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Meet the Grantees

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Christian Faith and Science: A Field Guide for the 21st Century

Indiana University
Professor Timothy O'Connor

I will write a book on the integration of traditional Christian faith with those sciences that directly impinge upon the fundamental character of the physical world or what it means to be human. I will try to engage reasonably well religious and nonreligious philosophers, scientists, and the broader educated public. The primary value of the book will be one of synthesis: providing a framework for thinking about how to weave together with integrity what we learn from what Francis Bacon called ‘the Book of God’s Works’ and ‘the Book of God’s Word’ and attempting to bring out the intellectual appeal of the resulting synthesis. There are excellent recent books from scientists on the compatibility of modern science and Christian faith, written for general audiences. And there are fine scholarly writings by philosophers on the reasonableness of theism and/or Christian faith, written for fellow philosophers. But there is not so much available that both discusses with some depth the rational justification of religious belief while delving into the distinctive issues raised by the sciences. I will present a particular framework for thinking about the role of reason in Christian faith that I believe is philosophically defensible. I will then apply this framework to issues raised by recent cosmology; the apparently stochastic character of particle physics; general biological evolutionary theory; evolutionary theories specifically of aspects of human psychology, including moral and religious belief; and the diverse sciences of brain and behavior.

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