Religion and science

Colleen Skadl
30. Nov 2010

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Religion and science

  1. Chapter 16 Strayer
  2. Chapter Overview  The Globalization of Christianity  Persistence and Change in Afro-Asian Cultural Traditions  A New Way of Thinking: The Birth of Modern Science  Reflections: Cultural Borrowing and Its Hazards
  3. Chapter Overview  The current evolution vs. “intelligent design” debate has its roots in the early modern period.  Christianity achieved a global presence for the first time  the Scientific Revolution fostered a different approach to the world  There continues to be tension between religion and science in the Western world
  4. Chapter Overview  The early modern period was a time of cultural transformation.  both Christianity and scientific thought connected distant peoples  Scientific Revolution also caused new cultural encounter, between science and religion o science was a new worldview, almost a new religion for some  science became part of the definition of global modernity  Europeans were central players, but they did not act alone.
  5. The Globalization of Christianity  In 1500, Christianity was mostly limited to Europe.  serious divisions within Christianity (Roman Catholic vs. Eastern Orthodox)  on the defensive against Islam o loss of the Holy Land by 1300 o fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman in 1453 o Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1529
  6. The Globalization of Christianity Western Christendom Fragmented: The Protestant Reformation  Protestant Reformation began in 1517  Luther’s protest was more deeply grounded in theological difference
  7. The Globalization of Christianity  Luther’s ideas provoked a massive schism in Catholic Christendom  fed on political, economic, and social tension, not just religious differences  some monarchs used Luther to justify independence from the papacy  gave a new religious legitimacy to the middle class  commoners were attracted to the new religious ideas as a tool for protest against the whole social order
  8.  Henry VIII sets up the Anglican church  Calvinism: The idea of Predestination which eventually makes its way to the New World The Globalization of Christianity
  9. The Globalization of Christianity  Catholic Reformation is launched to counter Luther’s attacks  1562–1598: French Wars of Religion (Catholics vs. Huguenots)  August 24, 1572: St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre: massacre of thousands of Huguenots in Paris  Edict of Nantes issued by Henry IV in 1598 granted considerable religious toleration to Protestants
  10. Questions  In what ways did the Protestant Reformation transform European society, culture, and politics?
  11. Conversion and Adaptation in Spanish America  Process of population collapse, conquest, and resettlement made Native Americans receptive to the conquering religion  vast majority were baptized by 1700  Europeans claimed exclusive religious truth, tried to destroy traditional religions instead of accommodating them  occasional campaigns of destruction against the old religions  some overt resistance movements ○ e.g., Taki Onqoy (“dancing sickness”) in central Peru (1560s) ○ blending of two religious traditions was more common 
  12. An Asian Comparison: China and the Jesuits (the Society of Jesus [Jesuits])  Christianity reached China in the powerful, prosperous Ming and Qing dynasties  called for a different missionary strategy; needed government permission for operation  Jesuits especially targeted the official Chinese elite, were respectful of Chinese culture, tried to accommodate it
  13. An Asian Comparison: China and the Jesuits  Jesuits were appreciated for mathematical, astronomical, technological, and cartographical skills  missionary efforts gained 200,000–300,000 converts in 250 years  early eighteenth century: papacy and other missionary orders opposed Jesuit accommodation policy  was regarded as an affront to Chinese culture and the emperor’s authority
  14. Persistence and Change in Afro-Asian Cultural Traditions  African religious elements accompanied slaves to the Americas  development of Africanized forms of Christianity in the Americas, with divination, dream interpretation, visions, spirit possession  persistence of syncretic religions (Vodou, Santeria, Candomble, Macumba)
  15. Questions  How was European imperial expansion related to the spread of Christianity?  In what ways was European Christianity assimilated into the Native American cultures of Spanish America?  Why were missionary efforts to spread Christianity so much less successful in China than in Spanish America?
