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All the Rest

Essays, Elucidations, Exegesis

  • Ten Reasons

    Ten Reasons for the Constructive Engagement of Science and Religion Published on Metanexus, December 2003 1) Cultural Ambivalence When we talk about the domains of science and religion, much less the constructive engagement between the two, we are confronted with a deep cultural ambivalence about one or the other.  Science for many people brings to mind negative images of toxic industries,

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  • Which Universe Do You Live In?

    The success of modern cosmology in understanding the history and structure of the universe has led to a profound crisis in the field, which has significance for the dialogue between science and religion.  The topography of the universe discovered by astronomers, physicists, and cosmologists is extraordinary.  Our sun, at a distance of 93 million miles, is but a small star in a

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  • Hermeneutics in Science and Religion

    Contribution to Encyclopedia of Religion and Science, Volume 1, Edited by J. Wentzel van Huyssteen, Macmillan References, 2003 Hermeneutics is the branch of philosophy that deals with theory of interpretation.  It can be argued that any discussion of the relationship between science and religion is implicitly or explicitly a matter of interpretation.  This can be seen, for instance, in Ian Barbour’s (1923

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  • Toward a Constructive Theology of Evolution

    Toward a Constructive Theology of Evolution This paper was originally presented at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on January 3, 2003. It was published in Science and Religion in the Post-Colonial World, edited by Zainal Abidin Bagir, (ATF Press: Adelaide) 2005, pp 153-179 and is also available in Bahasa. This is a revised version of that paper. 2009.11.01. The purpose

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  • And yet there is no peace

    Reflections from Jerusalem Back in 1977-1978 I spent a very formative Junior Year Abroad at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  I was majoring in International Relations at Middlebury College, so the idea of studying in Israel made a lot of sense.  Today, I have a doctorate in comparative religion and work to promote the seemingly esoteric dialogue between science and

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  • Why Science and Religion?

    Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living, I take a deep breath.  It takes more than a few words to explain what I do and more importantly why I am so passionately involved in this seemingly strange endeavor to link science and religion in constructive dialogue.  At the end of the day and the beginning of the

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  • The Many Promised Land

    Panel on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict University of Pennsylvania, October 18, 2000 I am not an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the announcement that Shelley Novoseller sent out for this forum, I was identified as one of “Penn’s most respected authorities on the subject.”  Let me assure that I am not.  I am merely a visiting lecturer in the Department

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  • Time Enough for Love: The Meaning of Life Extension

    How much time is enough?  One is tempted to apply John D. Rockefeller’s famous quip.  A reporter is reputed to have asked him, “How much money is enough?”  Rockefeller replied, “A little bit more!”  Indeed, more time is a good that we should wish for ourselves and others, but is it an ultimate value? On the eve of his assassination,

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  • Science as Epic of Evolution?

    Can the epic of evolution serve as a mythic story for our time? To do so requires insights of the world’s wisdom traditions.  “Science as Epic?”, Science & Spirit, (9:1), March 1998. The more humans learn about the universe through science, the more we must look anew at ourselves.  Science is a kind of magic mirror for human identity.  The appropriate integration

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  • Powerful Pedagogy

     in the Science and Religion Classroom for the Teacher’s File: Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science,  September 1997. Abstract. This essay is a discussion of effective teaching in the science and religion classroom.  I begin by introducing Alfred North Whitehead’s three stages of learning — romance, discipline, and generalization — and consider their implications for powerful pedagogy in the science and religion

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  • Postmodernism: What One Can’t Know

    For The Teacher’s File, Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, March, 1997. Abstract. This essay is an introduction to postmodernism and deconstruction as they relate to the special challenges of scholarship and teaching in the science and religion multidiscipline. Keywords. constructionism; deconstruction; Jacques Derrida; epistemology; feminism; Michel Foucault; Signumd Freud; hermeneutics; Thomas Kuhn; Emmanuel Levinas; Alisdair MacIntyre; Karl Marx; materialism; metaphor; modernity;

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  • The Nine Laws of God

    Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control Techno-  Utopic Program for a WIRED World This essay is based on a paper presented to the Theology and Science Working Group of the American Academy of Religion in New Orleans, on November 24, 1996. A shortened version of this essay was published in Terra Nova: Nature and Culture in Fall 1997. Foreword:  Explorations of the interface between religion and science,

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  • Cyborgs, Trickster, and Hermes

    Donna Haraway’s Metatheory of Science and Religion This paper was published in the June 1996 issue of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science Abstract.     This article is a close reading of two essays by Donna Haraway on feminist philosophy, the biophysical sciences, and critical social theory.  Haraway’s strong social constructionist approach to science is criticized by colleague Sandra Harding, resulting

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  • The Simplified Keyboard: QWERTY vs Dvorak

    The computer in front of you is a marvel of technological ingenuity. The keyboard at your finger tips, however, is evidence of our stupidity and inability to change. The QWERTY keyboard frustrates beginners and literally cripples experts. The alternative — the Simplified Keyboard — is also at your finger tips, installed on your computer’s languages settings, ready for use with

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  • Conflicting Ideologies and Common Security

    N.B. – I wrote this essay in October 1987, two years before the fall of Berlin Wall and the collapse of East Germany. This essay needs to be read in historical context, written by a U.S. peace activist who had extensive contacts in East Germany beginning in 1978. The essay is somewhat prescient. In 1987 I was the Disarmament Program

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