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2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HPSC3111 Science and Religion

20 creditsClass Size: 51

Module manager: Dr Chris Kenny
Email: c.j.kenny@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

Pre-requisite qualifications

EITHER 20 credits in Level 2 HPSC modules OR THEO modules, OR 40 credits Level 2 HIST modules OR other equivalent combinations

Module replaces

HPSC3120 Science and Religion

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Science is in eternal conflict with religion. That's the view of Richard Dawkins. But is he right? If he is, then how do we make sense of able scientists like Newton and Faraday who were also devout Christians? And what about the Merton thesis that argues that Protestantism provided the seedbed for the development of modern science? There have certainly been many instances of conflict between science and religion, but there have also been many other forms of interaction between these two major human activities. In this module we will examine key episodes exposing the complex interactions between science and religion from the 17th century to the present day, such as the Galileo affair, Newton's views on science and religion, the controversies raised by the theory of evolution (including the Scopes Trial), and the current arguments over "Intelligent Design." Although much of the material will relate to Christianity, the relation of science to other religious traditions, especially Judaism and Islam, will also be discussed as an essential part of our subject.Prerequisites: EITHER 20 credits in Level 2 HPSC modules OR THEO modules OR 40 credits Level 2 HIST modules OR other equivalent combination.

Objectives

On satisfactory completion of this module, students will:
- possess a critical understanding of the various ways in which science and religion have interacted in the period from the Scientific Revolution to the present;
- be able to analyse critically a range of primary texts that engage both scientific and religious issues;
- understand such major sites of science-religion interaction as the Galileo affair and Darwin's theory of evolution, and also such topics as the design argument;
- be able to assess critically the various models of science-religion interaction (such as the conflict thesis) and such historical theses as those proposed by Robert Merton and Margaret Jacob;
- appreciate the role of history in assessing science-religion interactions.

Syllabus

In this module you will study the interactions between science and religion from the 17th century to the present. Although these two major aspects of our culture have often been portrayed as in conflict, history shows that they have influenced one another profoundly and in many different ways. The subject will be explored by examining a number of case studies directed not only to such well-known episodes as the Galileo affair and the controversies surrounding the theory of evolution (including the Scopes Trial), but also to individual scientists who held strong religious views - e.g. Newton and Faraday. Through history we will encounter such technical issues as the design arguments and natural theology, and will also analyse the historical theses proposed by Robert Merton and Margaret Jacob. Although much of the material will relate to Christianity, the relation of science to other religions, especially Judaism and Islam, will be discussed.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture111.0011.00
Tutorial88.008.00
Private study hours181.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Pre-tutorial reading & thinking: 80 hours
Essay preparation & writing: 93 hours
Preparing written presentation answers: 8 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Verbal feedback on tutorial presentation by tutor and peers.
First essay, which is to be submitted at end of week 6, will be marked promptly and returned to student with extensive written comments.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words50.00
Essay2,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 06/05/2016

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