After completing the final version of his general theory of relativity in November 1915, Albert Einstein wrote Relativity. Intended for a popular audience, the book remains one of the most lucid explanations of the special and general theories ever written. This edition of Einstein’s celebrated book features an authoritative English translation of the text along with commentaries by Hanoch Gutfreund and Jürgen Renn that examine the evolution of Einstein’s thinking and cast his ideas in a modern context. Providing invaluable insight into one of the greatest scientific minds of all time, the book also includes a unique survey of the introductions from past editions, covers from selected early editions, a letter from Walther Rathenau to Einstein discussing the book, and a revealing sample from Einstein’s original handwritten manuscript.
The book begins with a discussion of Einstein's childhood religious education and the religious atmosphere--or its absence--among his family and friends. It then reconstructs, step by step, the intellectual development that led Einstein to the conceptions of a cosmic religion and an impersonal God, akin to "the God of Spinoza." Jammer explores Einstein's writings and lectures on religion and its role in society, and how far they have been accepted by the general public and by professional theologians like Paul Tillich or Frederick Ferré. He also analyzes the precise meaning of Einstein's famous dictum "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind," and why this statement can serve as an epitome of Einstein's philosophy of religion.
The last chapter deals with the controversial question of whether Einstein's scientific work, and in particular his theory of relativity, has theologically significant implications, a problem important for those who are interested in the relation between science and religion. Both thought-provoking and engaging, this book aims to introduce readers, without proselytizing, to Einstein's religion.