Religion and Science in Context

A Guide to the Debates

By Willem B. Drees

© 2010 – Routledge

168 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415556170
pub: 2009-09-04
Hardback: 9780415556163
pub: 2009-09-04

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

How should we think about religion, science, and their relationship in modern society? Some religious groups oppose evolution; some atheists claim science is on their side. Others reconcile their beliefs with science, or consider science and faith to deal with fundamentally different aspects of human life. What indeed is religion: belief or trust in God’s existence? How do we distinguish sense from superstition? What does science have to say on such issues?

Willem B. Drees considers contemporary discussions of these issues in Europe and North America, using examples from Christianity and religious naturalism, and reflections on Islam and Tibetan Buddhism. He argues that the scientific understanding leaves open certain ultimate questions, and thus allows for belief in a creator, but also for religious naturalism or serious agnosticism. By analysing the place of values in a world of facts, and the quest for meaningful stories in a material world, Religion and Science in Context offers an original and self-critical analysis of the field, its assumptions and functions, and ends with a vision of its possible future.


'Religion and Science in Context is a superb introduction to the relationship between science and religion. It is learned without being condescending, informed without being dogmatic, gentle without being soft. It will be required reading for those who want to engage in this important topic.' - Michael Ruse, Florida State University, USA

Table of Contents

Preface. 1. ‘Religion and Science’ in Multiple Contexts 2. Worldly Interests: Apologetics, Authority, and Comfort 3. Science, Sense, and Superstition: Criteria 4. Hunting a Snark? Religion in ‘Religion and Science’ 5. Mystery in an Intelligible World 6. Values in a World of Facts 7. Meaning in a Material World. Engaging in Religion and Science: An Epilogue. References. Index

About the Author

Willem B. Drees is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics and vice-dean of the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University, the Netherlands, and the editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General