Disenchantment or Conflict? Egil Asprem and ‘Science and Religion’ Discourses

in Journal of Religion in Europe
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In his The Problem of Disenchantment, Egil Asprem offers an interesting view of discourses on science and religion. Despite the dominance of ‘conflicts’ in public perception, the ‘independence’ approach might be more deeply rooted in modern culture. Asprem studies ‘scientific’ movements that oppose disenchantment. In this paper i raise the question of why quantum physics was successful, whereas other revisions of ‘science’ were not. Of the natural theologies discussed, this paper offers some comments on ‘emergence’ and on ‘quantum mysticism’. Asprem presents himself as a methodological naturalist; a position that is in principle open to the study of parapsychology and other ‘spiritual’ claims. He considers theism to be incompatible with such a methodological naturalism, whereas I suggest that an epistemically agnostic theism is also appropriate, combining methodological naturalism and disenchantment.

Disenchantment or Conflict? Egil Asprem and ‘Science and Religion’ Discourses

in Journal of Religion in Europe

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References

AspremEgilThe Problem of Disenchantment: Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse 19001939 Numen book series vol. 147 (Leiden: Brill2014).

BarbourIan G.Religion in an Age of Science (San Francisco: Harper & Row1990).

BarbourIan G.Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues (New York: HarperSanFrancisco1997).

BrookeJohn. Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press1991).

GeoffreyCantor and KennyChrisBarbour’s Fourfold Way: Problems with his Taxonomy of Science-Religion RelationshipsZygon: Journal of Religion and Science 36 (2001) 765781.

DixonThomas; CantorGeoffrey and PumfreyStephen eds. Science and Religion: New Historical Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2010).

DreesWillem B.Religion and Science in Context: A Guide to the Debates (London: Routledge2010).

DreesWillem B.Religion Science and Naturalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press1996).

DreesWillem B.Religious Naturalism and Science” in Philip Clayton and Zachary Simpson eds. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science (Oxford: Oxford University Press2006) 108123.

HammerOlav. Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age (Leiden: Brill2004).

NumbersRonald ed. Galileo Goes to Jail and other Myths about Science and Religion (Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press2009).

OlsonRichard. “A Dynamic Model for ‘Science and Religion’: Interacting SubculturesZygon: Journal of Religion and Science 46 (2011) 6583.

1

John BrookeScience and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press1991) 4–5. Discourse on ‘the complexity thesis’ has been nourished by a festschrift for Brooke: Thomas Dixon Geoffrey Cantor and Stephen Pumfrey eds. Science and Religion: New Historical Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010). A more popular book from such historians of science is Ronald Numbers ed. Galileo Goes to Jail and other Myths about Science and Religion (Cambridge ma: Harvard University Press 2009). A defense of the usefulness of ‘conflict’ when understood as conflicts between subgroups has been offered by Richard Olson "A Dynamic Model for ‘Science and Religion’: Interacting Subcultures" Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 46 (2011) 65–83.

2

Ian G. BarbourReligion in an Age of Science (San Francisco: Harper & Row1990) 3–30 and in his Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues (New York: Harper San Francisco 1997) 77–105. A historically informed challenge has been offered by Geoffrey Cantor and Chris Kenny "Barbour’s Fourfold Way: Problems with his Taxonomy of Science-Religion Relationships" Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 36 (2001) 765–781. For my understanding of Barbour’s scheme as driven by the ‘conflict’ motif and concern about secularization see Willem B. Drees Religion and Science in Context: A Guide to the Debates (London: Routledge 2010) 5.

4

Olav HammerClaiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age (Leiden: Brill2004) 206.

5

Willem B. DreesReligion Science and Naturalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press1996) and Willem B. Drees "Religious Naturalism and Science" in Philip Clayton and Zachary Simpson eds. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2006) 108–123.

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