The Historiography of Science and Religion in the Construction of Modern Europe

Organisers

Jaume Navarro (Ikerbasque and University of the Basque Country) and Kostas Tampakis (National Hellenic Research Foundation)

Argument

“Science and Religion” is a popular category in the Anglo-American world, both among academics and the public at large. In a 2006 seminal paper, Peter Harrison challenged the historical origin of this three-word category. In his work, Harrison historicises the modern origins of “science” and of “religion” as we understand them today and concludes that their relationship is a result of the evolution of both notions. But the story he tells, we would argue, is one that focuses mainly in the Anglo-American Protestant world. The separation between religion qua “virtue” and religion qua “the content of faith”, which he traces back to the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in the Early Modern period, would be the seed of the long tradition of a specifically Protestant natural theology.

In this session we suggest to explore the limits of this historiographical notion in other Christian and non-Christian traditions, and the ways in which “science-and-religion” has spread throughout different European contexts. The emphasis on mysticism in the Orthodox world, for instance, or the neo-Thomist notions of reason (not science) and faith (not religion) in some Catholic worlds, are but only two examples that may challenge the usual historiography and current relationships between science and religion. The following are just a few suggestions for papers in this session:

  •  An exploration of the ways arguments, myths, conflict or harmony theses have circulated among European scientific, religious or political milieus.
  •  Case-studies of the relationship between science and religion in non-Anglo-American contexts.
  •  New historiographical approaches on “science-and-religion” (including challenges to these categories)
Contact email

jaume.navarro@ehu.es

Deadline for paper submission

Decembre 4, 2017