both his firsthand experience with scientific research and his vast knowledge of the Christian tradition, McGrath sets out a sophisticated affirmation of theological realism that challenges head-on counterarguments lodged by modern and postmodern critics. McGrath shows how a true and reliable view of the world finds a solid foundation in natural theology, and he demonstrates the implications of this position for every aspect of Christian thought.

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More About Alister E. McGrath

Alister E. McGrath Alister E. McGrath is Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford. One of the world's leading theologians, he has written numerous critically acclaimed books, including The Intellectual World of C. S. Lewis (Wiley, 2013), Why God Won't Go Away: Engaging the New Atheism (2011), and Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology (Wiley, 2011). He is also the author of some of the most widely used theology textbooks, including the bestselling Christian Theology: An Introduction now in its fifth edition (Wiley, 2010).

Alister E. McGrath currently resides in Oxford. Alister E. McGrath was born in 1953 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Oxford, King's College, London, UK King's College London.

Alister E. McGrath has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 2009 Gifford Lectures
  2. Aedyn Chronicles
  3. Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion
  4. Blackwell Manifestos (Paperback)
  5. Heart of Christian Faith
  6. Scientific Theology
  7. Study in the Foundation of Doctrinal Criticism


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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Informative, but . . . .  Feb 29, 2004
Last year, I reviewed the first volume of Alister McGrath's A SCIENTIFIC THEOLOGY. This work seeks to study the methodology of the natural sciences and attempt to correlate and apply them to the study of theology. Prof. McGrath is clear that it isn't a work of systematic theology, but rather a methodological prolegomena to a soon to be published systematic theology. (For some reason, the book jacket for all three volumes describes it as a "systematic theology" anyway.)

As I pointed out, volume 1 (NATURE) contained a lot of interesting background studies that would be of help to anyone interested in the relationship between religion and science. On the other hand, the book came across as something like a collection of encyclopedia articles interspersed with a few observations by McGrath setting forth his own positions in a somewhat cursory manner.

Unfortunately, the same may be said of volume 2 (REALITY). This work is a discussion of the nature of reality from the "critical realist" perspective. Like volume 1, there are lots of background studies. You get four pages on the "Sokal hoax," an extend discussion of John Milbank's THEOOLOGY AND SOCIAL THEORY, a discussion of John Searle's THE CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL REALITY, seven pages about postmodernist theologian Don Cupitt, etc. All of this is quite interesting, but how it all relates to Dr. McGrath's ideas isn't entirely clear.

As in volume 1, Prof. McGrath's positions aren't well developed. He constantly reminds us that truth is mediated by a community and that claims of "neutrality" are part of the allegedly discredited "Enlightenment project." Maybe, but is 2+2=4 or "God exists" "mediated" truths? Is it only more "complex" ideas, such as Anselm's theory of the atonement (which was apparently framed within the context of medieval law) that are "mediated"? I'm sure Dr. McGrath has a way of sorting out these questions, but sustained arguments shouldn't be hard to find in a three voume series of 400,000 words.

 
Disaster.  Jan 26, 2004
This book reads like a collection of short stories, the sequential morals of which McGrath appears to think constitute an argument. McGrath does pause regularly from summarising others' works or discoveries to hint at his reasons for including these episodes, but I really couldn't help thinking that half of them were entirely superfluous. The stories were, of course, really interesting. For example, if you want to read the text of Benedict XII's definition of the beatific vision, see p. 312; if you want to know how an 18th century Venetian playwright conceived the relationship between the stage and the real world, see pp. 238-39; if you want in on Alan (McGrath spells it Alain half the time) Sokal's hilarious hoax, see pp. 188-91. But I can't point you to where McGrath offers any rigorous argument for his own theological positions.

Of course, with volume 1, Nature, published just the year before (I read and enjoyed Nature), and volume 3, Theory, published just the year after this book, McGrath didn't really have time to write Reality with care. So, among other evidences of desperate haste, Reality is painfully repetitive. You just can't imagine how many times McGrath feels it necessary to remind us that he thinks a scientific theology must be an a posteriori science. There are innumerable typos, and I don't think it would be too great an overstatement to say that half the works cited in footnotes are missing from the bibliography. One instance: of the six works cited on p. 258, not one appears in the bibliography.

McGrath does indeed have an astounding breadth of knowledge in both the natural sciences and in Christian theology, and his ideas about how they may be more fruitfully brought into dialogue are fascinating. Let's hope he'll have occasion and patience to think through the issues surrounding such dialogue again.

 

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