Where the Conflict Really Lies

Where the Conflict Really Lies : Science, Religion, and Naturalism

4.06 (813 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 8-13 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


This book is a long-awaited major statement by a pre-eminent analytic philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, on one of our biggest debates - the compatibility of science and religion. The last twenty years has seen a cottage industry of books on this divide, but with little consensus emerging. Plantinga, as a top philosopher but also a proponent of the rationality of religious belief, has a unique contribution to make. His theme in this short book is that the conflict
between science and theistic religion is actually superficial, and that at a deeper level they are in concord.

Plantinga examines where this conflict is supposed to exist - evolution, evolutionary psychology, analysis of scripture, scientific study of religion - as well as claims by Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Philip Kitcher that evolution and theistic belief cannot co-exist. Plantinga makes a case that their arguments are not only inconclusive but that the supposed conflicts themselves are superficial, due to the methodological naturalism used by science. On the other hand, science can
actually offer support to theistic doctrines, and Plantinga uses the notion of biological and cosmological "fine-tuning" in support of this idea. Plantinga argues that we might think about arguments in science and religion in a new way - as different forms of discourse that try to persuade people to look
at questions from a perspective such that they can see that something is true. In this way, there is a deep and massive consonance between theism and the scientific enterprise.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 376 pages
  • 148 x 213 x 30mm | 495g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199812098
  • 9780199812097
  • 66,832

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Evolution and Christian Belief (1) ; Chapter 2 Evolution and Christian Belief (2) ; Chapter 3 Divine Action in the World ; Chapter 4 The New Picture ; Chap. 5 Evolutionary Psychology and Scripture Scholarship ; Chapter 6 Defeaters? ; Chapter 7 Fine-Tuning ; Chapter 8 Design Discourse ; Chapter 9 Deep Concord ; Chapter 10 Deep Conflict
show more

Review quote

Plantinga is at his most persuasive when exhibiting defeats in the naturalist world-view. * Anthony Kenny, Times Literary Supplement * Plantinga is an intellectual heavyweight in the philosophy of religion, and those who want to keep abreast of the best work in this area would be well advised to read this long-awaited contribution. * The Tablet * Alvin Plantinga is one of the most eminent philosophers in the world, and a book from him on science and religion is of the first importance. It is a joy to see how he uses precise logical analysis to counter the arguments of his opponents, and issue a trenchant defence of Christian thought. * Keith Ward, Third Way * an engaging read ... a very good book, well worth reading by both theists and non-theists for its thoughtful consideration of difficult and contentious issues. I warmly recommend it. * Robert J. Deltete, Philosophy in Review * a robust defence of religion against the claim that it is defeated by science. * Julian Baggini, TPM * a highly worthwhile contribution to the contemporary science-and-religion debate, and one which brings the much needed voice of this rigorous philosopher to bear upon the complex conceptual issues at stake. ... The book is relatively technical, but thanks to Plantinga's generaous use of examples and the relegation of the most technical material to smaller print, the non-specialist should have little difficulty understanding the thrust of this excellent book. * Max Baker-Hytch, Theology * There is much ... to note and commend in this demanding and rewarding work. ... Yet the present reviewer regards the permanent value of this important book as lying in its critical implications for the beliefs of the 'New Atheism.' Not an easy read, admittedly - but for those with patience and perserverance, this is a highly commendable addition to a pastor's library. * Alister McGrath, Churchman *
show more

About Alvin Plantinga

O'Brien Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame.
show more

Rating details

813 ratings
4.06 out of 5 stars
5 40% (323)
4 36% (289)
3 18% (143)
2 5% (39)
1 2% (19)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X