A collection of essays by experts in the field, exploring how nature works at every level to produce more complex and highly organized objects, systems, and organisms from much simpler components, and how our increasing understanding of this universal phenomenon of emergence can lead us to a deeper and richer appreciation of who we are as human beings and of our relationship to God. Several chapters introduce the key philosophical ideas about reductionism and emergence, while others explore the fascinating world of emergent phenomena in physics, biology, and the neurosciences. Finally there are contributions probing the meaning and significance of these findings for our general description of the world and ourselves in relation to God, from philosophy and theology. The collection as a whole will extend the mutual creative interaction among the sciences, philosophy, and theology.
All in all this is a fascinating collection of essays with differently nuanced positions on the vital themes of emergence, human personhood, and theological reflections thereon. Rodney Holder, Journal of Theological Studies
Nancey Murphy: Introduction
1: Nancey Murphy: Reduction - how did we fall into it and can we emerge from it?
2: Robert Van Gulick: Reduction, emergence, and the mind/body problem
3: Robert Van Gulick: Who's in charge here? And who's doing all the work?
4: Terrence Deacon: Three levels of emergent phenomena
5: George F. R. Ellis: Science, complexity, and the nature of existence
6: Don Howard: Emergence in the physical sciences: lessons from the particle physics and condensed matter debate
7: Martinez Hewlett: True to life? Biological models of origin and evolution
8: Alwyn Scott: Nonlinear science and the cognitive hierarchy
9: Warren S. Brown: The emergence of causally efficacious mental function
10: William R. Stoeger, SJ: Reductionism and emergence: implications for the theology and science dialogue
11: John Haught: Emergence, scientific naturalism, and theology
12: Arthur Peacocke: Emergent realities with causal efficacy - philosophical and theological applications
13: Niels Henrik Gregersen: Reduction and emergence in artificial life: a theological appropriation
14: Philip Clayton: Toward a constructive Christian theology of emergence
William R. Stoeger, SJ: Postscript
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 1st May 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.2 x 14.3
Weight (kg): 0.59