Sociological studies (e.g., Ecklundt 2010) have probed the religiousbeliefs of scientists, particularly in the United States. Theyindicate a significant difference in religiosity in scientistscompared to the general population. Surveys such as those conducted bythe Pew forum (Masci and Smith 2016) find that nearly nine in tenadults in the US say they believe in God or a universal spirit, anumber that has only slightly declined in recent decades. Amongyounger adults, the percentage of theists is about 80%. Atheism andagnosticism are widespread among academics, especially among thoseworking in elite institutions. A survey among National Academy ofSciences members (all senior academics, overwhelmingly from elitefaculties) found that the majority disbelieved in God’sexistence (72.2%), with 20.8% being agnostic, and only 7% theists(Larson and Witham 1998). Ecklund and Scheitle (2007) analyzed responsesfrom scientists (working in the social and natural sciences) from 21elite universities in the US. About 31.2% of their participantsself-identified as atheists and a further 31 % as agnostics. Theremaining number believed in a higher power (7%), sometimes believedin God (5.4%), believed in God with some doubts (15.5%), or believedin God without any doubts (9.7%). In contrast to the generalpopulation, the older scientists in this sample did not show higherreligiosity—in fact, they were more likely to say that they didnot believe in God. On the other hand, Gross and Simmons (2009)examined a more heterogeneous sample of scientists from Americancolleges, including community colleges, elite doctoral-grantinginstitutions, non-elite four-year state schools, and small liberalarts colleges. They found that the majority of university professors(full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty) had some theistic beliefs,believing either in God (34.9%), in God with some doubts (16.6%), inGod some of the time (4.3%), or in a higher power (19.2%). Belief inGod was influenced both by type of institution (lower theistic beliefin more prestigious schools) and by discipline (lower theistic beliefin the physical and biological sciences compared to the socialsciences and humanities).
The volume addresses four areas of Christian thought. Contributors to the first section—Doctrine and Christian Belief—examine the Christian doctrines of the Redemption, the Incarnation, and the Resurrection. Those in the second section—The Nature of God and Christian Belief—probe the Christian belief that God is a trinity of persons, simple, immutable, self-sufficient, and independent of all things. In the third section—Reason and Christian Belief—contributors examine, in different ways, the role that reason, evidence, and argument plays in the formation of Christian belief. Essays in the fourth and final section—Scripture, Theology, and Christian Belief—address the relation between scripture and the problem of divine hiddenness, the problem of scriptural authority, and the relation between philosophical theology and fundamental theology. This diverse and wide-ranging collection will be of serious interest to anyone studying or working in the philosophy of religion, theology, scripture studies, or religious studies.
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If we fail to see the all-encompassing nature of Christian doctrine, we certainly will not see the all-encompassing nature of creeds, which exist not only to affirm, confess, and proclaim the elementary matters of our faith, but to set forth the entirety of the doctrine, piety, and practice of the Christian religion.
Hick, John | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Current work in the field of science and religion encompasses a wealthof topics, including free will, ethics, human nature, andconsciousness. Contemporary natural theologians discuss fine-tuning,in particular design arguments based on it (e.g., R. Collins 2009),the interpretation of multiverse cosmology, and the significance ofthe Big Bang. For instance, authors such as Hud Hudson (2013) haveexplored the idea that God has actualized the best of all possiblemultiverses. Here follows an overview of two topics that generatedsubstantial interest and debate over the past decades: divine action(and the closely related topic of creation), and human origins.
Christianity: The world's largest religion
Commitment—or “engagement”—is thus ultimatelythe basis for an authentically meaningful life, that is, one thatanswers to the existential condition of being human and does not fleethat condition by appeal to an abstract system of reason or divinewill. Yet though I alone can commit myself to some way of life, someproject, I am never alone when I do so; nor do I do so in a social,historical, or political vaccuum. If transcendence represents myradical freedom to define myself, facticity—that other aspect ofmy being—represents the situated character of thisself-making. Because freedom as transcendence undermines the idea of astable, timeless system of moral norms, it is little wonder thatexistential philosophers (with the exception of Simone de Beauvoir) devoted scant energy to questions ofnormative moral theory. However, because this freedom is alwayssocially (and thereby historically) situated, it is equallyunsurprising that their writings are greatly concerned with how ourchoices and commitments are concretely contextualized in terms ofpolitical struggles and historical reality.