Abrahams Dice: Chance and Providence in the Monotheistic Traditions

Paperback | April 26, 2016

EditorKarl W. Giberson

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Most of us believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is "God's will," "karma", or "fate," we want to believe that an overarching purpose undergirds everything, and that nothing in the world, especially a disaster or tragedy, is a random, meaningless event.Abraham's Dice explores the interplay between chance and randomness, as well as between providence and divine action in the monotheistic religious traditions, looking at how their interaction has been conceptualized as our understanding of the workings of nature has changed. This lively historicalconversation has generated intense and engaging theological debates, and provocative responses from science: what of the history of our universe, where chance and law have played out in complex ways? Or the evolution of life, where random mutations have challenged attempts to find purpose withinevolution and convinced many that human beings are a "glorious accident." The enduring belief that everything happens for a reason is examined through a conversation with major scholars, among them holders of prestigious chairs at Oxford and Cambridge universities and the University of Basel, aswell as several Gifford lecturers, and two Templeton prize winners. Now, as never before, confident scientific assertions that the world embodies a profound contingency are challenging theological claims that God acts providentially in the world. The random and meandering path of evolution is widely used as an argument that God did not create life. Organizedhistorically, Abraham's Dice provides a wide-ranging scientific, theological, and biblical foundation to address the question of divine action in a world shot through with contingency.

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Most of us believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is "God's will," "karma", or "fate," we want to believe that an overarching purpose undergirds everything, and that nothing in the world, especially a disaster or tragedy, is a random, meaningless event.Abraham's Dice explores the interplay between chance and randomness, as...

Karl Giberson is Professor of Writing, Science and Religion in the Cornerstone General Education Program at Stonehill College.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:April 26, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190277165

ISBN - 13:9780190277161

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Table of Contents

The Challenge of ChanceKarl Giberson: Chance, Divine Action, and the Natural Order of ThingsJennifer Michael Hecht: Ancient Hebraic Voices of Chance and Choice over Fate and JusticeJohn Barrow: Chance, Uncertainty and Unknowability in the Universe and BeyondJames Bradley: Random Numbers and God's NatureSarah Ruden: The Natural Science of Greek Philosophy and the Social Science of Judaism Become the Super-Providence of PaulTheological ConversationsMustafa Ruzgar: Chance and Providence in the Islamic TraditionRichard Miller: Chance and Providence in Early ChristianityIgnacio Silva: Thomas Aquinas on Natural Contingency and ProvidenceByung Soo Han: Chance, Sovereignty, and Providence in the Calvinist TraditionOliver Crisp: Jonathan Edwards and OccasionalismThe Complications of ScienceJohn Hedley Brooke: Divine Providence in the Clockwork UniverseAlister McGrath: Chance and Providence in the Thought of William PaleyPeter Harrison: Evolution, Providence, and The Problem Of ChanceShaun Hensen: Throwing Dice? Thoughts of God in a Quantum WorldMichael Ruse: Darwinian Evolution and a Providential God: The Human ProblemClosing ReflectionReinhold Bernhardt: Abraham's Dice in the Flow of Life: The experience of the Tragic and Its Theological InterpretationContributorsIndex