Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion,   and Naturalism   -     By: Alvin Plantinga
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Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism

Oxford University Press / 2011 / Hardcover

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Where the Conflict Really Lies is a long-awaited major statement by a pre-eminent analytic Christian philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, on one of our biggest debates of our time--the compatibility of science and religion. The last twenty years has seen a cottage industry of books on this divide, but with little consensus emerging. Plantinga, as a top philosopher but also a proponent of the rationality of religious belief, has a unique contribution to make. His theme in this short book is that the conflict between science and theistic religion is actually superficial, and that at a deeper level they are in concord. Conversely, the concord existing between science and religion, argues Plantinga points to discontinuity between "Naturalism" (defined as a religion in its own right) and Science.

Plantinga examines where this conflict is supposed to exist--evolution, evolutionary psychology, analysis of scripture, scientific study of religion-- as well as claims by Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Philip Kitcher that evolution and theistic belief cannot co-exist. Plantinga makes a case that their arguments are not only inconclusive but that the supposed conflicts themselves are superficial, due to the methodological naturalism used by science. On the other hand, science can actually offer support to theistic doctrines, and Plantinga uses the notion of biological and cosmological "fine-tuning" in support of this idea. Plantinga argues that we might think about arguments in science and religion in a new way--as different forms of discourse that try to persuade people to look at questions from a perspective such that they can see that something is true. In this way, there is a deep and massive consonance between theism and the scientific enterprise.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 376
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.3 X 5.9 X 1.3 (inches)
ISBN: 0199812098
ISBN-13: 9780199812097
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

This book is a long-awaited major statement by a pre-eminent analytic philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, on one of our biggest debates -- the compatibility of science and religion. The last twenty years has seen a cottage industry of books on this divide, but with little consensus emerging. Plantinga, as a top philosopher but also a proponent of the rationality of religious belief, has a unique contribution to make. His theme in this short book is that the conflict between science and theistic religion is actually superficial, and that at a deeper level they are in concord.

Plantinga examines where this conflict is supposed to exist -- evolution, evolutionary psychology, analysis of scripture, scientific study of religion -- as well as claims by Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Philip Kitcher that evolution and theistic belief cannot co-exist. Plantinga makes a case that their arguments are not only inconclusive but that the supposed conflicts themselves are superficial, due to the methodological naturalism used by science. On the other hand, science can actually offer support to theistic doctrines, and Plantinga uses the notion of biological and cosmological "fine-tuning" in support of this idea. Plantinga argues that we might think about arguments in science and religion in a new way -- as different forms of discourse that try to persuade people to look at questions from a perspective such that they can see that something is true. In this way, there is a deep and massive consonance between theism and the scientific enterprise.

Author Bio


Alvin Plantinga is O'Brien Professor of Philosophy, at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of: Essays on the Metaphysics of Modality, The Nature of Necessity, Warrant and Proper Function, Warrant: The Current Debate, Warranted Christian Belief, and Science and Religion: Are they Compatible? (with Dan Dennett).

Editorial Reviews


"His thesis is both controversial and straightforward...His arguments are clear, forceful, and often compelling... The result is a feisty and formidable work, one that deserves a broad reception and careful evaluation." --Trinity Journal


"Where the Conflict Really Lies is an ambitious volume.... A careful reading repays the reader with insights developed by one of the sharpest minds in the conversation."--Karl W. Giberson, The Christian Century


"Recommended for readers seeking a rigorous philosophical survey of complex religious thought. " --Publisher's Weekly Religion Bookline


"It's astonishing that so many scientists, philosophers, and theologians think there is a serious conflict between science and theistic religion. In this superb book, the world's leading philosopher of religion explains, with characteristic wit and perceptiveness, why none of the main reasons for thinking there is such a conflict are even remotely successful." --Mike Bergmann, Purdue University


"Argues that these is superficial conflict but deep concord between science and theistic religion, but that there is superficial concord and deep conflict between science and naturalism."--The Chronicle Review


"It is never philosophically superficial...I expect the book to generate considerable secondary literature."--Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


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