Modern Cosmology and the Christian Idea of God

Modern Cosmology and the Christian Idea of God

Modern Cosmology and the Christian Idea of God

Modern Cosmology and the Christian Idea of God


About ten days before his sudden death on 21 September 1950 Professor E. A. Milne completed the manuscript of the ten lectures which he had been asked to give on the Edward Cadbury Foundation at the University of Birmingham in the following autumn and winter. Although in poor health, he had been working hard the whole summer to complete these lectures and had begun negotiations with the Clarendon Press for their publication. The text now published is essentially that left by Milne, except where it has been found necessary to revise his original wording so as to make the meaning clearer. Doubtless if he had lived he would have made similar emendations himself, and possibly more extensive ones.

The lectures are primarily a restatement in less technical language of the theory described in his book Kinematic Relativity, published in 1948 by the Clarendon Press in 'The International Series of Monographs on Physics'. There are, however, two important features in which the present book goes beyond the earlier work. Both are discussed in Chapter IX, which contains a summary of the author's last paper, on a possible relation between gravitation and magnetism, and a revision of his dynamical theory of light (cf. Kinematic Relativity, Chapter VIII). A fun account of the former was published posthumously in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 110 (1950) 266-74. (Milne was to have read this paper at the meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society in Dublin on 22 September 1950, and had travelled to Dublin for this purpose the day before he died.) The latter subject, however, is here discussed in print for the first time and constitutes the only part of the book which is strictly mathematical.

In these lectures Milne sums up his researches on the structure of the physical universe and the origin of the laws of nature and brings them into relation with his religious faith. They may be regarded as the scientific testament of one of the most original natural philosophers of our time.

I should like to take this opportunity of thanking the staff of the Clarendon Press for their assistance in the difficult circumstances occasioned by the author's sudden death, and my wife for her help in the task of proof correction.

15 December 1951


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