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Luminous Web: Essays on Science and Religion

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In these essays on the dialogue between science and Christian faith, Barbara Brown Taylor describes her journey as a preacher learning what the insights of quantum physics, the new biology, and chaos theory can teach a person of faith. She seeks to discover why scientists sound like poets and why physicists use the language of imagination, ambiguity, and mystery also found ...more
Paperback, 109 pages
Published January 25th 2000 by Cowley Publications (first published January 1st 2000)
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Steve Li
The author is a very well respected and well known minister. I am a scientist always in search of the weaving of science and religion. I know I am in the minority of reviewers with my 2 star rating of the book. I provided this low rating based on the author's own statement on page 16 "...truth comes in two varieties -facts and meanings-and the same facts do not always generate the same meanings. In the chapters that follow I will knowingly violate this boundary by imposing my own meanings on sci ...more
I don’t speak science well and struggled through the 100 pages of text in Luminous Web: Essays on Science and Religion, by Barbara Brown Taylor. I read and re-read paragraphs and whole pages, sometimes understanding something completely differently the second time around. I learn and understand best by finding meaning and metaphor, which, it turns out, is the same process Taylor says she uses and is chastised for by her scientific friends. She says they tell her “the minute I wring metaphors out ...more
Some interesting insights on the parallels between and interconnectedness of science and religion.
An incredibly well-researched collection of essays on the similarities and connections between science and faith. Taylor opened my eyes to that which the two disciplines have in common, while still maintaining the vast difference between them. This is a book for people who are willing to think about the conversation between scientific inquiry and theology. She blends a remarkable knowledge of "new" science (quantum theory, strings) with the extensive background of her faith. The result is an ent ...more
Elizabeth Andrew
While I always enjoy Taylor's clear prose and heart-centered theology, I found this slender volume to be a bit thin on content. She makes some important (and probably in some circles radical) connections between Christian belief and the latest scientific thought, but without a broader background in science (and especially chaos theory) she can't go very far. Still, worthwhile.
Taylor, an ordained minister, successfully argues that science and religion can co-exist and actually couldn't exist without each other. Easy-to-read physics for those who don't understand much of it (and/or can't do math). A thought-provoking read that causes you to reconsider the way you approach faith and science.
Brown has written four exceptional essays on science and religion that take us beyond the tension to the profound unity which surfaces when we see God as the unifying force who is creating a forever changing universe that we can never hope to understand completely.
Jul 30, 2010 Jon marked it as to-read
Very much looking forward to reading this book. I read Taylor's terrific article here:, and can't wait to read the book Luminous Web.
Good introspective from a religious leader on how the intertwining of science and religion might be more prevalent that we give credit for. I liked it because I agree with her premise and musings.
She may end up panenthesist in this book, but I enjoyed traveling through science and faith with Barbara Brown Taylor.
Sare Gordy
A nice way to bring a few truths together.
The first book I finished in 2007! I received this book of reflections on religion and science as a gift back in August of 2004 from my (at that time) girlfriend. I started the book at the time, but not long after that it found its way onto a shelf, into a moving box, and onto a shelf again. I pulled it again last December and made it my bus book, so I read it for about 20 minutes each way on the days I took the bus.

Barbara Brown Taylor is incredible in her reflective and rhetorical abilities. T
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Barbara Brown Taylor’s last book, An Altar in the World, was a New York Times bestseller that received the Silver Nautilus Award in 2012. Her first memoir, Leaving Church, received an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association and won the Theologos Award for best general interest book of 2006. Taylor spent fifteen years in parish ministry before becoming the Butman Professor of ...more
More about Barbara Brown Taylor...
An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith Learning to Walk in the Dark The Preaching Life When God Is Silent

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