Territories of Human Reason
Science and Theology in an Age of Multiple Rationalities
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 304
Width: 13.8 cm
Height: 21.6 cm
Our understanding of human rationality has changed significantly since the beginning of the century, with growing emphasis being placed on multiple rationalities, each adapted to the specific tasks of communities of practice. We may think of the world as an ontological unity - but we use a plurality of methods to investigate and represent this world. This development has called into question both the appeal to a universal rationality, characteristic of the Enlightenment, and also the simple 'modern-postmodern' binary. The Territories of Human Reason is the first major study to explore the emergence of multiple situated rationalities. It focuses on the relation of the natural sciences and Christian theology, but its approach can easily be extended to other disciplines. It provides a robust intellectual framework for discussion of transdisciplinarity, which has become a major theme in many parts of the academic world. Alister E. McGrath offers a major reappraisal of what it means to be 'rational' which will have significant impact on older discussions of this theme. He sets out to explore the consequences of the seemingly inexorable move away from the notion of a single universal rationality towards a plurality of cultural and domain-specific methodologies and rationalities. What does this mean for the natural sciences? For the philosophy of science? For Christian theology? And for the interdisciplinary field of science and religion? How can a single individual hold together scientific and religious ideas, when these arise from quite different rational approaches? This ground-breaking volume sets out to engage these questions and will provoke intense discussion and debate.
It is magisterial in a good sense in that every page reflects the breadth of McGrath's knowledge, and most readers will find they have something to learn ... This would then be a good book to recommend to undergraduates who are just starting to understand academic debates about science and religion. They would gain from it a good sense of current work. * Benjamin Murphy, The Heythrop Journal * I found The Territories of Human Reason to offer a rich and eminently helpful survey of the land. McGrath's realist orientation combined with his commitment to multiple situated rationalities strikes just the right balance between the Scylla of Enlightenment reason and the Charybdis of postmodern skepticism. The Territories of Human Reason would make an excellent (and surprisingly affordable) textbook for a course in science and theology, prolegomena/fundamental theology, or philosophy of religion. * Randal Rauser, Taylor Seminary, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith * McGrath provides a clear and detailed exploration of the issues of rationality and coherence and is a must-read text for those seeking to bring science and religion into dialogue or integration. * Finley Lawson, Canterbury Christ Church University, Modern Believing * A brisk and versatile survey of the status of reason in contemporary science and theology, this volume is a fresh and bold contribution. * Paul Allen, Theological Studies * The book is really rich and stimulating mostly because it is well structured in an organic exploration which is strengthened by the studies of such a large number of qualified scholars. It also develops a very balanced theological view, the author having been involved for many years with really wide studies in science and religion concerns ... I really recommend the reading and study of this book, which presents an analysis and synthesis offering a wide range of opportunities and sparks for further discussions and researches * Alessandro Mantini, European Society for the Study of Science and Theology * The Territories of Human Reason is a very timely and important addition to the literature on the study of rationality... [It] will have very profound social as well as scientific implications for the interpretation of rationality and change the debate on the links between rationality and Christian theology. It is comprehensive, judicious and insightful. It is a very well-researched work that makes a complex subject readable for lay readers. * The Washington Book Review * A rigorous delineation of the territories of human reason and a useful discussion of multiple nationalities in scientific and theological terms. * David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer * This is a book for those who have an interest in science and religion, and for anyone interested in how we can intellectually navigate a complex world. It is for those who are tired of easy answers and crave critical analysis and intellectual clarity on this subject ... This book opens the door to a profound stretching of the limits of our inherited ways of thinking, and begins mapping out new territories for exploration. * Victoria Johnson, Church Times * An important new study ... This book is likely to appeal to scientists as well as theologians and will be an important tool in promoting dialogue. * Paul Richardson, Church of England Newspaper *