The Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions closed in June 2016. This web site will not be updated, and remains online as part of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s public archive.
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Peter Harrison Lecture

Isthmus Society Lectures
at the University of Wisconsin–Madison

Frans de Waal
Peter Harrison

The Territories of Science and Religion

Monday, May 5, 2014
4:00 pm
Pyle Center
702 Langdon St.
University of Wisconsin–Madison

free and open to the public

Peter Harrison
Director of the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland

Presented by the Isthmus Society
cosponsored by

The John Templeton Foundation

The UW Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions

The UW Department of the History of Science

Lecture abstract
Science and religion are usually regarded as enduring features of the cultural landscape of the West. However, this view is misleading. Only in the past few hundred years have religious beliefs and activities been bounded by a common notion ‘religion’ and set apart from the ‘non-religious’ or secular domains of human existence. The idea of natural sciences as discrete activities conducted in isolation from religious and moral concerns is even more recent, dating from the nineteenth century. The history of these two ideas has far-reaching implications for how we understand the contemporary relations between science and religion.

Suggested reading:

Peter Harrison, “‘Science’ and ‘Religion’: Constructing the Boundaries,” The Journal of Religion Vol. 86 No. 1 (January 2006), pp. 81–106.