Top-List Survey With Ted Davis: Question 1
The BioLogos Top-List Survey is a sociological exercise aimed at collecting lists of people’s ‘favorites’ in a variety of categories related to the mission of BioLogos, i.e. relating to the science, philosophy, and religion dialogue.
A survey question is asked of a scholar in the area of science, philosophy, or religion, who responds with their “Top-List” and, if he or she wishes, a brief commentary on why that particular list was chosen. Each new “Top-List” survey thread will be introduced by an opening Top-List from someone who is considered an ‘expert’ to friends and regular visitors, or who holds a perspective that BioLogos is promoting.
The “Top-Lists” are not a place for debate or argument. Instead, they are simply an opportunity to show and share what one values in one’s approach to the discourse of science, philosophy, and religion. By listing books, articles, quotations, figures, dates, events, links, etc. one can point to references and resources that may help others discover new thoughts, new people, and new ideas.
To keep things simple, we will restrict all “Top-List” experts to the same 1,250-character limit as imposed in the comment boxes.
This week's list was written by Ted Davis.
Some books that we read help us to gain new knowledge and build our understanding of the relationship between science, philosophy and religion (SP&R). When we read these books we are faced with many questions and are sometimes challenged about the way we see and experience the world.
Which books have you read on your intellectual and personal journey that have provided insights or answers to difficult questions or problems in SP&R dialogue? Were there certain books that you read when you were young that deeply influenced you and set you on a new path of discovery? What are the most important books that you read at an older age that helped put many things in perspective from previous works that you’d read when you were younger? Which books were more synthetic or holistic or otherwise very specifically focused that enabled you to understand the relationship between SP&R better than other books? Which books did you wholeheartedly accept or most stridently reject, that contributed to your learning about SP&R discourse?
Books of formative influence on my decision to study science and religion, and on my early views:
- Bernard Ramm, The Christian View of Science and Scripture (1954)
- Ian Barbour, Issues in Science and Religion (1966)
- Richard Bube, The Human Quest (1971)
- James R. Moore, The Post-Darwinian Controversies (1979)
- Reijer Hooykaas, Religion and the Rise of Modern Science (1972)
I encountered Ramm (an evangelical theologian trained in philosophy of science) and Bube (a Stanford physicist who taught science & Christianity for a quarter century) through the American Scientific Affiliation; without them or the ASA, I would not be doing religion & science today. Without Barbour, whom I also encountered through the ASA, there would be no academic field of religion & science in which to work. I read Moore’s book in graduate school. It convinced me that evolution could be consistent with orthodox theism and showed me how to debunk the “warfare” view of the history of religion & science: both of these influences were crucial for my career. Hooykaas, more than any other book, led to my dissertation about the influence of voluntarist theology on early modern natural philosophy.
Post your Top Five Book List in the comment box below. If you like, please also add brief commentary about why you chose them. Then see what others post, and how their Top-List is similar or different to yours. Maybe the next book you’ll read on the relationship between SP&R will come from somebody’s BioLogos Top-List.
Ted Davis is Fellow of the History of Science for the BioLogos Foundation and Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College. At Messiah, Davis teaches courses on historical and contemporary aspects of Christianity and science and directs the Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science.