Negotiating Science and Religion In America : Past, Present, and Future book cover
1st Edition

Negotiating Science and Religion In America
Past, Present, and Future

ISBN 9781138068537
Published December 9, 2019 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

Science and religion represent two powerful forces that continue to influence the American cultural landscape. Negotiating Science and Religion in America sketches an intellectual-cultural history from the Puritans to the twenty-first century, focusing on the sometimes turbulent relationship between the two. Using the past as a guide for what is happening today, this volume engages research from key scholars and the author’s work on emerging adults’ attitudes in order to map out the contours of the future for this exciting, and sometimes controversial, field. The book discusses the relationship between religion and science in the following important historical periods:

  • from 1687 to the American Revolution
  • the revolutionary period to 1859
  • after Darwin's 1859 On the Origin of Species
  • 1870–1925: the rise of religious modernism and pluralism to the Scopes Trial
  • from Scopes to 1966
  • the present: 1966 to 2000
  • the third millennium: the voices of Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, and Francis Collins
  • the future and its contours.

This is the ideal volume for any student or scholar seeking to understand the relationship between religion and science in society today.

Table of Contents



1. Introduction: The Topic

2. The Problems of Defining Science and Religion

3. From 1687 to the American Revolution

4. The Revolutionary Period to 1859

5. Post-Darwin

6. 1870-1925: The Rise of Religious Modernism and Pluralism to the Scopes Trial

7. From Scopes to 1966

8. The Present: 1966 to 2000 (More or Less)

9. The Present: The Third Millennium and Three Representative Voices

10. The Future and its Contours: Religious Individualism and Tinkering

11. The Future and Its Contours: Major Trends

Appendix A: Summary of Negotiating Science and Religion in America

Appendix B: 2020 Notes on Topics for Today and Future


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Greg Cootsona is Lecturer in Comparative Religion and Humanities at California State University, Chico, USA. He is the author of Mere Science and Christian Faith: Bridging the Divide with Emerging Adults (2018) and C. S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian (2014).


Cootsona’s work is the first contemporary book I have read that marshals a true intellectual history in the service of situating where we are now as a society in terms of the relationship between science and religion. 

This is consequential work. 

Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice University, US