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Wonder & Wisdom: Conversations in Science, Spirituality & Theology

Author: Celia Deane-Drummond
Published By: Darton, Longman and Todd (London)
Pages: 191
Price: 12.95

Reviewed by Julian Reindorp.


The author, Professor of Theology and Biological Sciences at the University of Chester, draws on her different disciplines to explore these twin themes. Touching on the origin of the cosmos, examining Darwinian evolutionary theory, the role of God as creator and the role of neuro-science in human nature and religious experience, she considers how wonder and wisdom offer a deeper understanding between science and religion. She also explores what kind of spirituality might emerge.

Wonder helps to set the agenda for wisdom. The author begins with how the origin of the cosmos causes wonder, then explores wisdom through evolutionary convergence and design. She goes on to explore what the notion of God as wisdom means.  Perhaps the most remarkable chapter is how the crucifixion - ‘crucified wisdom’ - raises the question how far and to what extent evolutionary suffering is caught up in the suffering of Christ.

Finally Deane-Drummond’s journey takes on a more mystical element, but mysticism grounded in earthy reality. She concludes that “it is through wonder and wisdom that a deeper spirituality can surface which serves to awaken an integrated knowledge in theology and science, without skating over the tensions between them.” (p.152)

The author writes clearly and is at ease with a variety of disciplines and even sees her thesis as one way in which institutional forms of religion can make sense for many people. Each chapter has headings and a clear conclusion. If this is your field, then this book is very well worth reading. If not, you will marvel at the range of subjects she brings together and weaves them into a vision for the future.

Julian Reindorp

Team Rector of Richmond, Surrey

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You are reading Issue 38 of Ministry Today, published in November 2006.

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