Presenter: James Ungureanu (Thesis review milestone)

This thesis examines the origins, development, and dissemination of the so-called “conflict thesis,” the belief that there is a perennial conflict or war between science and religion. The idea of conflict between science and religion is typically associated with the immensely popular histories of late-nineteenth-century writers John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White, or with the sustained campaigns for cultural hegemony by scientific naturalists such as Thomas Henry Huxley, John Tyndall, Herbert Spencer, among others. However, I trace its origins further back to a rich and complex heritage within Protestantism. Most advocates of the conflict thesis actually denied that there is a necessary conflict between religion and science. Indeed, they saw the conflict between orthodoxy and a new, more liberal view of Christianity. As such they often saw themselves as “reformers” of religion, rather than destroyers of religion.

Image courtesy of Dr Edward B. Davis


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