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  • Writer's picture Peter Kupisz

Christianity and Science not in Perpetual War

According to Dr. Peter Harrison "warfare" is not the right way to characterize the relationship between Christianity and science. In fact, he says that "religious factors" have played a "significantly positive role" in the development of science. As the former Andreas Idreos Chair of Science and Religion at Oxford University, he is eminently qualified to comment on this issue. In an article titled, "Christianity and the Rise of Western Science" Dr. Harrison states the following.

In spite of this widespread [negative] view on the historical relations between science and religion, historians of science have long known that religious factors played a significantly positive role in the emergence and persistence of modern science in the West. Not only were many of the key figures in the rise of science individuals with sincere religious commitments, but the new approaches to nature that they pioneered were underpinned in various ways by religious assumptions.

That’s something to think about the next time you hear about the “perpetual war” between religion and science.

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Peter Harrison, “Christianity and the Rise of Western Science,” Text, ABC Religion & Ethics, May 8, 2012,



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