History and Philosophy Of Science | Science & Christianity in Western History
X123 | 23960 | Ragland, E


Science & Christianity in Western History
X123
Tuesday, Thursday
11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Evan Ragland

Historical studies of science and religion provide a unique and
valuable window into questions of belief, meaning, identity, and the
cultural context of science. Personal belief, powerful institutions,
and the larger historical contexts shaped and were shaped by science
and religion in important and lasting ways. Further, an adequate
treatment of the science in many pre-modern contexts requires
knowledge of religious ideas (and, perhaps, practices). This course
aims to address such questions as, ‘What has been the relationship
between science and religion?’ ‘What is that relationship
toady?’ ‘Is there a significant difference in this interaction in
the modern and pre-modern periods?’ We will also be able to examine
notions of ‘popular science.’

The class will consist of a mix of notable primary texts and
secondary materials to assist contextualization and interpretation.
Students will examine writings from Augustine, Galileo, Newton,
Darwin, the Scopes trial, and present-day debates over Intelligent
Design. While the course will contain three short papers (or three
exams), a significant aim of the course will be for each student to
produce a research paper. Though Christian sources compose the
majority of the historical elements, research on alternate religions
or belief systems is welcome and encouraged.