On When Science Meets Religion: The Book

Of all the books and articles that I’ve read the past few years about the science and theology interchange, this book by Ian Barbour, When Science Meets Religion: Enemies, Strangers, or Partners? is one that I wish I would have read it relatively early in my journey.

Dr. Barbour, a professor emeritus of Science, Society, and Technology at Carlton College, is a well-known author and authority in the field. Early in this book, Barbour establishes four models/views for examining the complex relationship between science and theology: conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration. However, readers will also find variations of the models – thus more models.

In the majority of the book, Barbour reinforces the four models by examining important issues in light of each model. Chapters/issues are the following:

  • Astronomy and Creation
  • The Implications of Quantum Physics (yes, for you John)
  • Evolution and Continuing Creation
  • Genetics, Neuroscience, and Human Nature
  • God and Nature

I can say that this book is very readable, however, some foundation knowledge on both the broad topic and the individual topics is helpful. Otherwise, it may be a difficult read. For instance, I admit having very limit knowledge about quantum physics. Throughout the journey, Barbour cites numerous examples to support the model he is explaining within the given topic.

The science and religion interchange as a topic is complex, therefore writing a book on the topic would not be easy. However, for anyone interested in the topic, this is a good one encounter early in your process. By the way, check your local library or the library-share organization that it may be a member because that is where I found it.