The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder

The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder


By (author) William P. Brown

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 236mm x 33mm | 635g
  • Publication date: 4 March 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0199730792
  • ISBN 13: 9780199730797
  • Illustrations note: 1 black and white line illustrations, 2 tables
  • Sales rank: 329,915

Product description

In the ongoing clash between scientists and fundamentalists, many people of faith feel that they are forced to choose between evolution and the Bible's story of creation. But as William Brown asks in this stimulating volume, which biblical creation story are we talking about? Indeed, Brown identifies seven different biblical perspectives on creation, and shows how a close reading of the biblical texts brings them to light. As he does so, Brown highlights both the connections and the conflicts between the ancient creation traditions and the natural sciences, arguing for a new way of reading the Bible in the light of current scientific knowledge and with a sensitivity to the needs of the environment. Brown argues that, ideally, both scientific inquiry and theological reflection are driven by a sense of wonder that, in his words, "unites the scientist and the psalmist." Brown's own wonder at the beauty and complexity of the created world is evident throughout this intelligent, well-written, and inspirational book.

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Author information

William P. Brown is Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary and the author of several books and numerous articles on the Bible and its interpretation.

Review quote

"What a pleasure to read a book this calm and commanding in place of the usual hysterics about faith and science. It ends with the only call that makes sense in this moment from either source of human wisdom: a call for self-restraint, self-mastery, before we overwhelm the world of beauty and meaning into which we were born." --Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet"Fresh, generative work at the interface of faith and science requires a scholar of uncommon erudition and acute interpretive sensibility, who can boldly make connections and remain resilient in the face of demanding data. Bill Brown is precisely that interpreter, who here provides what will be a defining benchmark in our ongoing work in "faith and science." Readers will be dazzled by his range and depth of discernment. This book is an inviting challenge to people of faith and practitioners of science - to all who find the interface a source of wonder beyond curiosity." --Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary "Brown's book is the most creative book on creation that I've ever read." --Nancey Murphy, Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary "Seldom does one encounter a Biblical scholar of the Hebrew texts as well versed as Brown in evolutionary biology and ecological science. Seldom does a scholar probe so imaginatively the deep sense of wonder in both science and religion, whether in Job's Behemoth or on Darwin's Beagle. Never are the two better joined in concern that Homo sapiens, 'the dirty groundling made to image God, ' celebrate and save life on wild Earth." --Holmes Rolston, III, Professor of Philosophy and University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University "Brown's study of the seven creation texts of the Old Testament presents exquisite biblical interpretation that destabilizes narrow assumptions about biblical creation. What m

Table of contents

Seeing the Psalms (9780664225025) Westminster John Knox Press 2002 ; Ecclesiastes: Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (9780804231466) ; Westminster John Knox Press 2000 ; The Ethos of the Cosmos (9780802845399) Eermans 1999