The Hand of God combines inspiration for the mind and spirit by juxtaposing what Astronomy magazine has called “the most beautiful astrophotos ever taken” with illuminating words of scientists, poets, and theologians. Introduced by an essay from award-winning science writer Sharon Begley, this revised edition includes more than sixty new images and creates for the reader an unforgettable experience of the wonder of the universe.
It was once believed that to look into the heavens was to look into the face of God. The first Hubble telescope images from space, which appeared in 1990, confirmed that sentiment in ways that are beyond imagination. These eerily luminous landscapes, splendid with color and motion, gave us a glimpse into the outermost reaches of the universe—a vast, unexplored realm where spiraling galaxies cartwheeled, nebulae shimmered, and stars were born. Dark clouds parted like gauzy curtains and allowed us to peer directly into the heart of a mystery. Since that time, more images have been captured on film that are simultaneously wondrous and troubling, restoring to our lives that very mystery that seems to be part of the human experience.
Throughout history, scientists and theologians, artists and writers, poets, and philosophers have struggled eloquently to make sense of the universe and God’s part in it. Together the images in The Hand of God and the accompanying reflections encourage a sense of awe and, perhaps, purpose in an age hostile to both.
“We cannot take a single step toward heaven,” French mystic Simone Weil once said. “If, however, we look heavenward for a long time, God comes and takes us up.” Perhaps it is time to look up once again.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you are looking for a book to provide snippets of inspiration for others who are dear to you, or, perhaps one that will spark your own prayer and devotional time, this may be the book you are seeking.
"The Hand of God" is a collection of photographs taken in space, many by the Hubble Telescope, showing the vast and awe-inspiring wonder of the universe. These photos, a new "eye on the heavens" show every manner of nebula, comet and star formation for the wondering earthbound traveler. Presented in deep and vivid colors, the photos are thoughtfully paired with inspirational quotations, both familiar and obscure.
Of the many gorgeous images, surprises abound. A view of Jupiter's Great Red Spot and its surroundings looks every bit like a segment of Van Gogh's "Starry Night". A shimmering white cross-like photograph of Galaxy NGC 4640A is coupled with these lines from an ancient Jewish proverb: "God said to Abraham, 'But for me, you would not be here.' 'I know...
One of the more awe inspiring books I've ever read. The pictures alone are incredible. The images are tastefully paired with quotes ranging from Stephen Hawking to Galileo, Scripture to Huck Finn, John Glenn to Shakespeare... I don't recall seeing this quote in the book, but the lines it most strongly reminds me of come from the Psalms: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. . ."
This book is well worth five stars. I have ordered half a dozen copies for myself and others, and expect to buy more.
Whatever your religious/spiriual leaning, the inexpressible mystery of creation is evident in these Hubble Telescope photographs coupled with quotations from the world's best minds and hearts.
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