Ernan McMullin and Critical Realism in the Science-Theology Dialogue: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ernan McMullin and Critical Realism in the Science-Theology Dialogue

1st Edition

By Paul L. Allen


214 pages

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Hardback: 9780754652830
pub: 2006-07-28
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Scientists, philosophers and theologians have wrestled repeatedly with the question of whether knowledge is similar or different in their various understandings of the world and God. Although agreement is still elusive, the epistemology of critical realism, associated with Ian Barbour, John Polkinghorne and Arthur Peacocke, remains widely credible. Relying on the lifetime work of philosopher Ernan McMullin, this book expands our understanding of critical realism beyond a permanent stand-off between the subjective and objective, whether in science or theology. Critical realism illuminates the subject and the objectively known simultaneously. Responding to criticisms made against it, this book defends critical realism in science and theology with a specific role to play in our understanding of God.


'To the best of my knowledge, Paul Allen has provided the first book-length study of McMullin's 'critical realism', which offers a philosophically rigorous account of the interaction of the 'knower' and the 'known' within the process of knowing… Allen's account of McMullin's version of critical realism will be welcomed by all working at the interface of science and religion. It has the potential to bring additional rigour to an important discussion. It should find its way into college libraries with interests in the field.' Theological Book Review ’There is much that is interesting and stimulating in this book and it is very good to see Ernan McMullin clearly portrayed as the major figure he has been.’ Journal of Theological Studies ’… this fresh perspective on human knowledge opens new possibilities for science-theology dialogue, worthy of exploration, and Paul Allen's book is a valuable example of such investigation.’ ESSSAT News

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; Introduction; Contemporary natural theology and critical realism in science and theology; McMullin's scientific realism and the theory of retroduction; Cosmology and the limits of scientific knowledge; McMullin, faith and rationality; Extending McMullin's theology of self-transcendence; Conclusion; Chronological bibliography of Ernan McMullin's works; Index.

About the Author

Paul L. Allen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He is formerly Canadian Director of the Science and Religion Course Programme, is currently an administrator with the Lonergan Website, and has given presentations in Canada, the United States, India and Italy.

About the Series

Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies

The Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies series brings high quality research monograph publishing back into focus for authors, international libraries, and student, academic and research readers. This open-ended monograph series presents cutting-edge research from both established and new authors in the field. With specialist focus yet clear contextual presentation of contemporary research, books in the series take research into important new directions and open the field to new critical debate within the discipline, in areas of related study, and in key areas for contemporary society.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General