Science and the World's Religions

by Patrick McNamara and Wesley J. Wildman, Editors


Science and religion are diametrically opposed, and being an adherent to both disciplines is mutually exclusive—this is what conventional "wisdom" would indicate. But what if both science and religion can make vital contributions to our understanding of reality and human life? This work provides invaluable insights for those who struggle to unite their spiritual instincts and their scientifically based knowledge.

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Cover image for Science and the World's Religions

July 2012


Pages 930
Volumes 3
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Psychology/General

This trio of volumes contains essays that explore vital existential, moral, or metaphysical issues surrounding the relationship between the sciences and the world's religions.

In Science and the World's Religions, experts with scientific and religious backgrounds explore vital existential or practical issues, drawing on whatever sciences are relevant and engaging at least two religious traditions. The multidisciplinary essays exhibit rigorous intellectual, scholarly thinking but are written to clearly communicate to educated adult lay readers.

The first volume addresses questions about the origins and purpose of the cosmos and the human project. The second volume investigates the roles of religion and spirituality in human existence, considering issues ranging from the brain and religious experience to the human life cycle. The third volume tackles controversies in which both religion and science are stakeholders, showing how both can deepen understanding and enrich human experience. Together, these three books present readers with powerful tools that enable them to think through the challenge of integrating science with their religious beliefs and spiritual practices.


  • Goes beyond traditional science and religion "dialogue" to enact science and religion integration on issues of critical importance to people's everyday lives
  • Addresses intellectually exciting and existentially bracing issues from beginning to end
  • Provides perspectives and insights that are richly and responsibly informed by multiple sciences and religions
Author Info

Patrick McNamara, PhD, is associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and is director of the Evolutionary Neurobehavior Laboratory in the Department of Neurology at the BUSM and the VA New England Healthcare System. He is cofounder of the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion, a research institute devoted to the scientific study of religion, and founding coeditor of the journal Religion, Brain & Behavior. McNamara is editor of Praeger's Where God and Science Meet: How Brain and Evolutionary Studies Alter Our Understanding of Religion and author of The Neuroscience of Religious Experience.

Wesley J. Wildman, PhD, is professor of philosophy, theology, and ethics at Boston University and convener of the Graduate School's doctoral program in religion and science. His published works include Science and Religious Anthropology; Religious Philosophy as Multidisciplinary Comparative Inquiry: Envisioning a Future for the Philosophy of Religion; and Religious and Spiritual Experiences. Wildman is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Society for Science and Religion. He is cofounder of the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion, a research institute devoted to the scientific study of religion, and founding coeditor of the journal Religion, Brain & Behavior.



"Fascinating and highly recommended for circulating collections; as the editors admit, this work is ‘full of ideas that need to be digested slowly.' "Library Journal

"The groundbreaking studies offered in these volumes consider various aspects of religion and science. . . . More recently, religionists and scientists of various persuasions have produced fascinating interdisciplinary research that has provoked lively new discussions and insights. These volumes significantly update recent dialogue."Choice

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