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God of Hope and the End of the World
by Polkinghorne John (Author)
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Science tells us that the universe will end in cosmic collapse or decay. If this is so, can there be credible hope of a personal existence after death? In answering this question, John Polkinghorne offers the rare combination of great scientific expertise and a clear and intellectually rigorous theology. He draws on science, culture, scripture and theology to consider what might be the grounds for belief in a destiny beyond death. While such a destiny must allow for the reality of death, it must also credibly involve sufficient continuity for us to retain our own identities in some future existence.
Polkinghorne looks first at scientific avenues offering prospects of continuity, and then considers, from cultural and psychological viewpoints, the idea of hope (distinguishing it from optimism or wishful thinking). He also looks at biblical hope, dwelling particularly on the credibility of the evidence for the Resurrection. Finally, he provides a theological overview of all these issues, with a consideration of the Four Last Things (life, death, heaven and hell) and the life of the world to come. This is an important and exciting book, with major implications, in an area that has previously been much neglected by serious writers.