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Tom McLeish. Single Vision? Faith and Wisdom in Modern Science. A seminar - all welcome.

Date: 25 June 2014 Time: 14.00 pm - 17.00 pm

Venue: Seminar Room 20, Bowland College North

Tom McLeish, FRS.

Professor of Physics and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research), Durham University.

with responses from:

John Foster, Politics, Philosophy and Religion

Bronislaw Szerszynski, Sociology

Linda Woodhead, Politics, Philosophy and Religion

Since the late nineteenth century, science and religion have often been regarded as essentially antagonistic. Critics of science have accused it of what the poet William Blake called 'single vision'; and popular-scientific authorities such as Richard Dawkins have dismissed religion as based on groundless faith and inimical to the 'organised scepticism' of scientific inquiry.

But are we entering a new phase in which the boundaries between science and religion become more permeable? Is even the language of 'boundary' really appropriate? How far is working science pervaded also by faith, promise, anddeference to the unknowable? Can religion be the source of ways of thinking about truth, nature knowledge and human finitude which could actually enrich scientific perspectives and practice? Are antagonism and single vision inevitable?

About the Speakers:

Professor Tom McLeish, FRS is a soft-matter physicist, and also anAnglican lay preacher. His presentation will draw on hisrecently published book, Faith and Wisdom in Science, which combines theological analysis and scientific expertise to explore the narrative roles that faith and wisdom can and could play in science.

John Foster is a freelance writer and associate teacher of philosophy in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University. His most recent book is After Sustainability: Denial, Hope, Retrieval (forthcoming 2014).

Dr Bronislaw Szerszynski is Head of the Sociology Department at Lancaster University. Amongst other publications, he is author of Nature, Technology and the Sacred (2005), and co-editor of Re-Ordering Nature: Theology, Society and the New Genetics (2003) and a special double issue of Ecotheology on 'Ecotheology and Postmodernity' (2004).

Professor Linda Woodhead is professor of the sociology of religion at Lancaster University, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion. She is co-author ofThe Spiritual Revolution (2005) and ASociology of Religious Emotion (2012). In 2011 she co-founded the Westminster Faith Debateswith former Home Secretary Charles Clarke.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Politics, Philosophy and Religion PPR, Sociology


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