What is it about?

Public discourse today continues to propagate the simplistic idea that science and religion are engaged in a hopelessly unwinnable war. This is misleading. Science and religion interact at so many different junctures and in so many different ways that any simple generalization misguides us. This essay provides an updated inventory of ten popular conceptual models for relating science and theology, when theology is understood as rational reflection on religion. Four influential models assume that a war is taking place: (1) scientism; (2) scientific imperialism; (3) theological authoritarianism; and (4) the evolution controversy. Six additional preferred models assume a truce or even more, a partnership: (5) the Two Books; (6) the Two Languagess; (7) ethical alliance; (8) dialogue accompanied by creative mutual interaction; (9) naturalism; and (10) theology of nature. Special attention will be given to creative mutual interaction within a framework of a theology of nature.

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Why is it important?

This is important because too many people falsely believe that the only relationship between science and religion is one of warfare. Peaceful cooperation is also an option.


At our Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences scientists work together with theologians and ethicists and philosophers on matters of common interest.

Prof Ted F Peters
Graduate Theological Union

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This page is a summary of: Science and Religion: Ten Models of War, Truce, and Partnership, Theology and Science, November 2017, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/14746700.2017.1402163.
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