These lectures on Science and Belief were given in Oxford in 1996 and 1998. The aim was to give a brief overview of the natures of science and of belief and how they have developed over the centuries from the basic insights of the Hebrews and the Greeks to the detailed understanding of the world that has been attained in the present century. This can be done only at the expense of great simplification but it is hoped that the lectures will provide a framework into which further more detailed studies can be situated.
This website contains the lectures essentially in the form they were given and distributed to those attending. Many of the subjects discussed and the views presented are controversial, and I have simply tried to present my own views as clearly as I can. I welcome comments and suggestions for improvement.
These lectures were sponsored by the Templeton Foundation, and it is a pleasure to acknowledge its enlightened generosity. I also thank Blackfriars, Oxford, for providing the venue for these lectures.
Corpus Christi College,
General Reading List
The reading list provides a general introduction to the subject, but it is not necessary to read all the books listed. For an initial overview, the three books by S.L. Jaki listed below are particularly recommended.
A.C. Crombie, Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition. Duckworth, 1994.
J. de Bivot de la Saudee (Ed), God, Man and the Universe. Burns Oates, 1954.
E.J. Dijksterhuis, The Mechanisation of the World Picture. Oxford, 1961.
D.C. Goodman (Ed), Science and Religious Belief 1600-1900. Open University, 1973.
C. Dawson, Progress and Religion. Sheed and Ward 1929.
S.L. Jaki, The Relevance of Physics. Chicago, 1966.
S.L. Jaki, The Road of Science and the Ways to God. Chicago, 1978.
S.L. Jaki, Science and Creation. Scottish Academic Press, 1974.
J.M. Templeton and R.L. Herrmann, Is God the Only Reality? Continuum, 1994.
A.N. Whitehead, Science and the Modern World. Cambridge, 1925.
W.P.D. Wightman, The Growth of Scientific Ideas. Yale, 1951.