Peter HarrisonUniversity of Queensland
Students will read and discuss Chapter 2 from Professor Peter Harrison's book The Territories of Science and Religion (University of Chicago, 2015) entitled "The Cosmos and the Religious Quest."
Prof. Harrison will also give a public lecture on "Religious Origins of Modern Science?" on Thursday, April 6.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The conflict between science and religion seems indelible, even eternal. Surely two such divergent views of the universe have always been in fierce opposition? Actually, that’s not the case, says Peter Harrison: our very concepts of science and religion are relatively recent, emerging only in the past three hundred years, and it is those very categories, rather than their underlying concepts, that constrain our understanding of how the formal study of nature relates to the religious life.
In The Territories of Science and Religion, Harrison dismantles what we think we know about the two categories, then puts it all back together again in a provocative, productive new way. By tracing the history of these concepts for the first time in parallel, he illuminates alternative boundaries and little-known relations between them—thereby making it possible for us to learn from their true history, and see other possible ways that scientific study and the religious life might relate to, influence, and mutually enrich each other.
Peter Harrison is an Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland. He was previously the Idreos Professor of Science and Religion and Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre at the University of Oxford. Harrison has published extensively in the area of intellectual history with a focus on the philosophical, scientific, and religious thought of the early modern period. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford, Yale, and Princeton, is a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2011 he delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh. His most recent book is The Territories of Science and Religion, which was awarded the Aldersgate Prize.