Chosen by Time magazine to be their ‘Person of the Century’,1 Albert Einstein2 is famous for many things (apart from his shaggy visage). His theories of special and general relativity and his formula for the equivalence of mass and energy, E = mc2, changed forever our views on time and space, light and gravity, matter and energy. He is somewhat less well-known for his remark ‘God does not play dice with the universe.’ But what did Einstein really mean by ‘God’? Was his ‘God’ anything like the God of the Bible?
Although born in 1879 of German-Jewish parents, Albert was not brought up in the Jewish faith. He attended a nearby Catholic elementary school in Munich and then the local high school. A rather slow and dreamy student, Albert was bored with non-scientific subjects,3 and learned little under the harsh military-style 19th century German education system. He grew up with an aversion to discipline, and a life-long suspicion of all authority.