Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP, PhD
University of Dallas
Second Summer Term 2010
Description: this course will examine the often-times tumultuous relationship between religious believers in the West and advocates of the empirical scientific method. We will focus particularly on the various philosophical/rhetorical strategies that have been used to help believers and scientists cooperate in the common pursuit of verisimilitudinous truth. Fundamental to our discussion is the ancient notion that faith and reason are not only not incompatible but perfectly suited, in virtue of their common origin, to serve as complementary workers in the task of investigating, describing, and explaining the “One World” of creation.
Week One: What is religion? What is science?
Religion: revealed relationship with divinity (theological)
Science: discovery and explanation of materiality (scientific)
Limits of revelation and reason
Week Two: Conflict, cooperation, or mutual ignorance?
History of the relationship between religion and science
Models of interaction: worlds apart?
Alethic hubris and complementarity in the search for truth
Week Three: Religious and Scientific Realism
Aquinas: adequatio as epistemology
Religious and scientific anti-realism
Critical religious and scientific realism
Week Four: Going too far
Intelligent Design as pseudo-science
The New Atheism as a fundamentalist religion
Week Five: “One World” case studies
Micro: Galileo and the Church
Other possibilities: divine interaction (i.e., miracles), revelation, religious experience
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