Reason and Wonder
A Copernican Revolution in Science and Spirit
by Dave Pruett
May 2012, 399pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39919-0
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39920-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

When Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler—all deeply religious—dislodged the earth from the center of the universe, science and religion separated. Darwin’s theory of evolution brought outright divorce. But now, as Pruett writes, a third scientific revolution promises the reconciliation of reason and faith by bringing a new dimension of spirituality to the scientific understanding of our place in the cosmos.

In this enlightening and provocative exploration, Dave Pruett sets out a revolutionary new understanding of our place in the universe, one that reconciles the rational demands of science with the deeper tugs of spirituality.

Defining a moment in human self-awareness four centuries in the making, Reason and Wonder: A Copernican Revolution in Science and Spirit offers a way to move beyond the either/or choice of reason versus intuition—a dichotomy that ultimately leaves either the mind or the heart wanting. In doing so, it seeks to resolve an age-old conflict at the root of much human dysfunction, including today’s global ecological crisis.

An outgrowth of C. David Pruett’s breakthrough undergraduate honors course, “From Black Elk to Black Holes: Shaping Myth for a New Millennium,” Reason and Wonder embraces the insights of modern science and the wisdom of spiritual traditions to “re-enchant the universe.” The new “myth of meaning” unfolds as the story of three successive “Copernican revolutions”—cosmological, biological, and spiritual—offers an expansive view of human potential as revolutionary as the work of Copernicus, Galilleo, and Darwin.

Dave Pruett, a former NASA researcher, is an award-winning computational scientist and professor of mathematics at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA. He has received honors both for research in computational fluid mechanics and for excellence in teaching. This is his first book for the general public.


2012 Outstanding Academic Title—Choice, January 1, 2013


"This is a significant major work for the science and religion dialogue. In seventeen concise and well-written chapters the author has summarized the history of the enlightenment which led to the practice of science. The major scientists involved come alive with anecdotes of their personal behaviors and interests. . . . This book is an excellent one for small group discussion. The extensive notes and bibliography encourage further exploration into the science and religion dialogue."—Wesley Nexus, October 1, 2012

"Reading this book has given me immense intellectual satisfaction and filled me with great wonder. Pruett’s masterly account offers a breathtaking, awe-inspiring insight into the complex history of modern science with its successive revolutions in our understanding of space, time, matter, energy, and now spirit. The author is an accomplished story teller in command of an impressive range of facts, figures, and events. A truly dazzling achievement. Following this intriguing tale opens up a vision of true audacity and grandeur that will change your thinking forever."—Ursula King, Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol, England
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