Book Reviews: S.L. Frank's The Meaning of Life and Steve Paulson's Atoms & Eden: Conversations on Religion and Science


Responding to the prophetic call and hopes of the ‘greatest’ Russian poet, Fyodor Tyutchev (1803-1873), the ‘greatest’ Russian philosopher, Vladimir Solovyov (1853-1900) and the ‘greatest’ modern Russian saint, Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833), Frank presents a profoundly personal commentary, philosophy and spirituality on the meaninglessness and meaningfulness of life. The book not only serves to represent an encounter with the depths of the Russian soul, but also touches the reader’s soul itself to develop a hunger for the richness of Russian literature and thought.

In the drama of science and religion debates, conflicts and dialogues, the journalist, Steve Paulson, has produced Atoms & Eden: Conversations on Religion and Science, a revealing and compelling compendium of interviews with well-known scientists of varying backgrounds. Like Frank, Paulson is searching for meaning amidst meaninglessness. But it is not the absurdity of political revolution and violence that throws Paulson into a search, but the struggle of attuning the power of neuroscience, evolutionary biology and theoretical physics into conversation with theology, religion, spirituality and mystical experience. Indeed, Paulson, presenting the voice of twenty-one eminent intellectuals – including Karen Armstrong, Andrew Newberg, John Haught, Richard Dawkins, Simon Conway Morris, Elaine Pagels, Nidhal Guesoum, Paul Davies, Steven Weinberg and Jane Goodall – has done a great service to bring these voices together.


S.L. Frank, meaning of life, Russian, Levinas, Rosenzweig, Steve Paulson, religion, science, John Haught, Simon Conway Morris

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