Exploring the Connections and Controversies Between Science and Religion

New book provides overview and historical perspective on centuries-old debate

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A new book seeks to enhance understanding of the interconnections between science and religion and promote greater harmony in the long-running debate between the empirical and spiritual schools of thought.

Truth and Tension in Science and Religion, authored by noted physicist and religious scholar V. V Raman, provides a historical overview of the development and spread of scientific inquiry and its interaction with various religious schools of thought. It also seeks to present a balanced review of the key tenants of both science and religion and explore the similarities and areas for cooperation between them.

“While most people can name the many differences between scientific inquiry and faith, there are as many similarities between the two schools and, in fact, one has been influenced by the other for centuries,” says Raman, professor emeritus of physics and humanities at Rochester Institute of Technology. “Science and religion are much more interconnected than we often realize and by examining this I hope to reduce the tension between theologians and scientists and increase collaboration.”

For example, Jaishree Gopal, director of Navya Shastra, the international Hindu reform organization, notes that “even while quoting the best of ethics from various religious traditions, Raman’s book makes it clear that it is the modern world view, imbued with the scientific perspective, that has led to our collective moral awakening regarding practices such as racism, slavery and untouchability.”

Raman has spent nearly three decades studying the intersections between philosophy, religion and science and currently serves as a senior fellow of the Metanexus Institute on Science and Religion. He is the author of 11 books and in 2006 was awarded the Raja Rao award for outstanding contributions to South Asian literature.