Exploring the Territories of Science and Religion
Some see science and religion as in direct competition with one another, offering incompatible explanations for the same phenomena. Conflict is seen as inevitable. Projecting this idea back in time, the whole of Western history can be understood as a protracted battle between science and religion. Science is now winning the battle, in spite of minor religious resistance.
But historians of science have demolished this idea of a perennial conflict between science and religion, instead demonstrating how science has been supported by Christian ideas and assumptions. In part, this reflects a different understanding of the boundaries of science and religion. The 2014 New College Lectures focused on the changing boundaries of science and religion, and considered how these positive interactions of the past offer insights into science-religion relations in the present.
Professor Peter Harrison BSc, BA (Hons), PhD (Qld), MA (Yale), MA, DLitt (Oxford), FAHA.
Peter Harrison was educated at the University of Queensland and Yale University. In 2011 he moved back to Queensland from the University of Oxford where he was the Idreos Professor of Science and Religion. At Oxford he was a member of the Faculties of Theology and History, a Fellow of Harris Manchester College, and Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre where he continues to hold a Senior Research Fellowship. He has published extensively in the area of cultural and intellectual history with a focus on the philosophical, scientific and religious thought of the early modern period. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford, Yale, and Princeton, is a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2011 he delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh.
Lecture 1 | Is Christianity a Religion?
Lecture 2 | The Invention of Modern Science
Lecture 3 | Relating Science & Religion