restricted access Current Work on the History of Science and Religion
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

24 Historically Speaking · February 2003 textbooks routinelypresentatleastbriefdiscussions ofdie Scopes trial. The effect ofsuch selectivity is to reinforce in the minds of unsuspecting readers die legitimacy of die warfare trope. The research that I've surveyed here reveals die warfare trope's inadequacy. One can only hope diat diis research will reach a broader audience and laydie groundworkfor a more nuanced understanding in die public mind ofdie relationship between science and Christianity. Jon H. Roberts is a professor ofhistory at Boston University. His latest book, written with James Turner, is The Sacred and die Secular University (Princeton University Press, 2000). I am grateful to David Hempton and Ronald L. Numbers for dieir encouragement, advice, and criticisms ofthis essay. 2 FrankM. Turner, "The Religious and the Secular inVictorian Britain," in ContestingCulturalAuthority : Essays in Victorian IntellectualLife (Cambridge University Press, 1993), 5-7; David B. Wilson, "The Historiography of Science and Religion," in GaryB. Ferngren, et al., eds., TheHistoryofScienceandReligion in the Western Tradition:An Encyclopedia (Garland Publishing, 2000), 7. 3 David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, "Beyond War and Peace: A Reappraisal of the Encounter between Christianity and Science," Church History 55 (1986): 352-53. 4 See, for example, David Bloor, KnowledgeandSocial Imagery, 2nd ed. (University of Chicago Press, 1991); and Martin Rudwick, "Senses ofthe Natural World and Senses ofGod: Another Look at the Historical Relation ofScience and Religion," in A. R. Peacocke, ed., The Sciences and Theology in the Twentieth Century (University of Notre Dame Press, 1981), 241-261. 5 Lindberg's contributions include The Beginnings ofWestern Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, andInstitutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450 (University of Chicago Press, 1992); "Early Christian Attitudes Toward , Nature" and "Medieval Science and Religion," in History ofScienceandReligion in the Western Tradition , 243-47, 259-267; "Medieval Science and Its Religious Context," Osiris, n. s., 10 (1995): 61-79; "Science and the Early Church," in God and Nature, 19-48; and "Science and the Early Church," Isis 74 (1983): 509-530. 6 Edward Grant, God and Reason in the MiddleAges (Cambridge UniversityPress, 2001), 7-16, passim. 7 John L. Heilbron, The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories (Harvard University Press, 1999), 3. " Andrew Cunningham, "Howthe Principia GotIts Name: Or, TakingNatural Philosophy Seriously," History ofScience 29 (1991): 377-392; and Andrew Cunningham, "Getting the Game Right: Some PlainWords on the Identityand Invention ofScience ," Studies in History and Philosophy ofScience 19 (1988): 365-389. ' Peter Harrison, The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise ofNatural Science (Cambridge University Press, 1998). '"EdwardJ. Larson and LarryWitham, "Scientists Are Still Keeping the Faith," Nature 386 (1997): 435-36. 1'StephenJayGould, RocksofAges: ScienceandReligion in the Fullness ofLife (Ballantine Publishing Group, 1999), 50-51. A DISPATCH FROM EUROPE Current Work on the History of Science and Religion William R. Shea and Donald A. Yerxa A rich historiographical literature has all but demolished the notion diat science and religion, particularly Christianity, are implacable foes. The warfare or conflict model ofscience versus religion was shaped by forces diat were potent in die Victorian intellectual world, butare oddlyout oftouch widi historical evidence. Some decades ago, die workofRobertMerton, Reijer Hooykaas, and StanleyJaki—to name but a few—indicated diatfar from impeding science, Christianity had in fact helped to encourage die developmentofscience "byestablishing diat nature behaves in regular and orderly fashion ." As die field ofdie history ofscience has matured, the work of these historians has come to be qualified, butitis nonedieless die case diat die warfare or conflict master narrative is in full retreat. Study after study has demonstrated the inadequacyofdus approach for explaining die interaction between science and religion in the past. In place ofdie military metaphor, historians ofthe engagement ofscience and religion have adopted an approach diatcould be called rich complexity. Space does not permit anydiing like a state of die field assessment [seeJon Roberts' essayin this issue ofHistorically Speaking], but a very brief look at die work ofone group ofhistorians will provide at least a glimpse ofcurrent scholarship in die field. One of the more important historians exploringdie historical interactions between science and religion isJohn Hedley Brooke, die Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion and fellow of Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford. His Science andReligion...