主讲人：Bernard Lightman (York University)
讲题：Rethinking the History of Science and Religion: John Draper and Catholicism
The publication in 1874 of John William Draper’s History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science seemed to represent a turning point in how the historical relationship between science and religion was understood by the Victorians. Draper, an American chemist turned historian, was the first to argue in a book length study that that historical relationship was best described using terms such as “antagonistic” or “conflictual.” Since the 1990’s, historians of science and religion in the west have raised questions about the “conflict thesis” and embraced the “complexity thesis”. In this lecture I will explore how historians in the west have undermined the conflict thesis and then offer two case studies from my own work that contribute to the attempt to construct a new historiographical model. I will argue that the analysis of periodical literature and debating societies refutes a simplistic approach based on conflict. We need to look at both popular and elite culture in order to get at the complicated historical relationship between science and religion, particularly in the nineteenth century.
Bernard Lightman is Distinguished Research Professor of Humanities at York University, Toronto, Canada, and President of the History of Science Society. Lightman’s research interests include nineteenth century popular science and Victorian scientific naturalism. Among his most recent publications are the edited and co-edited collections Global Spencerism, A Companion to the History of Science, and Science Museums in Transition. He is currently working on a biography of John Tyndall and is one of the editors of the John Tyndall Correspondence Project, an international collaborative effort to obtain, digitalize, transcribe, and publish all surviving letters to and from Tyndall.