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John C. Polkinghorne is a mathematical physicist and Anglican priest whose treatment of theology as a natural science invigorated the search for an interface between science and religion.
Polkinghorne resigned his position as Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge in 1979 to pursue theological studies, becoming a priest in 1982. Since then, his extensive writings and lectures have consistently applied scientific habits to Christianity, resulting in a modern and compelling, new exploration of the faith. His approach to the fundamentals of Christian orthodoxy – including the Trinity, Christ’s resurrection after death, and God’s creation of the universe – using the habits of a rigorous scientific mind have brought him international recognition as a unique voice for understanding the Bible as well as evolving Christian doctrine.
I want to take science and religion with great and equal seriousness. I see them as complementary to each other and not as rivals. The most important thing that they have in common is that both believe that there is a truth to be sought and found, a truth whose attainment comes through the pursuit of well-motivated belief. Of course, the two forms of enquiry view reality from different perspectives, science studying the processes of the world, while religion is concerned with the deeper issue of whether there is a divine meaning and purpose behind what is going on. I believe that I need the binocular approach of science and religion, if I am to do any sort of justice to the deep and rich reality of the world in which we live. I think of myself, and of some of my colleagues in this task, as being "two-eyed" scientist-theologians.
John Polkinghorne: “Quarks and Creation”
Religious Win for Physicist
Priest, Once Physicist, Wins $1 Million Religion Prize
2002 Templeton Prize Winner: John Polkinghorne (TV interview)