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Q: interactions between Science and Religion ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: interactions between Science and Religion
Category: Relationships and Society > Religion
Asked by: vicaugusto-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 07 Dec 2003 19:51 PST
Expires: 06 Jan 2004 19:51 PST
Question ID: 284584
I need some assistance with this question. I need to list and explain
the principal proposed forms of interaction between science and

Request for Question Clarification by shananigans-ga on 08 Dec 2003 21:14 PST
Vicaugusto, is it possible that you can be more specific? Are you
researching this question for a university paper, and if so, what
subject is it for? Can you give us the entire question, as it is

Any more details will be very helpful!


Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 09 Dec 2003 00:24 PST
I think one area you could be specific on is the idea of interactions.
What sort of interactions, between ideas in science and religion, or
between people, scientists and clergy?

Clarification of Question by vicaugusto-ga on 09 Dec 2003 03:25 PST
This is for a religious course I am taking. The entire question is as follows. 

List the principal proposed forms of interaction between science and
religion. For each kind of interaction give the proposed
word-or-phrase name and an explanation of its meaning in not more than
50 words. Note that the proposals may be implicit as well as explicit
(as in Polkinghorne, chapter 1).

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 09 Dec 2003 10:40 PST
Hello again,
Are you looking for the proposed forms as theorized by Polkinghorse? I
have not read his book yet though.

Clarification of Question by vicaugusto-ga on 09 Dec 2003 13:51 PST
Yes. Polkinghorne lists a varieties of interactions between science
and religion which include conflict, individualism, etc.,

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 10 Dec 2003 02:45 PST
Hello Again Vicaugusto,
I found listings of several kinds of typologies of science-religion
interactions. They are formulated by people like Barbour, Peters,
Haught, etc. Is this what you are looking for? Does Polkinghorne have
his own typology? From what I see on the Net, Polkinghorne does not
seem to have his own typology.

Clarification of Question by vicaugusto-ga on 10 Dec 2003 07:05 PST
Polkinghorne does have his own typologies but whatever you can provide will work.
Subject: Re: interactions between Science and Religion
Answered By: techtor-ga on 10 Dec 2003 09:12 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello again Vicaugusto,
I was able to find a list of Polkinghorne's varieties of interaction,
though I doubt I can find a more elaborate explanation of each of
them. I hope what I've provided here will do. In addition, I found the
typologies (ways of classifying the interactions) of other
scientists/theologians, like Ian Barbour, Arthur Peacocke and Ted

I'll first prepare a list of each person's theories that I found
before going to the webpages I found themselves:

Ian Barbour - Conflict, Independence, Dialogue (Polkinghorne's
Consonance), or Integration (Polkinghorne's Assimilation)

John Polkinghorne - Science and theology are partners, Conflict:
scientism, Conflict: literalism, Independence, Dialogue, Integration,
Consonance, Assimilation

John Haught - conflict, contrast, contact, and confirmation 

Arthur Peacocke - eight-fold typology (does not have names for each type)

Ted Peters - scientism, scientific imperialism, ecclesiastical
authoritarianism, scientific creationism, the two-language theory,
hypothetical consonance, ethical overlap, New Age spirituality

Polkinghorne (1998) Outline prepared by Charles A. Finnell
from Polkinghorne, J[ohn]. (1998). Science and Theology: An
Introduction. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. ISBN: 0-8006-3153-6.
- Quoted text from page:
"Varieties of Interaction (p. 20)
   1. Science and theology are partners in the great human quest to
understand reality (p. 20)
   2. Conflict: scientism (discards theology) (p. 20)
   3. Conflict: literalism (discards science) (pp. 20-21)
   4. Independence: separate realms of inquiry (p. 21)
   5. Dialogue: partial overlaps merit discussion (p. 21)
   6. Integration: unified single discourse (p. 21)
   7. Consonance: autonomous but reconcilable (p. 22)
   8. Assimilation: maximum conceptual merging (p. 22)"

God, Humanity and the Cosmos Topic: Consonances Between Science and Religion
- Consonance: "What consonance often seems to mean in practice is that
theology is asked to redraw its map in order to fit its coastlines to
new scientific understandings."
- I thought this would explain Consonance in Polkinghorne's theories.

Barbour's Typology:
- Please go to the page to see the explanation on the types. 

Ways of relating questions
"Identify each of the following, according to Barbour's four ways of
relating science and theology,  as either Conflict, Independence,
Dialogue (Polkinghorne's Consonance), or Integration (Polkinghorne's

Science and Religion
Table Talk Introduction, 1998/12/06 at
Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston, TX
Daniel Johnson
- This website expains Barbour's typology.

