The writing life of science and theology author Sir John Polkinghorne

‘He is usually in his study by eight a.m., a room packed floor to ceiling with more books than are found in many science or theology libraries.  On one table are stacks of paper — manuscripts he’s agreed to review, chapters he’s agreed to write, drafts of speeches he’s agreed to give.  A recent tally showed eleven different projects silently lobbying for his attention that day.

A pad of legal-sized paper sits on another table.  Polkinghorne writes his book manuscripts longhand on those pads, then puts them away for a few months.  Eventually he retrieves them from a pile and types them on his computer — the only time he uses his computer.  His fax machine, in contrast, rings and churns throughout the day.  One recent day saw a fax arrive from Yale University Press asking him to approve the cover of one of his books they are publishing.  Another was from a different university press compiling a ‘John Polkinghorne Reader.’  Another came from Germany regarding details of a talk he would be giving there soon.  The BBC called.  And on it goes — a ‘Day in the Life’ of John Polkinghorne.’

~ Dean Nelson

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