REL101(WI): World Religions

Reflection Paper #3

Religion and Science

The historical relationship between religion and science has taken many forms. It can surely be affirmed that religion has at times lent great support to science and that religious men and women have made remarkable contributions in many scientific fields. Similarly, it is easy to point to certain times and occasions when religion and science have been in open conflict and men and women of science have come under fire from religious institutions. In today’s world, the relationship between science and religion is hardly black-and-white. Consider, for example, how different the cosmology of Hinduism is from that taught by Western religions like Judaism and Christianity. Thus, different religions embrace the scientific enterprise and its results in different ways. That said, it is fair to note a continuing antagonism between certain domains and presuppositions of science and certain kinds of religious faith, particularly here in America. (An obvious example is the perennial battles over evolution and intelligent design.) For this third Reflection Paper, you are asked to weigh in on this conflicted debate. Before you begin to write, read carefully the article “Religion and Science” posted under “Course Materials” on Blackboard and research at least two other articles of your choice that address this topic. Then, in your paper, offer your best insights on the ongoing attempt to relate religion and science. Today’s dialogue between religion and science sets out to ask whether, and in what ways, these two disciplines might interact with each other. What do you think about the relationship between religion and science in the modern world? When and why does science come into competition with religious faith? (Offer a couple of specific examples.) Are religion and science compatible or in conflict? Can both be brought together or should they be kept separate? Are religion and science unrelated domains of inquiry, or are they complementary ways of knowing? In other words, are religion and science “enemies,” “strangers,” or “friends?”

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REL101(WI): World Religions

Reflection Paper #3

Religion and Science

The historical relationship between religion and science has taken many forms. It can surely be affirmed that religion has at times lent great support to science and that religious men and women have made remarkable contributions in many scientific fields. Similarly, it is easy to point to certain times and occasions when religion and science have been in open conflict and men and women of science have come under fire from religious institutions. In today’s world, the relationship between science and religion is hardly black-and-white. Consider, for example, how different the cosmology of Hinduism is from that taught by Western religions like Judaism and Christianity. Thus, different religions embrace the scientific enterprise and its results in different ways. That said, it is fair to note a continuing antagonism between certain domains and presuppositions of science and certain kinds of religious faith, particularly here in America. (An obvious example is the perennial battles over evolution and intelligent design.) For this third Reflection Paper, you are asked to weigh in on this conflicted debate. Before you begin to write, read carefully the article “Religion and Science” posted under “Course Materials” on Blackboard and research at least two other articles of your choice that address this topic. Then, in your paper, offer your best insights on the ongoing attempt to relate religion and science. Today’s dialogue between religion and science sets out to ask whether, and in what ways, these two disciplines might interact with each other. What do you think about the relationship between religion and science in the modern world? When and why does science come into competition with religious faith? (Offer a couple of specific examples.) Are religion and science compatible or in conflict? Can both be brought together or should they be kept separate? Are religion and science unrelated domains of inquiry, or are they complementary ways of knowing? In other words, are religion and science “enemies,” “strangers,” or “friends?”

 

REL101(WI): World Religions Reflection Paper #3

 
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