Many Christians today favor the approach of dialogue between faith and science. As Pope Francis writes, "all of society can be enriched thanks to this dialogue, which opens up new horizons for thought and expands the possibilities of reason." After all, faith is not fearful of reason. It seeks and trusts reason. It values science for the simple reason that since there is only one Truth and since the light of reason and the light of faith both come from God, they cannot contradict each other. The Catholic Church's position, therefore, is that she has no wish to hold back the marvelous progress of science. Indeed, the pathway of dialogue is needed, not least because it is linked to the promotion of peace and harmony in the world.
The contributors to this book write from a faith perspective but respectful of the place and role of science, both historically and today. Some write from direct scientific expertise while others draw on philosophical and theological perspectives to engage in reflection upon issues such as: how the division between faith and science arose; the nature of science; scientists and the phenomenon of atheism; the assumptions behind some contemporary debates; and the often-forgotten eschatological issues, the where-are-we-heading questions. It is hoped that readers will benefit from the many rich perspectives offered in these pages.
For those of us who are called to be scientists, the exploration of God's creation is a response to an invitation to spend time with the Creator. We get to play with Him, so to speak, uncovering the delightful puzzles He sets for us and marveling at the way the laws of the universe fit together with a logic that is both harmonious and elegant. Science does not replace God; rather, it reveals that God is more amazing than we could ever have realized.
-Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ,
research astronomer and Planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory
Most Rev. Brendan Leahy is Bishop of Limerick, Ireland. Formerly professor of Systematic Theology at the Pontifical University of St Patrick's College, Maynooth, he is a von Balthasar scholar and an ecumenist and has authored articles and books on interreligious dialogue, issues facing the Church in the 21st century, the life and teachings of Pope John Paul II, renewal in the Church, charisms, and the priesthood.