Arthur Peacocke Typology:
Yahoo! Groups : LDG-NET Messages : Message 1539 of 5397:
- Yahoo Groups message posting 
- Quoted Content:
"Arthur Peacocke may have constructed more than one list of the ways
science and religion interact, but the one I like was in the preface
of a book he edited, entitled "Science and Theology in the Twentieth
Century" (U. of Notre Dame Press, 1981). There he suggests EIGHT ways
the two interact, as follows:
1. They are concerned with two distinct realms.
2. They are interacting approaches to the same reality.
3. They are two distinct non-interacting approaches to the same reality.
4. They constitute two distinct language-systems.
5. They are generated by quite different ATTTITUDES in their
practitioners -- science that of objectivity and logical neutrality,
theology that of personal involvement and commitment.
6. They are both subservient to their objects and can only be defined
in relation to them.
7. They may be integrated.
8. Science generates a metaphysics in terms of which theology is then formulated."

God, Humanity and the Cosmos Topic: Ted Peters? Typology
- Quoted content:
"His categories are:
    - scientism - religion is outdated, science tells us all we need to know;
    - scientific imperialism - science can give us good information
even about what were formerly religious questions (as in for example
Frank Tipler?s ?physical eschatology? - see the strong anthropic
    - ecclesiastical authoritarianism - the Church should have
authority over science (effectively the Roman Catholic Church claimed
this until the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s);
    - scientific creationism - geological and biological data attest
to biblical truth. Peters points out that creationists are usually
seen as anti-science, but scientific creationists see themselves as
within science;
    - the two-language theory - ?peace through separation? - the two
disciplines speak in their own discourse and shared understanding is
    - hypothetical consonance - the two disciplines do raise questions
of concern to the other, and should be open to subjecting their
assertions to further investigation;
    - ethical overlap - theology has a vital role in speaking to
questions of value raised by science and technology, especially in
respect of the ecological crisis;
    - New Age spirituality - a term covering certain recent attempts
to fuse science and spirituality.

God, Humanity and the Cosmos Topic: Drees? Typology
- Pretty hard to quote here, so please go to the page.

Other views:
Science and Spirituality: Is Harmony Possible
Week 2: Are Science and Religion at War?
February 5, 1999, Loren and Deborah Haarsma
- Quoted content:
"Models of the way science and religion interact:
1) Warfare: Religion and science, by their definition and their
methods, are in continual conflict.
Example: "The antagonism we thus witness between Religion and Science
is the continuation of a struggle that commenced when Christianity
began to attain political power. A divine revelation must necessarily
be intolerant of contradiction; it must repudiate all improvement in
itself, and view with disdain that arising from the progressive
intellectual development of man."
-- John William Draper, History of the conflict between Religion and Science

2) Complementarity: Science and religion cannot conflict, and indeed
cannot interact, because they speak to fundamentally different
realities: science to the physical world and religion to the spiritual
world. They have nothing to say to each other.
Example: "... There is no fundamental conflict between being a person
who believes in the value of the scientific method and being a person
of faith. They simply operate in different spheres of your life.
Science is intended to explore the natural; faith explores the
-- Francis S. Collins, in remarks at a commencement address at the
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

3) Interaction: Science is mostly about the physical world, but those
data can significantly impact our philosophy. Religion is mostly about
the spiritual world, but makes some claims about the physical world.
The two can speak to one another.
Example: "Science can purify religion from error and superstition;
religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each
can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can
-- Pope John Paul II, John Paul II on Science and Religion"

Other pages:
DISF - Interdisciplinary Encyclopaedia of Religion and Science |
- This website lists most of the basic typologies about relating
science and religion.

Russell Survey Topic: A. Typologies (?Ways of Relating Science and Religion?)
- Also my source for John Haught's typology, which isn't explained.

Religion in an Age of Science - John C. Polkinghorne

Google Search terms used:
science religion interaction proposed forms
science religion interaction polkinghorne
science religion interaction types
polkinghorne consonance science religion
barbour four ways
polkinghorne typology science 
peacocke eight typology
john haught
polkinghorne consonance assimilation
polkinghorne varieties interaction

I hope this has been a most helpful answer. If you need anything else,
or have a problem with the answer, do please post a Request for
Clarification before rating and I shall respond as soon as I can.
Thank you.
vicaugusto-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
The info you provided help tremendously...THANKS

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