Science and Religions in America: A New Look

What is religion? What is science? How do they interact with each other? Science and Religions in America: A New Look offers a cutting-edge overview of the diverse range of religious traditions and their complex and fascinating interaction with science. Pluralistic in scope, the book is different from traditional monotheistic and/or Christian-centered approaches to studying the rich interplay of religion and science in multi-religious American culture.

Featuring interviews with specialists in the field, Greg Cootsona draws on their insights to provide a comprehensive, accessible, and engaging introduction to the challenging interrelationship of religion and science. Each chapter focuses on a different religion within the United States, covering Buddhism, Christianity, Nature Religions, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and the Spiritual but Not Religious (SBNR).

Global religious traditions and their inextricable relationship with science and technology are examined in an accessible and interactive format. With “lightning round Q&As,” contributions from leading thinkers, and suggestions for further reading, this book primes undergraduate students for studying the interchange of science and religions (in the plural) and is an exciting new resource for those interested in these topics in contemporary America.

Negotiating Science and Religion: Past, Present and Future

Science and religion represent two powerful forces that continue to influence the American cultural landscape. Negotiating Science and Religion in America sketches an intellectual-cultural history from the Puritans to the twenty-first century, focusing on the sometimes turbulent relationship between the two. Using the past as a guide for what is happening today, this volume engages research from key scholars and the author’s work on emerging adults’ attitudes in order to map out the contours of the future for this exciting, and sometimes controversial, field.

Cootsona’s work is the first contemporary book I have read that marshals a true intellectual history in the service of situating where we are now as a society in terms of the relationship between science and religion.

This is consequential work.”

Elaine Howard Ecklund

Rice University

Mere Science and Christian Faith

Many Christians have been brought up under the assumption that mainstream science is incompatible with genuine Christian faith―so when they see compelling evidence for biological evolution, for example, they feel forced to choose between science and their faith. The devastating effects of this dilemma are plain to see, as emerging adults either leave the faith or shut themselves off to the findings of the scientific community. But it’s a false dilemma. In this book, Greg Cootsona argues against the idea that science and faith are inherently antagonistic. We don’t have to keep them scrupulously separated―instead, we can bring them into dialogue with one another. Cootsona brings this integration to a number of current topics in science and faith conversations, including hermeneutics, the historical Adam and Eve, cognitive science, and the future of technology. His insights are enhanced by his work with Fuller Seminary’s STEAM research project. Emerging adults want to believe that science and faith can coexist peacefully. Mere Science and Christian Faith holds out a vision for how that integration is possible and how it can lead us more deeply into the conversations around science and faith that confront the church today.

Greg Cootsona has been consistently at the vanguard of interconnections between science, faith, and the arts. Now with Mere Science and Christian Faith, he again proves to be a go-to resource for how science and faith together can offer generative solutions.”

Makoto Fujimura

Artist, author of Culture Care

“In this book you’ll find the usual suspects in books on science and religion: age of the earth, creation ex nihilo, Adam and Eve, and so on. But here you’ll also find thoughtful discussions of technology, climate change, and sexuality. These latter are the topics emerging adults are more interested in, and Cootsona has been listening to them. His book is no ivory tower treatment of ideas in the abstract, but it is filled with on-the-ground insights gleaned from his extensive interaction with eighteen- to thirty-year-olds. All of us engaged in the science and religion dialogue would do well to read this book to see where our field is going. Others who have been turned off by acrimonious science and faith arguments will find a much more attractive way into the topics―and perhaps into faith itself. See that a copy of this book gets into their hands!”

Jim Stump

Vice President, BioLogos

C.S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian

cslewiscrisisofachristianC.S. Lewis has long been recognized as a beloved author of children’s literature and an apologist for Christian belief to a skeptical modern world. In this new volume, Gregory S. Cootsona shows us how Lewis can also serve as a guide to the ups and downs of the Christian journey. Like many of us, Lewis suffered from a variety of crises of faith and personal experience. Like us, he came to faith in a world that no longer respects Christian commitment or offers much room for belief in God. Like us, he felt the absence of God when those closest to him died. Like us, he wrestled with doubt, wondering if God is real, or simply the projection of his own wishes onto the screen of the universe. Like us, he knew the kinds of temptations he described with such poignancy and humor in The Screwtape Letters.

By examining these and the other crises of C.S. Lewis’s life, Cootsona shows us how Lewis found God in each one, and how he shared those discoveries with us in his writing. All those wishing to deepen and enrich their own spiritual journey will find much guidance and wisdom in these pages.

Greg Cootsona’s treatment of C.S. Lewis reflects the passion and thoroughness of a devoté who savors the insights of a long-term mentor. He relishes handing on morsels of Lewis’ imagination and insight, while he also analyzes and measures Lewis’ enduring value. Reading this book will enhance your experience of the feast that is C.S. Lewis, but it will also fortify the heart and imagination for the “crises” which all true faith must engage.”

Mark Labberton

President, Fuller Theological Seminary

Greg Cootsona’s book is as distinctive a contribution to writing on Lewis as any I know. With no claim towards breaking new ground, the author nevertheless brings a perspective so fresh that even a veteran reader of the master will be instructed. Of course, Cootsona know his Lewis, but he also knows Lewis’s philosophy and philosophers, and he so interanimates that knowledge by way of his own extraordinary pastoral (and personal) touch that the reader emerges refreshed. I could argue a point or two, but that would miss the point of this very readable and generous book.”

James T. Como

Editor of Remembering C.S. Lewis: Recollections by Those Who Knew Him

Say Yes to No: Using the Power of NO to Create the Best in Life, Work, and Love

sayyestonoGreg Cootsona puts a spiritual spin on the classic business strategy for setting priorities in this valuable guide to finding personal fulfillment in an increasingly frantic world. At age thirty-eight, Cootsona, a physically fit minister busy with his growing congregation and his young family, had a scare with heart trouble. The unexpected and frightening news proved providential. Cootsona realized that he was juggling too many roles, saying yes to too many commitments.

In SAY YES TO NO, Cootsona blends personal experiences and deep reflection to show why learning to say no can transform our lives. He describes the choices he made as he set the priorities in his own life, and encourages readers to look within their hearts and focus on the values and the goals that promise them their greatest rewards. Filled with sound advice and profound insights, SAY YES TO NO provides a path to achieving physical, professional, emotional, and spiritual well-being that will appeal to Christian and mainstream audiences alike.

If you feel overwhelmed and overcommitted, Say Yes to No will help you shake up your priorities on the job and at home. Greg Cootsona shows how finding the proper balance of work and rest–‘the rhythm of no’–can lead to a more relaxed and rewarding life. In our busy, busy world, everyone needs to read this book.”

Ken Blanchard

coauthor of The One Minute Manager

Creation and Last Things: At the Intersection of Theology and Science

creationandlastthingsIn this well-written and concise volume, Gregory Cootsona explores the doctrines of creation and eschatology (the end of days) in light of contemporary science. He addresses what the relationship is between creation in the beginning and the new creation at the end of time, how the docrtine of creation informs our lives as Christians, and how we grow in faith and love in light of these doctrines.

The Foundations of Christian Faith series enables readers to learn about contemporary theology in ways that are clear, enjoyable, and meaningful. It examines the doctrines of the Christian faith and stimulates readers not only to think more deeply about their faith but also to understand it in relation to contemporary challenges and questions. Individuals and study groups alike will find these guides invaluable in their search for depth and integrity in their Christian faith.