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Osiris, Volume 16

Science in Theistic Contexts: Cognitive Dimensions

It is a widely shared assumption that science and religion are fundamentally opposed to each other. Yet, recent historiography has shown that religious belief needs to be added to the social, economic, political, and other cultural factors that went into the making of modern science. This new collection shows religious ideas not only motivated scientific effort but also shaped the actual content of major scientific theories. The fourteen studies contained in this volume concentrate on such topics as the theological facets of modern astronomy in the works of Galileo, Kepler, and Newton; the retention of teleology in the natural philosophy of Boyle; and the theistic and teleological associations of the modern theory of evolution authored by Darwin and Wallace. While the majority of the contributions focus on the Christian traditions, the collection also contains case-studies of Judaic and Islamic influences.

Reflecting the fecundity of contemporary scholarship, the current volume should be of extraordinary interest to historians of science, scientists, as well as anyone intrigued by the many ways in which relations between religion and science have been constructed.

Contributors include:

Peter Barker,
John Hedley Brooke,
Geoffrey Cantor,
Margaret G. Cook,
Michael J. Crowe,
Thomas Dixon,
Noah J. Efron,
Richard England,
Martin Fichman,
Maurice A. Finocchiaro,
Menachem Fish,
Bernard R. Goldstein,
Bernard Lightman,
Margaret J. Osler
F. Jamil Ragep,
Phillip R. Sloan,
Stephen Snobelen,
Jitse M. van der Meer,
Stephen J. Wykstra,

250 pages | 6-3/4 x 10 | © 2001


History of Science

Table of Contents

JOHN HEDLEY BROOKE: Religious Belief and the Content of the Sciences
STEPHEN J. WYKSTRA: Religious Beliefs, Metaphysical Beliefs, and Historiography
JAMIL F. RAGEP: Freeing Astronomy from Philosophy:
An Aspect of Islamic Influence on Science

NOAH J. EFRON AND MENACHEM FISCH: Astronomical Exegesis:
An Early Modern Jewish Interpretation of the Heavens

PETER BARKER AND BERNARD R. GOLDSTEIN: Theological Foundations of Kepler’s Astronomy
MAURICE A. FINOCCHIARO: Science, Religion, and the Historiography of the Galileo Affair:
On the Undesirability of Oversimplification

MARGARET G. COOK: Divine Artifice and Natural Mechanism:
Robert Boyle’s Mechanical Philosophy of Nature

MARGARET J. OSLER: Whose Ends? Teleology in Early Modern Natural Philosophy
STEPHEN D. SNOBELEN: "God of gods and Lord of lords":
The Theology of Isaac Newton’s General Scholium to the
MICHAEL J. CROWE: Astronomy and Religion (1780-1915):
Four Case Studies Involving Ideas of Extraterrestrial Life

MARTIN FICHMAN: Science in Theistic Contexts:
A Case Study of Alfred Russel Wallace on Human Evolution

PHILLIP R. SLOAN: "The Sense of Sublimity": Darwin on Nature and Divinity
RICHARD ENGLAND: Natural Selection, Teleology, and the Logos:
From Darwin to the Oxford Neo-Darwinists, 1859-1909

THOMAS DIXON: The Psychology of the Emotions in Britain and America in the Nineteenth Century:
The Role of Religious and Antireligious Commitments

GEOFFREY CANTOR: Quaker Responses to Darwin
BERNARD LIGHTMAN: Victorian Sciences and Religions: Discordant Harmonies

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