Top-List Survey With Ted Davis: Question 2
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.
What are the Top-Five books that have helped you to understand the relationship between science, philosophy and religion (SP&R)?
In addition to the books listed in his previous post, Davis now offers his “Top List” of books that have influenced not his early decision to study science and religion, but his current scholarship.
Books that have influenced my current scholarship:
- John Brooke, Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (1991)
- David Lindberg and Ronald Numbers, God & Nature (1986)
- Robert Boyle, Robert Boyle: A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature (1686)
- John Polkinghorne, Belief in God in an Age of Science (1998)
- N. T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (2006)
Brooke, Lindberg, and Numbers are longtime friends, and their work skillfully debunks the “warfare” view. My own scholarship has the same goal. I hope to help create a new history of Christianity and science that is more accurate and ipso facto much friendlier to religion. In 1981 I attended the conference that put together God & Nature, and several of the participants encouraged me to pursue a dissertation on science & religion. Much of my subsequent work has focused on Boyle. I edited a student edition of this work, a profound treatise on God & nature. No one has influenced my own views of Christianity & science more than Polkinghorne; I could have chosen several of his books. Wright’s superb defense of the bodily resurrection of Jesus is central to my spiritual and intellectual life: my views of both God & nature are shaped by my conviction that it actually happened.
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.