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By Arthur Peacocke

Publish yr note: First released in 2001

In this ground-breaking paintings, biochemist, priest and 2001 Templeton Prize winner Arthur Peacocke deals a uniquely balanced overview of the science-religion debate.

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Extra resources for Paths From Science Towards God: The End of all Our Exploring

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Some Christian voices, such as William Wilberforce, were denouncing the status quo but the religious authorities of the time took a long time to condemn slavery as a social institution. Another well-known prophetic voice in the wilderness is that of the Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas, who condemned the Spanish treatment of indigenous people in Latin America. He similarly confronted hostile religious authorities who were in line with the secular powers and aristocracy of the day (see Chapter 4 for more details).

The first is the instrumental view, which concentrates on the extent to which religious teachings and beliefs are fostering or hindering economic growth. The second is that religion is by definition a social institution which restrains development because it is basically incompatible with rational modernity. Third is the view that religion is not an issue in development as long as it remains a purely private matter. And, finally, there is the view that religion does not matter anyway because when societies develop and become more modern, religion disappears from people’s lives.

The increments in wellbeing that would mean much to the poor widow in Bangladesh – a full stomach, time for prayer, and a bamboo platform to sleep on – challenge us to change how we measure development. , 2000, p. 234) Voices of the Poor presents a challenging conclusion, which has dramatic consequences for development practice if implemented. Considering religion as an intrinsic component of people’s wellbeing alongside health, education, shelter, material security and others, transforms conventional development practices which have so far ignored the religious dimensions.

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