Cosmology and Creation: The Spiritual Significance of Contemporary Cosmology

Cosmology and Creation: The Spiritual Significance of Contemporary Cosmology

Cosmology and Creation: The Spiritual Significance of Contemporary Cosmology

Cosmology and Creation: The Spiritual Significance of Contemporary Cosmology

Synopsis

The Big Bang is a myth, says Paul Brockelman in this fascinating look at the spiritual side of modern cosmology. But it is a myth in the best sense--a fully realized creation story, one that, for all its scientific origins, has the power to transform us spiritually. In Cosmology and Creation, philosopher and religious scholar Brockelman seeks to bridge the gap between the scientific and the spiritual, to bring together (as he puts it) the head and the heart. We have isolated the two realms from each other for so long, he argues, that we have begun to lose a mystical sense of our place in the universe. But Brockelman believes that contemporary physics has advanced far beyond the mechanical view of nature, as propagated in the Enlightenment; the cosmology of the Big Bang has fostered a new way of understanding existence itself. To illustrate, he examines creation myths of the past, showing how they transcend simple explanations of the world to provide a deeper understanding of what our lives mean. And the fifteen-billion-year tale of the universe embraced by scientific cosmology serves precisely the same purpose, Brockelman claims; it bears a close resemblance to classic creation myths--and, indeed, it can transform our inner relationship with nature. The new scientific cosmology, Brockelman argues, offers something never before seen in human history: a scientifically accurate understanding of the entire universe and a spiritual vision of a "wider order of being" to which we all belong. Passionate and provocative, Cosmology and Creation promises to spark a lively debate about the new links between science and religion.

Excerpt

It seems that the great age of geographical exploration has ended. We have seen it all: We have mapped the continents, sailed all the seas, climbed the highest mountains, and walked the dry deserts. of course the floor of the sea remains mostly unexplored as do the heavens above, especially beyond our home within the Solar System. in any case, although there is still much to learn about our old earth, the intellectual cutting edge seems to have shifted to cosmology--not just the beginnings, but the whole immense story which science has provided us in the past few decades concerning the unfolding of the universe over some fifteen billion years. It is an astonishing story of scientific exploration and discovery with--I believe--great cultural, moral, and religious significance for our time.

Indeed, it is in terms of the scientific exploration of the heavens that we have recently witnessed tremendous growth in our understanding, an exploratory understanding which promises to continue at the same pace in the near future. With the development of radio and X-ray astronomy, spectroscopy, the . . .

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