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There is currently huge interest in the question of human nature and identity, and what the human future might look like. Who are we? Why are we here? What is our future? Are we alone? And what can religion bring, alongside biology and anthropology, to these important and exciting questions?

The Great Mystery focuses on this fascinating field of study. Alister McGrath, bestselling author and Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, explores the question of human nature from both scientific and religious perspectives, and weaves together the results to open up and explore some of the deepest and most important questions about who we are, why we matter, and what our future might be.

A follow-up to his critically acclaimed Inventing the Universe, in The Great Mystery Alister McGrath once again brings together science with religion to yield an enriched vision of reality, along with rigorous and thoroughly up-to-date scholarship and intellectual accessibility.


This is a book characterised by a deep sense of humility before the mystery of life and the limitations of human knowledge. It is also one that is generously open to the views of those with whom he disagrees. At the same time he shows, often with a telling example, how Christianity not only gives us a glimpse of the bigger picture, but offers a framework of meaning enabling us to cope with our journey from birth to death . Whilst Drawing on his vast learning in both science and philosophy Alister McGrath still manages to convey his argument with great clarity and accessibility. It is a book that will challenge all dogmatists, whether scientific or religious, and which will greatly encourage those who are tentative and searching.
Lord Harries of Pentregarth
In this personal, scholarly yet gripping account of the human search for meaning, Alister McGrath reveals this eirenic question to be as vital in our own times as in previous ages. In the spirit of Chesterton, Thoreau and C S Lewis, and in dialogue with Augustine, Pico, Murdoch, and his neighbourhood nemesis Dawkins, McGrath takes his breathless readers first to a high balcony-view of the science, religion and philosophy of purpose, but then leads us back down to the road where we must make our own journeys, the richer for our reading.
Tom McLeish, Professor of Physics at Durham University and Chair of the Royal Society’s education committee
The book comes alive in the third and final part that deals with the future and humanity's struggle with the conflict of good and evil in its nature... a worthwhile book.
Methodist Recorder
Alister McGrath in The Great Mystery asks the questions (with his usual rigour and clarity) that philosophers tend to avoid these days: 'What is the point of life?' and 'What is wrong with us?' He, too, is concerned to explore the meaning that lies behind the facts in a world drowning in information from the sciences, calling for a fundamental rethinking of who we are.
Church Times
There can hardly be a more prolific theological writer in the English-speaking world than Alister McGrath.
Conor McOonough