Keeping the Faith

Religious Belief in an Age of Science

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About the Book

This book explores the modern relationship between religion and science, highlighting the public backlash over teaching evolution in U.S. public schools as an example of the conflict between religious faith and scientific reason. The author explores the middle ground between the two most extreme arguments, arguing that it is possible for science and religion to exist in harmony. The book also provides an analysis of 10 world religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, revealing how each finds compatibility with differing religions and scientific doctrine.

About the Author(s)

Thomas J. Schoenbaum is research professor at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. He is the author of many books and articles on legal and international topics.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas J. Schoenbaum
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 218
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3173-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1074-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. The Controversy Between Science and Religion      7

2. Creationism and the Constitution      12

The Cultural Wars of Religion      12

The Scopes Case      13

Evolution Eclipsed      14

Science Makes a Comeback      14

Equal Time for Creation Science      15

Enter Intelligent Design      18

A Fundamental Flaw      20

3. The World of Science      23

Categories of Reality      23

The Scientific Method      26

Classical Physics      28

Energy and Force      31

1. HEAT      31

2. ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM      32

3. LIGHT      33

4. SCIENTIFIC MATERIALISM      35

A New Frame of Reference: Relativity      35

1. SPECIAL RELATIVITY      36

2. GENERAL RELATIVITY      37

Another Frame of Reference: The Very Small      38

1. ATOMS AND MOLECULES      38

2. CHEMISTRY COMES OF AGE      40

3. ATOMIC PHYSICS      42

The Quantum Revolution      43

1. QUANTUM MECHANICS      43

2. QUANTUM ELECTRODYNAMICS      45

3. QUANTUM CHROMODYNAMICS      46

Astronomy      50

1. STARS      50

2. GALAXIES      51

3. COSMOLOGY      52

Theories of the Earth      53

The Life Sciences      55

1. THE BIRTH OF BIOLOGY      55

2. DARWINISM      58

3. THE DESCENT OF MAN      62

Scientific Truth: An Evaluation      64

4. The World of Religion      71

What Is Religion?      71

Religious Knowledge      72

Homo Religiosus      73

Mythic Discourse      73

Ritual, Community and Culture      74

Sacred Places      75

Science and Religion: Independence or Conflict?      75

How Science Influences Religion: Four Paradigms      77

1. DANTE’S MEDIEVAL SYNTHESIS      78

2. DEISM      79

3. DESIGN AND THE WORLD SOUL      80

4. THE TRIUMPH OF RANDOMNESS AND CHANCE      81

Lessons from Science about Religion      85

Mysterium Tremendum: Our A Priori Knowledge of the Holy      88

The Necessity to Choose      90

1. NIETZSCHE      91

2. KIERKEGAARD      92

Religion and Faith: Is There a Di›erence?      92

Mystical Experiences      93

The Quest for God: The Content of Religious Belief      94

1. HINDUISM      95

2. JUDAISM      98

3. ZOROASTRIANISM      101

4. JAINISM      103

5. BUDDHISM      104

6. RELIGIONS OF CHINA      107

7. RELIGIONS OF JAPAN      110

8. CHRISTIANITY      115

9. ISLAM      119

10. SIKHISM      122

Some Problems of Religious Pluralism      123

Religious Freedom      126

1. FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION      126

2. ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION      128

Summing Up: Final Thoughts about Religious Knowledge      130

5. The World of Philosophy      135

The Importance of Philosophy      135

The Limits of Knowledge      136

Intelligent Design: Rational Arguments for the Existence of God      138

1. COSMOLOGICAL PROOFS      138

2. TELEOLOGICAL PROOFS      139

3. THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT      141

A New Idea of God      141

Expressing the Transcendent      144

1. MYTH      145

2. ANALOGY      146

3. SYMBOLISM      146

4. HERMENEUTICS      147

The Genesis Creation Story      148

The Mystery of Existence      150

Ethics: How We Should Live      151

Ethics and Religion      151

Systems of Ethics      153

A Better Alternative: Virtue Ethics      156

Practical Reason and Objective Goods      160

Existentialism      161

Summing Up      162

6. Faith and Reason      167

Setting the Stage      167

Pope Benedict XVI and Islam      167

Critical Evaluation of Religion      170

Religion and Values      172

Theories of Right Action      175

Religion and Violence      177

Suppression of Minorities      179

The Status of Women      179

Religion and Law      181

The Concept of Law      183

Three Conceptions of Law      184

Which Is Best?      186

The Function of Law      187

The Constraint of Natural Law      187

Enter Positivism      188

A New Concept of Natural Law      190

Summing Up      193

Concluding Remarks      197

Bibliography      203

Index      205