By the same authors

Beyond the ‘Book of Nature’ to Science as Second Person Narrative: From Methodological Naturalism to Teleological Transcendence.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



Publication details

Title of host publicationIssues in Science and Theology: Nature – and Beyond.
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Feb 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 26 Feb 2020
Number of pages11
Place of PublicationCham
EditorsMichael Fuller, D Evers, A Runehov, K W Saether, B Michollet
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-31182-7

Publication series

NameIssues in Science and Religion: Publications of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology
ISSN (Electronic)2364-5725


The metaphor of nature as a book, and its reading, has arisen in many forms in theological discussions of natural philosophy from ancient to modern periods. It is far less fixed in form than often assumed, however, but rejects cultural contextual shape. It is also too often recruited without challenge, although the implied analogies of authorship, narrative shape, and hermeneutic contain many pitfalls. I explore four flaws in the ‘Book of Nature’ narrative, finding that they are connected with two related and troublesome tensions – that of ‘methodological naturalism’ within a theistic framework, and the redundancy of ‘natural theology’ in its nineteenth century form. Approaching a theology of science from the perspective of the Wisdom tradition offers a fresh conception of who does the writing, and reading, of nature’s living book.

    Research areas

  • Theology of Science, Wisdom tradition, God’s two Books, Book of Job, Methodological naturalism, Second- person narratives, Teleology of Science

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