MATTER & what matters:SOME SCIENCE FOR THE RELIGIOUS & SOME RELIGION FOR SCIENTISTS by Lionel Sharman
ISBN 978-1-927242-43-8, Published 2013 by Steele Roberts Publishers, Box 9321, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand
“SCIENCE WITHOUT RELIGION IS LAME
AND RELIGION WITHOUT SCIENCE IS BLIND”
A statement by Albert Einstein provides a theme for a book review by Yvonne Curtis
This book is a little gem. In only 116 pages Lionel Sharman manages to capture the essence of science and religion and finds the cores to both that resonate for me.
His poetry is the lustre. An added bonus is a short but wide ranging bibliography grouped under the headings Science, Philosophy and Religion.
Sharman acknowledges in his preface that his publication is only one among many very good texts
debating and exploring the present perceived conflict between science and religion. Most he has read are by theologians with some knowledge of science who “tend to argue for a space for most of conventional religion to operate.” In contrast, Lionel writes as a scientist “who happens to be lay Christian” and he lays out his views of science and religion and how they have shaped his life and values.
This account is written from an everyday point of view and pulls the strands of science and religion
together in a very even-handed way. It is significant that Sharman uses this quote from Albert Einstein at the beginning of the first chapter:
“Science without religion is lame
and religion without science is blind.”
The elements of science and religion that he explores bring this quote to life in a compelling and absorbing
The book takes you on journeys of science and religion with highlights from each to develop the
relationship that Sharman has found between the objective MATTER of existence and what he considers
that really matters - our relationship with each other, which, in turn, the subjective God in our heads helps
But I am leaving the best to the last: the lustre. Each of the twelve chapters finishes with a poem which
captures the essence of the chapter. Reading these poems reminded me just how powerful poetry can be
capturing emotion and ideas in few words. The richness of imagery that the poetry can evoke is much harder capture in prose. Read the poetry aloud to really hear it.
I have found it hard to be objective in this review of this book as it touches me deeply. This book very
closely parallels my journeys with science and religion and it is very exciting to find someone with the
courage to publicise views that I have silently held for years. I look forward to sharing this
treasure with my religious and scientific friends. Thank you Lionel.