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A Science and Religion Primer

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"An excellent collection of essays on the relationship between science and religion, nicely mirroring the current reach of science and religion scholarship. A very handy reference guide for both scholars and laypersons."--David C. Lindberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The relationship between science and religion (SR) has often been portrayed as bellicose. Yet some scholars view the disciplines as allies that complement and buttress each other. Other scholars consider them to be entirely discrete entities. Without a doubt, the interface of the two disciplines is complex and nuanced, and each has much to learn from the other. Heidi Campbell and Heather Looy assembled A Science and Religion Primer to guide a respectful, intelligent conversation. This landmark work is simultaneously an encyclopedia, an annotated bibliography, and a survey. Further, the stalwart advisory board for this singular project is made up of

Four substantive introductory essays--from Peter Harrison ("History of the Science/Religion Dialogue"), Nancey Murphy ("The Role of Philosophy in the Science/Religion Dialogue"), Celia Deane-Drummond ("Theology's Intersection with the Science/Religion Dialogue"), and Holmes Rolston III ("Science and Technology in Light of Religion")--set the book's background. The second, and primary, section of the book provides an A-Z listing of entries dealing with a variety of philosophical, historical, scientific, and theological concepts, individuals, or events related to the SR dialogue. Each entry is divided into three parts: a brief summary/definition of the concept, a key-points and challenges section that identifies significant issues, and a "discussion partners" section that lists key related readings. A Science and Religion Primer is an indispensable source in its own right and a springboard for more in-depth research.


"Heidi Campbell and Heather Looy have put together an excellent collection of essays on the relationship between science and religion, nicely mirroring the current reach of science and religion scholarship. Most of the articles are apt. Many are outstanding. This volume will serve as a very handy reference guide for both scholars and laypersons."--David C. Lindberg, Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"This new book by Campbell and Looy provides an excellent point of entry into the burgeoning international dialogue on science and religion. The introductory essays are from leaders in the field and will give newcomers a clear sense of the background issues that shape the current discussion."--F. LeRon Shults, professor of theology, University of Agder Institute for Religion, Philosophy, and History

The Authors

  1. Heidi A. Campbell

    Heidi A. Campbell

    Heidi A. Campbell (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is professor of communication at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. She has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and on...

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  2. Heather Looy

    Heather Looy

    Heather Looy (PhD, McMaster University) is professor of psychology at The King's University College in Alberta, Canada. She specializes in biopsychology, participated in the Sir John Templeton Oxford Seminars in Science and Christianity, and is an active...

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"Book for book, Baker Academic is the most important and interesting Christian academic press going. And [A Science and Religion Primer], my goodness, what a resource! With dozens of authors, and a stellar advisory board, this compendium of articles makes this a go-to dictionary for anything faith/science. . . . Four substantive introductory essays set the book's background, and the rest (over 100 entries) offer an A-Z listing. Remarkable."--Byron Borger,

"This volume will be useful for those desiring a Christian perspective on these topics [pertaining to the science and religion dialogue]; it is suitable for personal, church, public, and academic libraries. . . . Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers."--A. H. Widder, Choice

"A Science and Religion Primer stands out as an affordable and practical resource for anyone interested in the topic and as a handy companion to those who need guidance while reading other texts in the vast arena of the subject. . . . The essays and encyclopedic entries are well-written and clear. Although kept intentionally short, the introductions are informative and highlight a number of important issues in the dialogue of science and religion in a balanced view that favors neither side. The heart of the text is undoubtedly the encyclopedic section, covering more than three quarters of the book. The entries are short and to the point, and the annotated bibliography at the conclusion of each entry offers a highly valuable entry-point for further reading. . . . This book is an excellent resource for students and those who have a beginning interest in the intersection of science and religion."--Wolfgang Vondey, Pneuma Review

"A Science and Religion Primer is a unique and well-executed book. The material is clearly and concisely written and the topics covered are especially pertinent to the contemporary SR debate. . . . Users will find a basic guide that outlines the fundamentals of a given subject and provides guidance to more thorough reading and a deeper understanding. Campbell and Looy have produced a good work that could help a more open dialogue between science and religion in the future."--Daved Anthony Schmidt, Koinonia Journal

"The title of this book is not only self explanatory, but true. The 'Entries' section--the bulk of the book--contains stimulating contributions from academics from all over the Western university world. . . . Each entry carries a helpful bibliography and altogether the usefulness of this volume is hard to over-estimate; it is a reference book not to be missed."--Ian Gibbs,

"An accessible and inexpensive primer which contains introductory essays and a glossary of definitions of important concepts. . . . Each entry provides not simply a definition but highlights the main points of discussion and an immediately available means of following up with more research. . . . Campbell and Looy's primer may serve as a useful entry point into the much wider religion and science discussion, allowing students, pastors, and interested laypersons a way to broaden knowledge at their own pace and according to their own specific interests. For professors of theology and/or the sciences, the primer may serve as a helpful resource to provide for students alongside other, more detailed texts which assume a working knowledge of the concepts covered in the primer."--J. Jeanine Thweatt-Bates, Stone-Campbell Journal