Cosmic Purpose

By Toyohiko Kagawa

Edited by Thomas John Hastings

Cosmic Purpose

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  • ISBN: 9781625645098
  • Pages: 282
  • Publication Date: 3/4/2014
  • Retail Price: $33.00
Web Price: $26.40
Web Price: $26.40

Cosmic Purpose

By Toyohiko Kagawa

Edited by Thomas John Hastings

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781625645098
  • Pages: 282
  • Publication Date: 3/4/2014
  • Retail Price: $33.00
Web Price: $26.40

About-

On Christmas Eve in 1909, twenty-one-year-old Kagawa Toyohiko (1888-1960) rented a room in Kōbe's worst slum where, apart from two years of study in the United States, he remained with his wife and co-worker Haru for more than ten years. They engaged in pastoral work, evangelism, social reform movements, and literary activities, founding numerous institutions that are still in operation today.

After publishing a best-selling novel in 1920, Kagawa began to draw the attention of people from around Japan and the world. His literary output was prodigious, amounting to more than 300 books. Often compared with his contemporaries Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Schweitzer, Kagawa was nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in Literature (1947, 1948) and three times for the Nobel Peace Prize (1954, 1955, 1956).

Challenging the materialism of Charles Darwin and the claim of H. G. Wells that "we must give up any idea that evolution is purposeful," Cosmic Purpose draws on research in physics, chemistry, astrophysics, mineralogy, genetics, and biology to offer evidence of purpose in the vast span of evolutionary history from the atom to human consciousness. In his attempt to renew our sense of wonder at this process, Kagawa proposes a "logic of finality" that links life to purpose.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"Not since the writings of Teilhard de Chardin has there been a book of such awe-inspiring depth and scope as Kagawa's. He has produced a magnificently sustained argument for purposefulness in the universe. It is a single-minded pursuit of one theme that brings together an amazing array of scientific discoveries and an original blend of the human and ethical dimensions."
--Eric Scerri, University of California, Los Angeles

"Cosmic Purpose is an extraordinary example of how religion and natural sciences complement each other. In its endeavor to provide a coherent answer to the question of whether the universe has a purpose, this book is sure to ignite theological and philosophical debate."
--Luis X. Lopez-Farjeat, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City

"The history of science contains certain key books that stand above all others for their importance in shaping the public debate. One book of enormous intellectual beauty that until now has been unknown in Western circles is Kagawa Toyohiko's Cosmic Purpose, a monumental attempt to reconcile a respect for religion with a respect for science. The result is a deeply thoughtful and thought-provoking text, arguably even more relevant in the twenty-first century."
--Michael Graziano, Princeton University, New Jersey

"The book is nothing less than remarkable. Kagawa's work points forward toward features in contemporary scientific discussions about teleology, convergence, and various forms of selection, as well as opens up new discussions between science, theology, and philosophy on evil, salvation, and the nature and purpose of being human."
--Jan-Olav Henriksen, Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo

"In the interdisciplinary insights this book offers into the realities of nature, contemporary readers will discover Kagawa's deeply suggestive philosophy that integrates nature and religion."
--Kayama Hisao, Director of the Kagawa Archives and Resource Center, Japan

"From the perspective of 'ontological emergence,' this book may be read as a distinctive natural theology harmonizing the one and the many."
--Inagaki Hisakazu, Tokyo Christian University, Japan

Contributors-

Toyohiko Kagawa
Thomas John Hastings

Bio(s)-

Thomas John Hastings is Senior Research Fellow in Science and Religion at the Japan International Christian University Foundation in New York City and Research Fellow at International Christian University and the Kagawa Archives and Resource Center in Tokyo. He was formerly Director of Research, Associate Director, and Houston Witherspoon Fellow in Theology and Science at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton and spent twenty-three years teaching in Japan, most recently as Professor at Tokyo Union Theological Seminary from 1995 to 2008. He is the author of Practical Theology and the One Body of Christ: Toward a Missional-Ecumenical Model (2007) and numerous articles, chapters, and translations in Japanese and English.

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