April 2018
volume 30 (1)

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Meric Srokosz
Pages: 2-2


Beyond ‘The Warfare of Science with Theology’: George Tyrrell’s Plea for Epistemic Humility

Pages: 3-37


The Catholic Modernist theologian and scholar, George Tyrrell (1861–1909), may be characterised as a Thomist who sought to relate theology constructively to the issues of the day. While his engagement with historical criticism has been well studied, his response to the challenge of science, and particularly of evolution, has been neglected. This article seeks to address this neglect. Having outlined his intellectual context, it explores his cautiously affirmative approach to the idea of evolution, and shows that he was just as opposed to scientific reductionism as he was to the ethical reductionism of liberal Protestantism and to the absolutising of Thomism by his neo-scholastic contemporaries. The rationale for his position is shown to be his neo-Kantian conviction that science and theology are both fallible human endeavours which operate within clear epistemological constraints. A humble recognition of these limits, he believed, could help us move beyond the conflict between science and theology that was apparent in his day.


Curiosity in the Early Christian Era - Philoponus’s Defence of Ancient Astronomy against Christian Critics

Pages: 38-56


Curiosity is seen today as something good, desirable even. However, it was not always so. From the time that Hellenistic culture started to show signs of decline shortly before the birth of Christ, the attention of ancient scholars focused on the past, looking back to a golden era of sages. For Christianity, the primary interest was not the investigation of the natural world, and yet its world-view challenged some common assumptions that were of importance for the ‘natural philosophy’ conceptions of pagan late antiquity such as the eternity of the world, the divinity of the heavens, the astrological determinism, and so forth. Although these debates were not about the ‘technical’ portion of ancient learning – sphericity of the earth and heavens, epicycle models of planetary movements, theory of eclipses, and so on – voices were raised demanding a ‘Christian cosmology’. Their stronghold was at the theological school of Antioch that clashed with their traditional rivals of Alexandria, the city that was also the cradle of pagan natural philosophy. By the sixth century, the main exponent of the Antiochene flat earth cosmology, Cosmas Indicopleustes, was confronted by the Alexandrian Christian scholar John Philoponus, who defended the freedom of investigating nature and the freedom of scientific curiosity, within a Christian world-view.


Charles Raven (1885-1964): Professor of Divinity and Promoter of Science

Pages: 57-70


Charles Raven (1885-1964) was an outstanding theologian and preacher of the first half of the twentieth century. Raven had a fascination with and a deep appreciation of nature. His Christian faith, which developed during and after his years as a student at Cambridge University, gave a further dimension of meaning to this engagement. This article examines a number of aspects of Raven’s contribution in the area of science and faith. He was a passionate advocate of the importance of careful observation of the natural world as a crucial aspect of the spiritual life. As a theologian – he became Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge – he argued that Christian theology was enriched by an understanding of evolution and that this message of science and faith belonging together should be taken into the public square. Perhaps his most important scholarly contribution in the field of science was as a historian. But he always wanted to be someone who had an influence far beyond the scholarly world. In this he had considerable success, speaking to varied audiences, in universities, in schools and in broadcasting. Raven was concerned that the Christian message should be communicated in an authentic way and his deeply-held belief was that engagement with science was an essential part of that task. His view was that the scientific method had given a new point of approach to every subject of intellectual enquiry. As a Christian thinker this was a development he embraced with enthusiasm.


Book reviews

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Right to Die? Euthanasia, assisted suicide and end-of-life care

John Wyatt (Philippa Taylor)
Pages: 71-72

Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith

Francis J. Beckwith (David Opderbeck)
Pages: 72-75

Dictionary of Christianity and Science: The Definitive Reference for the Intersection of Christian Faith and Contemporary Science

Paul Copan Tremper Longman III Christopher L Reese Michael G Strauss (gen. eds.) (Randy Isaac)
Pages: 75-76

A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos

Geraint F. Lewis Luke A. Barnes (Paul Wraight)
Pages: 76-77

Neuroscience and the Soul: The Human Person in Philosophy, Science and Theology

Thomas M. Crisp Steven L. Porter Gregg A. Ten Elshof (eds.) (Marc Cortez)
Pages: 78-79


Terry Eagleton (Jonathan W. Chappell)
Pages: 79-80

Evolution and Holiness: Sociobiology, Altruism and the Quest for Wesleyian Perfection

Matthew Nelson Hill (Michael Rycroft)
Pages: 81-82

Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life

Edward O. Wilson (Dave Bookless)
Pages: 82-84

Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes!

Denis O. Lamoureux (Simon Kolstoe)
Pages: 84-85

A little book for new scientists

Josh A. Reeves Steve Donaldson (Rhoda Hawkins)
Pages: 85-87

Particles of Faith: A Catholic Guide to Navigating Science

Stacy A. Trasancos (Fintan Lyons)
Pages: 87-88

Human Origins and the Image of God: Essays in Honor of J. Wentzel van Huyssteen

Christopher Lilley Daniel J. Pedersen (eds.) (Malcolm Jeeves)
Pages: 88-90

Let There Be Light! Nuclear Energy: A Christian Case

Robert S. Dutch (Tim Middleton)
Pages: 90-91

Evolution and the Fall

William T. Cavanaugh James K. Smith (eds.) (Denis O. Lamoureux)
Pages: 91-93

Creation: A Guide for the Perplexed

Simon Oliver (Jamie Boulding)
Pages: 93-95

Old Earth or Evolutionary Creation? Discussing Origins with Reasons to Believe and Biologos

Kenneth Keathley J. B. Stum Joe Aguirre (Peter J. M. van der Burgt)
Pages: 95-96

Messy Church Does Science

David Gregory (ed.) (Stephanie Bryant
Pages: 96-98