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New Course on Science and Christianity Beginning Soon with Melissa Cain Travis

Image: Galileo Facing the Roman Inquisition, by Cristiano Banti / Public domain.

Did Christianity help or hinder the rise of science? Join Dr. Melissa Cain Travis as she leads a six-week exploration of the historical relationship between science and Christianity, beginning with natural philosophers and theologians of antiquity and ending with the 21st century. The course runs from April 11 – May 16, 2024 and will include curated reading lists, online content, and six lecture and discussion Zoom sessions with Dr. Travis. Class size is limited, so register early!

Participants will examine topics such as ancient cosmologies, early Christian attitudes towards natural philosophy, the complexities introduced by the scientific revolution, the pre-Darwin heyday of natural theology, the religious and political dynamics surrounding the rise of Darwinism in America, and the 20th-century physics revolution. Along the way, special attention will be given to long-enduring myths and misconceptions that underpin the so-called “warfare thesis,” which claims that Christianity and science are mortal enemies rather than allies. This will include analyses of episodes such as the infamous Galileo Affair and the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925. 

Students will come away with a foundational understanding of the complexities of the history of Christianity and science and the skill to address the distorted historical narratives that persist in the contemporary conversation. Look here for more information about the course, and a special discount price.