Religion & Science: Examining a Complex History of Interaction Syllabus
journal contributionposted on 31.10.2016 by John L. Crow
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Religion & Science: Examining a Complex History of Interaction. This course is a historical study of the relationship between religion and science. It examines the history of the domains religion and science by surveying the historical uses and understanding of the categories religion and science. The survey begins in the ancient period (3500 BCE to 500 CE), by looking broadly at the construction of the modern categories of religion and science and how they have been projected backwards onto the domain of natural philosophy. Moving forward forward trough the medieval period (500 CE to 1500 CE), it then spends a few weeks in the early modern period (1500 CE to 1750 CE) with a tight focus on the changing nature of natural philosophy as it was understood and practiced by a few select historical figures including Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Thomas Tymme, Robert Boyle, and Isaac Newton. It also notes the emergence of the category of religion deriving from significant changes within Europe during the early modern period, particularly the Protestant Reformation. Finally, the last third of the course looks at the modern period (1715 CE to present) and the emergence of science in the late eighteenth / early nineteenth centuries, and how it became the primary way of knowing the world, displacing the previous ways of knowing which included Christianity. While this course is intended to increase awareness of the history of these categories of knowledge, another goal of this course is to improve your critical thinking skills. Both will be accomplished through the readings, lecture videos, and assignments, which will challenge students to think broadly, creatively, and to look for answers below the surface, and to think about implications and the causes and effects of historical unfolding.