The present collection examines the many different ways in which religions appeal to the authority of science. The result is a wide-ranging and uniquely compelling study of how religions adapt their message to the challenges of the contemporary world.
Most comparisons of science and religion are really comparisons of science and Christianity, or science and Islam, and so forth. In Scientific Models for Religious Knowledge, the author aims to get outside typical polarized debates between traditional, a priori theism and radical, scientistic naturalism. Instead, a new science and religion compatibility system—between a scientific study of religion and a religious epistemology—is our new, elusive problem. Moreover, we shall look at a comparison and contrast of modern science with the simple deference of the human mind to the actions of culturally postulated superhuman agents. This book pays critical attention to the contributions of scholars in the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of science, and the scientific study of religion. Scientific Models for Religious Knowledge is useful for readers looking to expand their learning in the philosophies of science and religion as these subjects are taught and analyzed in modern research universities.
The field of `science and religion' is exploding in popularity among both academics and the reading public. This is a comprehensive and authoritative introduction to the debate, written by the leading experts yet accessible to the general reader.
Identifying scientism as religion’s secular counterpart, this collection studies contemporary contestations of the authority of science. These controversies suggest that what we are witnessing today is not an increase in the authority of science at the cost of religion, but a dual decline in the authorities of religion and science alike. This entails an erosion of the legitimacy of universally binding truth claims, be they religiously or scientifically informed. Approaching the issue from a cultural-sociological perspective and building on theories from the sociology of religion, the volume unearths the cultural mechanisms that account for the headwind faced by contemporary science. The empirical contributions highlight how the field of academic science has lost much of its former authority vis-à-vis competing social realms; how political and religious worldviews define particular research findings as favorites while dismissing others; and how much of today’s distrust of science is directed against scientific institutions and academic scientists rather than against science per se.
Over the past five decades, the field of religion-and-science scholarship has experienced a considerable expansion. This volume explores the historical and contemporary perspectives of the relationship between religion, technology and science with a focus on South and East Asia. These three areas are not seen as monolithic entities, but as discursive fields embedded in dynamic processes of cultural exchange and transformation. Bridging these arenas of knowledge and practice traditionally seen as distinct and disconnected, the book reflects on the ways of exploring the various dimensions of their interconnection. Through its various chapters, the collection provides an examination of the use of modern scientific concepts in the theologies of new religious organizations, and challenges the traditional notions of space by Western scientific conceptions in the 19th century. It looks at the synthesis of ritual elements and medical treatment in China and India, and at new funeral practices in Japan. It discusses the intersections between contemporary Western Buddhism, modern technology, and global culture, and goes on to look at women’s rights in contemporary Pakistani media. Using case studies grounded in carefully delineated temporal and regional frameworks, chapters are grouped in two sections; one on religion and science, and another on religion and technology. Illustrating the manifold perspectives and the potential for further research and discussion, this book is an important contribution to the studies of Asian Religion, Science and Technology, and Religion and Philosophy.
The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements both covers the current state of the field and breaks new ground. Its contributors, drawn form both sociology and religious studies, are leading figures in the study of NRMs.
The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion provides a comprehensive overview of the academic study of religion. Written by an international team of leading scholars, its fifty-one chapters are divided thematically into seven sections. The first section addresses five major conceptual aspects of research on religion. Part two surveys eleven main frameworks of analysis, interpretation, and explanation of religion. Reflecting recent turns in the humanities and social sciences, part three considers eight forms of the expression of religion. Part four provides a discussion of the ways societies and religions, or religious organizations, are shaped by different forms of allocation of resources. Other chapters in this section consider law, the media, nature, medicine, politics, science, sports, and tourism. Part five reviews important developments, distinctions, and arguments for each of the selected topics. The study of religion addresses religion as a historical phenomenon and part six looks at seven historical processes. Religion is studied in various ways by many disciplines, and this Handbook shows that the study of religion is an academic discipline in its own right. The disciplinary profile of this volume is reflected in part seven, which considers the history of the discipline and its relevance. Each chapter in the Handbook references at least two different religions to provide fresh and innovative perspectives on key issues in the field. This authoritative collection will advance the state of the discipline and is an invaluable reference for students and scholars.
This book provides an in-depth ethnographic study of science and religion in the context of South Asia, giving voice to Indian scientists and shedding valuable light on their engagement with religion. Drawing on biographical, autobiographical, historical, and ethnographic material, the volume focuses on scientists’ religious life and practices, and the variety of ways in which they express them. Renny Thomas challenges the idea that science and religion in India are naturally connected and argues that the discussion has to go beyond binary models of ‘conflict’ and ‘complementarity’. By complicating the understanding of science and religion in India, the book engages with new ways of looking at these categories.
The Handbook of Religion and Society is the most comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of a vital force in the world today. It is an indispensable resource for scholars, students, policy makers, and other professionals seeking to understand the role of religion in society. This includes both the social forces that shape religion and the social consequences of religion. This handbook captures the breadth and depth of contemporary work in the field, and shows readers important future directions for scholarship. Among the emerging topics covered in the handbook are biological functioning, organizational innovation, digital religion, spirituality, atheism, and transnationalism. The relationship of religion to other significant social institutions like work and entrepreneurship, science, and sport is also analyzed. Specific attention is paid, where appropriate, to international issues as well as to race, class, sexuality, and gender differences. This handbook includes 27 chapters by a distinguished, diverse, and international collection of experts, organized into 6 major sections: religion and social institutions; religious organization; family, life course, and individual change; difference and inequality; political and legal processes; and globalization and transnationalism.
Over the past dozen years or so, an increasingly disproportionate percentage of new religions scholars have arisen in Nordic countries, which now teach at universities in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Baltic countries. Nordic New Religions, co-edited with Inga B. Tøllefsen, surveys this rich field of study in this area of the world, focusing on the scholarship being produced by scholars in this region of northern Europe.
Challenges the conventional view of a disenchanted and secular modernity, and recovers the complex relation that exists between science, religion, and esotericism in the modern world. Max Weber famously characterized the ongoing process of intellectualization and rationalization that separates the natural world from the divine (by excluding magic and value from the realm of science, and reason and fact from the realm of religion) as the disenchantment of the world. Egil Asprem argues for a conceptual shift in how we view this key narrative of modernity. Instead of a sociohistorical process of disenchantment that produces increasingly rational minds, Asprem maintains that the continued presence of magic and enchantment in peoples everyday experience of the world created an intellectual problem for those few who were socialized to believe that nature should contain no such incalculable mysteries. Drawing on a wide range of early twentieth-century primary sources from theoretical physics, occultism, embryology, radioactivity, psychical research, and other fields, Asprem casts the intellectual life of high modernity as a synchronic struggle across conspicuously different fields that shared surprisingly similar intellectual problems about value, meaning, and the limits of knowledge. The Problem of Disenchantment is, in its entirety, extraordinarily well researched, argued, and writtenrepresenting at once the most complete and nuanced treatment of the notion of disenchantment within this network of scientific, religious, philosophical, and esoteric discourses and currents. Nova Religio