History and Philosophy Of Science | Science & Christianity in Western History
X123 | 22588 | Evan Ragland

Science and Christianity in Western History

Often depicted as enemies armed and embattled, science and religion
have related in history in powerful and fascinating ways. Historical
studies of science and religion provide a unique and valuable window
into questions of belief, meaning, and the cultural context of
science. Personal belief, influential 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 some knowledge of
religion and theology. This course aims to address such questions
as ‘What is the relationship between science and religion?’ ‘Have
things changed significantly over time?’ and ‘Who cares?’ We will
also be able to examine notions of ‘popular science’ and engage
historical controversies, including the ongoing use and abuse of the
trial of Galileo, biblical chronology and geology, the Scopes Trial,
and the current debates over Intelligent Design and evolution in
American education.
This class will consist of a mix of notable primary texts and
secondary materials to assist contextualization and interpretation.
Regular homework assignments, papers, short tests, and class
projects will help focus and enliven our course of study.