In 1979, John Polkinghorne, a professor of mathematical physics and a fellow of the Royal Society, resigned his chair at Cambridge to train for the Anglican priesthood. In this excerpt from his book One World: The Interaction of Science and Theology (Princeton University Press, 1987), Polkinghorne—today the vicar of Blean, Kent (U.K.) —argues that the scientist and the theologian both examine the same world from different perspectives and that each can offer much to the other.

My impression is that scientists are as likely to be religious believers as any other section of the community. Nevertheless there is a feeling abroad that somehow science and religion are opposed to each other. Someone like myself, who is an Anglican priest and a (now honorary) professor of theoretical physics, is sometimes regarded either with the amazement appropriate to the strange mixture of the centaur or the wariness appropriate to the sleight-of-hand artist....

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