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This inaugural lecture by Sarah Coakley, delivered in the University of Cambridge on 13th October 2009, considers the striking cultural dominance, in the latter part of the twentieth century, of a violent and negative rendition of the notion of sacrifice. Coakley asks whether it is a coincidence that at the same time, philosophers of religion have tended to be in notable retreat from bold public claims about the rationality of Christian truth. In contrast to this double trend, and in riposte to the 'New Atheism' of the secularists, Coakley argues that the most recent deliveries from evolutionary biology augur a vision of sacrifice which is both rationally defensible and biologically grounded. Evolutionary dynamics, religious practice and hermeneutics, and new arguments for the rationality of belief belong together; and this nexus of themes demands the closest attention as the world confronts the profoundest ecological crisis it has yet known.Read more
- Sets the ecological crisis in a new and unexpected framework of both evolutionary and religious thinking
- Of interest to those who have studied evolutionary 'altruism' but who have not thought about the connection with historic religious themes
- Encourages the reader to reconsider the worth of rational arguments for God's existence, in the light both of scientific discovery and of religious practice
Reviews & endorsements
"This booklet records the text of Sarah Coakley’s inaugural lecture as the Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge from October 2009 … [Coakley] has demonstrated that the cooperation between scientists and theologians is indeed able to offer new and fresher insights into the human condition and to encourage a much broader attention to God’s mysterious presence in this universe."
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- Date Published: February 2012
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107402249
- length: 44 pages
- dimensions: 187 x 124 x 2 mm
- weight: 0.05kg
- availability: Unavailable - out of print April 2012
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