Science and Religion: New Historical Perspectives

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The idea of an inevitable conflict between science and religion was decisively challenged by John Hedley Brooke in his classic Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (Cambridge, 1991). Almost two decades on, Science and Religion: New Historical Perspectives revisits this argument and asks how historians can now impose order on the complex and contingent histories of religious engagements with science. Bringing together leading scholars, this volume explores the history and changing meanings of the categories 'science' and 'religion'; the role of publishing and education in forging and spreading ideas; the connection between knowledge, power and intellectual imperialism; and the reasons for the confrontation between evolution and creationism among American Christians and in the Islamic world. A major contribution to the historiography of science and religion, this book makes the most recent scholarship on this much misunderstood debate widely accessible.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A valuable addition to the literature on the growing field of science and religion. Highly recommended."

"These days, whenever the words "science" and "religion" are brought together, they are likely to conjure up other words like "debate", "conflict", and "inevitable". That set of associations, real or imagined, is the underlying subject of this remarkable book. It distills an enormous amount of scholarship relating to a fascinating set of subjects of contemporary importance in the form of well-researched and nicely written set of essays brought together in honor of the British historian John Hedley Brooke. It celebrates his work in redefining, one might almost say, defining away, the notion of conflict between science and religion."
Science and Education

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107404113
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/8/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Dixon is Senior Lecturer in History at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of The Invention of Altruism (2008) and From Passions to Emotions (Cambridge, 2003).

Geoffrey Cantor is Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the University of Leeds and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London. He is the author of Quakers, Jews, and Science (2005).

Stephen Pumfrey is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, Lancaster University. He is the author of Latitude and the Magnetic Earth (2002), winner of the British Society for the History of Science Dingle Prize.

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Table of Contents

List of contributors; Preface; 1. Introduction Thomas Dixon; Part I. Categories: 2. 'Science' and 'religion': constructing the boundaries Peter Harrison; 3. Science and religion in postmodern perspective: the case of Bruno Latour Jan Golinski; Part II. Narratives: 4. Religion and the changing historiography of the Scientific Revolution Margaret J. Osler; 5. The late-Victorian conflict of science and religion as an event in nineteenth-century intellectual and cultural history Frank M. Turner; 6. Islam, Christianity and the conflict thesis B. Harun Küçük; Part III. Evolution and Creationism: 7. Evolution and creationism in the Islamic world Salman Hameed; 8. Understanding creationism and evolution in America and Europe Bronislaw Szerszynski; Part IV. The Politics of Publishing: 9. A global history of science and religion Sujit Sivasundaram; 10. The Scopes trial beyond science and religion Adam R. Shapiro; 11. Science, religion, and the history of the book Jonathan R. Topham; Part V. Ways Forward: 12. Sciences and religions: what it means to take historical perspectives seriously Noah Efron; 13. Simplifying complexity: patterns in the history of science and religion Ronald L. Numbers; 14. What shall we do with the 'Conflict Thesis'? Geoffrey Cantor; Select bibliography; Index.

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