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Let There Be Light : Modern Cosmology and Kabbalah: A New Conversation Between Science and Religion
In Let There Be Light, Howard Smith, a research astrophysicist and traditionally observant Jew, explores how modern scientific understandings of the cosmos complement Judaism's ancient mystical theology, the Kabbalah. He argues that science and religion are not only compatible, but that a healthy, productive dialogue between the two sheds light on ethics, free will, and the nature of life, while at the same time rejecting fundamentalist misinterpretation and the pseudoscience of creationism. ...
Written for a general audience, yet supported by the most current and accurate scientific research, the book discusses topics such as modern quantum mechanics and mystical notions of awareness; how Kabbalah's ten sefirot mirror the developing phases of an inflationary universe; and the surprising parallels that exist between the Big Bang theory and Kabbalah's origin theory. Smith delves into complex ideas without resorting to jargon or mathematical equations, creating an intelligent, authoritative work accessible to all readers.
*A prominent astrophysicist explores striking parallels between the Creation as understood by modern science and ancient, Bible-based Kabbalah
Can religion answer any of the questions raised by science? Can science answer the questions posed by religion? Smith, an observant Jew who is a senior scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, brings us a work that is "deliberately not... scholarly." It aims to educate and enlighten readers while attempting to fuse an entry-level explanation of the vast and fascinating subject of cosmology with the elusive elements of the Kabbalah. Despite a fluid and uncomplicated organization, Smith fails to communicate with his target audience--those either unfamiliar with or uninterested in science and religion. His unwieldy prose, riddled with parenthetical allusions to former or pending chapters, and littered with qualifications, makes the science hard to follow for even the most avid fans of popular science magazines. Admittedly, his discussion of the Kabbalah is "a modest extraction of a few relevant ideas," but his cursory extrapolations confuse rather than clarify. If enthusiasm could make this an accessible read, Smith could well have succeeded. Unfortunately, readers may feel left in the dark after wrestling their way through his lecture. (Nov.)
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New World Library
October 04, 2006
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