On Faith and Science


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Edward J. Larson and Michael Ruse

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A captivating historical survey of the key debates, questions, and controversies at the intersection of science and religion

Throughout history, scientific discovery has clashed with religious dogma, creating conflict, controversy, and sometimes violent dispute. In this enlightening and accessible volume, distinguished historian and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Edward Larson and Michael Ruse, philosopher of science and Gifford Lecturer, offer their distinctive viewpoints on the sometimes contentious relationship between science and religion. The authors explore how scientists, philosophers, and theologians through time and today approach vitally important topics, including cosmology, geology, evolution, genetics, neurobiology, gender, and the environment. Broaching their subjects from both historical and philosophical perspectives, Larson and Ruse avoid rancor and polemic as they address many of the core issues currently under debate by the adherents of science and the advocates of faith, shedding light on the richly diverse field of ideas at the crossroads where science meets spiritual belief.

Edward J. Larson is University Professor of history and Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law at Pepperdine University. Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor and director of the history and philosophy of science program at Florida State University.

“The most readable, comprehensive, and authoritative primer on science and religion now available. Larson and Ruse are superb story tellers.”—Ronald L. Numbers, University of Wisconsin Madison

"A fresh, engaging, and even-handed assessment of the relations between science and religion by two of the world’s leading experts on the topic.  Highly recommended."—Peter Harrison, author of The Territories of Science and Religion

"Combining expertise in the philosophy and history of science, the distinguished authors re-consider the continuing overlapping of science and religion in world culture. The result is enlightening and morally uplifting."—John Henry, University of Edinburgh

"I heartily applaud the hope and deep wisdom in On Faith and Science.  Its accessible history and philosophical insights of those evil and those good encounters will be useful for generations of readers."—Patricia Adair Gowaty, University of California, Los Angeles

"With a historian’s fine attention to detail and a philosopher’s talent for seeing the big picture, Larson and Ruse use their staggering erudition to tell afresh the story of science and religion. A spectacular achievement."—Noah Efron, author of A Chosen Calling: Jews in Science in the Twentieth Century

“Larson and Ruse are superb story tellers. This episodic, topical overview is the most readable, comprehensive, and authoritative combination now available.”—Ronald L. Numbers, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Larson and Ruse are superb story tellers. In this episodic, topical overview they survey the relations between “science” and “religion” from ancient Babylonian and Greek observers to contemporary geneticists and neurobiologists, from stars to sex, and from Jews and Christians to Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus.  On Faith and Science is the most readable, comprehensive, and authoritative combination now available."—Ronald L. Numbers, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"On Faith and Science stands out in the crowded field of introductions to the field of science and religion . . . the book is elegantly and entertainingly written throughout."—Glenn Branch, Reading Religion

“Balanced and insightful”—C. D. Kay, Choice

“Larson and Ruse. . . [allow] a spectrum from atheism to theism to find out where each of us feels the most comfort.”—Elof Axel Carlson, Quarterly Review of Biology

Winner of the Outstanding Academic Title for 2018 award sponsored by Choice
ISBN: 9780300216172
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
312 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
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