Webs of Reality: Social Perspectives on Science and Religion




Science and religion are often thought to be advancing irreconcilable goals and thus to be mutually antagonistic. Yet in the often acrimonious debates between the scientific and religions communities, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that both science and religion are systems of thought and knowledge that aim to understand the world and our place in it. Webs of Reality is a rare examination of the interrelationship between religion and science from a social science perspective, offering a broader view of the relationship, and posing practical questions regarding technology and ethics. Emphasizing how science and religion are practiced instead of highlighting the differences between them, the authors look for the subtle connections, tacit understandings, common history, symbols, and implicit myths that tie them together. How can the practice of science be understood from a religious point of view? What contributions can science make to religious understanding of the world? What contributions can the social sciences make to understanding both knowledge systems? Looking at religion and science as fields of inquiry and habits of mind, the authors discover not only similarities between them but also a wide number of ways in which they complement each other.

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