Science and Religion, 1450-1900: From Copernicus to Darwin

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Overview

Galileo. Newton. Darwin. These giants are remembered for their great contributions to science. Often forgotten, however, is the profound influence that Christianity had on their lives and work. This study explores the many ways in which religion—its ideas, attitudes, practices, and institutions—interacted with science from the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution to the end of the nineteenth century.

Both scientists and persons of faith sometimes characterize the relationship between science and religion as confrontational. Historian Richard G. Olson finds instead that the interactions between science and religion in Western Christendom have been complex, often mutually supportive, even transformative. This book explores those interactions by focusing on a sequence of major religious and intellectual movements—from Christian Humanist efforts to turn science from a primarily contemplative exercise to an activity aimed at improving the quality of human life, to the widely varied Christian responses to Darwinian ideas in both Europe and North America during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Highly recommended. Readers with an interest in science, at the lower-undergraduate level and above.

Nuncius
Provide[s] a rich historical background to the interaction between science and religion.

— Seymour H. Mauskopf

Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
Should appeal to aficionados of science and religion interested in the interaction of culture with the development of science.

— Fraser F. Fleming

Isis
An interesting, insightful, and clearly argued overview.

— Edward B. Davis

Journal of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences
Olson's meticulous treatment of the rich variety of interconnections between science and religion was a refreshing revelation. The book does an excellent job of documenting the complex tangle of interconnections between religious thought and scientific work during this time period.
Archives Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences
The book can be warmly recommended to anyone interested in the various ways in which religion interacted with science from the beginning of the Scientific Revolution to the end of the 19th century.

— William R. Shea

Nuncius - Seymour H. Mauskopf
Provide[s] a rich historical background to the interaction between science and religion.
Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith - Fraser F. Fleming
Should appeal to aficionados of science and religion interested in the interaction of culture with the development of science.
Isis - Edward B. Davis
An interesting, insightful, and clearly argued overview.
Archives Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences - William R. Shea
The book can be warmly recommended to anyone interested in the various ways in which religion interacted with science from the beginning of the Scientific Revolution to the end of the 19th century.
Choice
Highly recommended. Readers with an interest in science, at the lower-undergraduate level and above.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801884009
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2006
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 839,865
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard G. Olson is a professor of history at Harvey Mudd College. He is the author of The Emergence of the Social Sciences, 1642–1792 (Twayne Press, 1993) and Science Deified and Science Defied (University of California Press, 1990).

Johns Hopkins University Press

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