15 February 2013

Augustine and Science

I received a pleasant surprise in the post yesterday: a complimentary copy of Augustine and Science edited by John Doody, Adam Goldstein and Kim Paffenroth, which has just been published as part of the Augustine  in Conversation: Tradition and Innovation series by Lexington Books. According to the publisher’s website:
This collection addresses current controversies about the relationship between science and religion, in which Augustine is appealed to by opposing sides, showing his continuing relevance, as well as the subtlety and complexity of his views. Questions on evolution are especially focused on, and from a variety of perspectives, often with quite different conclusions between the essays. This is truly a conversation about Augustine, science, and religion.
And, according to a couple of reviewers:
This highly readable collection of essays covers a vast range of topics, as distinguished scholars from various fields bring Augustine's prescient and sometimes surprising views on nature into a dialogue with modern ideas in evolutionary biology, geography, astronomy, cosmogony, field theory, and more. The essays pay close attention to the relevant texts and succeed admirably in showing the enduring importance of Augustine's thought for modern science and for the debate regarding faith and reason. Reading this book deepened my admiration for Augustine's breadth and originality. (Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College, Annapolis) 
Augustine and Science not only addresses challenging questions regarding Augustine’s views on issues in science or natural philosophy, but also shows how Augustinian ideas and principles are central to some of the key current debates of science and religion. This volume in the series is another testament to Augustine’s lasting legacy. (Seung-Kee Lee, Drew University)
The table of contents:

Part 1: General Observations on Scientific Method and Biblical Interpretation
1: Augustine and the Systematic Theology of Origins (Paul L. Allen)
2: Augustine’s View of Creation and Its Modern Reception (Andrew Brown)
3: The Doctrine of Creation and Modern Science (Wolfhart Pannenberg)
4: The Contemporary Relevance of Augustine’s View of Creation (Davis A. Young)
5: The Franciscans and Natural Philosophy in the Thirteenth Century (Lawrence Osborn)

Part 2: Astronomy
6: Augustine and Astronomy (Nicholas Campion)
7: Augustine and the Shape of the Earth (C. P. E. Nothaft)

Part 3: Evolution
8: Augustine on Evolution, Time and Memory (John Caizza)
9: An Augustinian Perspective on Creation and Evolution (Rodney D. Holder)
10: Science: Augustinian or Duhemian? (Alvin Plantinga)
11: Modern Science and Augustine’s Account of Evil and Suffering (Patrick Richmond)
12: Augustine, Evolution, and Scientific Methodology (James S. Spiegel)