Religious Origins of Modern Science?

Apr 6, 2017
Kersten 120
5720 South Ellis Avenue
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Peter HarrisonUniversity of Queensland


Cosponsored by the Department of History and the Committee for the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science

It is often thought that modern science developed largely independently of, or even in opposition to, religion.  Some historians, however, have suggested that religious factors played a key role in the emergence of modern science in the seventeenth century, and were important in establishing a permanent and prominent place for scientific activity at the heart of modern Western culture.  This lecture explores a number of ways in which religion may have had a positive impact on the emergence and consolidation of modern science, paying particular attention to the values needed to establish its social and intellectual legitimacy.

Copies of The Territories of Science and Religion will be available for purchase.

Prof. Harrison will also lead a discussion for students on "The Cosmos and the Religious Quest" on Friday, April 7.

Peter Harrison is an Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland. He was previously the Idreos Professor of Science and Religion and Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre at the University of Oxford. Harrison has published extensively in the area of 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. His most recent book is The Territories of Science and Religion, which was awarded the Aldersgate Prize.