• The Universe and I

    Where Science & Spirituality Meet

    By George F. Dole

    The Universe and I: Where Science & Spirituality Meet joins the science and religion debate with engaging and insightful dialogue from lifelong theological scholar George F. Dole. Exploring the ideas of many of our greatest minds, including Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, and eighteenth-century polymath Emanuel Swedenborg, Dole responds to the scientific community with a theory of consciousness and existence that incorporates spiritual and religious wisdom. He argues that to fully shape our understanding of our relationship with the universe, we need not only the grounding of science but also the insights of spirit. Join Dole on a journey that investigates our origins, our complex present, and how we can continue to advance humanity and goodwill for all—both as a species and as conscious individuals striving for deeper access to self-awareness and personal growth. Read more

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Description

The Universe and I: Where Science & Spirituality Meet offers scholar and theologian George F. Dole’s thought-provoking insights on the dynamic nature of the ongoing science and religion debate. Why are we here? Where are we headed? Dole argues that to understand these questions, we need not only the grounding of science but also the insights of spirit.

As experts continue to work out the relationship between cosmology and human evolution, Dole, who has spent a lifetime making sense of the spiritual world, joins the conversation with a clarity that only he can provide. Shaped primarily as a response to the scientific community, he engages with a wide spectrum of thinkers, including Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, and eighteenth-century polymath Emanuel Swedenborg, just to name a few.

Accessing a wealth of knowledge from across a wide variety of disciplines—philosophy, religion, biology, physics, and more—Dole presents his own model for our physical and spiritual existence. Starting with what we don’t know and what we can observe about the fundamentals of existence, Dole explores “the creative tension between differentiation and integration”—the drive to be individual and yet be united to a greater whole, a tension whose persistent progress since the Big Bang has brought about such gifts as the emergence of life and consciousness.

Dole not only presents us with the empirical evidence of science but also provides us with a first-person understanding of the spiritual dimension and how it might inform the way we consider those grand speculations on the meaning of the universe and of life. Reflecting on how life began leads to questions of how we will continue to advance humanity and goodwill for all—both as a species and as individuals striving for personal growth.

Asking the question “How can I, infinitesimal I, have the gall to regard myself as significant in the context of the universe?”, Dole embarks on a journey that spans the life of the universe itself, making every effort along the way to answer this question—for all of us.

About the Author

George F. Dole holds a BA from Yale, an MA from Oxford, and a PhD from Harvard. Now professor emeritus, Dr. Dole taught ancient languages, the Bible, and theology at the Swedenborg School of Religion in Newton, Massachusetts. He has served as a translator for the New Century Edition of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg, and he is also the author of Freedom and EvilSorting Things Out, and A Book about Us. He lives in Bath, Maine.

Reviews

“In this engaging book, Dole elucidates structural parallels between Swedenborg’s writings and the nature of scientific thought. Particularly intriguing are the similarities that he points out between Swedenborg’s discussion of emergence and physicists’ concern with the development of structure. Dole finds fascinating resonances between the spiritual and material worlds, moving us to a more nuanced conception of causality.”

— George Greenstein, Sidney Dillon Professor of Astronomy Emeritus, Amherst College

 

“The Rev. Dr. George Dole’s book makes important strides toward reconciling modern science with the principles of theism as elucidated by Emanuel Swedenborg. On the way, Dole exposes a whole host of obstacles that scientific thinkers impose upon themselves, and he ultimately illustrates the common ground between their work and his own. Dole’s efforts here go to show that we need more thinkers such as himself who can help make that ground a large enough place for us to live, move, and have our being.”

— Ian Thompson, PhD, Nuclear Physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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