  16. Expansion and Renewal in the Islamic World  continued spread of Islam depended not on conquest but on wandering holy men, scholars, and traders  offered connections to the wider, prosperous world of Islam  the syncretism of Islamization was increasingly offensive to orthodox Muslims  helped provoke movements of religious renewal in the eighteenth century  series of jihads in West Africa (eighteenth/early nineteenth centuries) attacked corrupt Islamic practices  growing tension between localized and “pure” Islam
  17. Expansion and Renewal in the Islamic World  the most well-known Islamic renewal movement of the period was Wahhabism  founder Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792) was a theologian  aimed to restore strict adherence to the sharia (Islamic law)  movement developed a political element when Abd al-Wahhab allied with Muhammad Ibn Saud; led to creation of a state  the state was “purified” ○ women were expected to subject themselves to husbands ○ tobacco, hashish, and musical instruments were banned ○ reform movements persisted and became associated with resisting Western cultural intrusion
  18. Questions  What accounts for the continued spread of Islam in the early modern era?  What accounts for the emergence of reform and renewal movements within the Islamic world?
  19. China: New Directions in an Old Tradition  Chinese and Indian cultural/religious change wasn’t as dramatic as what occurred in Europe  Confucian and Hindu cultures didn’t spread widely in early modern period  Ming and Qing dynasty China still operated within a Confucian framework  addition of Buddhist and Daoist thought led to creation of Neo-Confucianism  both dynasties embraced the Confucian tradition
  20. China: New Directions in an Old Tradition  Considerable amount of debate and new thinking in China  Wang Yangmin (1472–1529): anyone can achieve a virtuous life by introspection, without Confucian education  Chinese Buddhists also tried to make religion more accessible to commoners  similarity to Martin Luther’s argument that individuals could seek salvation without help from a priestly hierarchy  kaozheng (“research based on evidence”) was a new direction in Chinese elite culture ○ emphasized need for analysis, ○ led to new works on agriculture, medicine, etc. ○ included critical analysis of ancient historical documents
  21. India: Bridging the Hindu/Muslim Divide  Several movements brought Hindus and Muslims together in new forms of religious expression  Bhakti movement was especially important  devotional Hinduism ○ appealed especially to women ○ often set aside caste distinctions ○ much common ground with Sufism, helped to blur the line between Islam and Hinduism in India
  22. India: Bridging the Hindu/Muslim Divide  Growth of Sikhism, a religion that blended Islam and Hinduism  founder Guru Nanak (1469–1539) had been part of the Bhakti movement; came to believe that Islam and Hinduism were one  Nanak and his successors set aside caste distinctions and proclaimed essential equality of men and women  gradually developed as a new religion of the Punjab ○ developed a Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth (teacher book)  evolved into a militant community in response to hostility
  23. The Scientific Revolution  The Scientific Revolution was an intellectual and cultural transformation that occurred between the mid-sixteenth century and the early eighteenth century.  was based on careful observations, controlled experiments, and formulation of general laws to explain the world  Scientific Revolution was vastly significant  challenged the teachings and authority of the Church  challenged ancient social hierarchies and political systems  also used to legitimize racial and gender inequality  by the twentieth century, science had become the chief symbol of modernity around the world
  24. The Question of Origins: Why Europe?  the Islamic world was the most scientifically advanced realm in period 800–1400  China’s technological accomplishments and economic growth were unmatched for several centuries after the millennium  but European conditions were uniquely favorable for the rise of science  evolution of a legal system that guaranteed some independence for a variety of institutions by twelfth/thirteenth centuries
  25. The Question of Origins: Why Europe?  in the Islamic world, science remained mostly outside of the system of higher education  Chinese authorities did not permit independent institutions of higher learning  Chinese education focused on preparing for civil service exams  Western Europe could draw on the knowledge of other cultures  Arab texts were important in the development of European science between 1000 and 1500  sixteenth–eighteenth centuries: Europeans were at the center of a massive new information exchange
  26. Science as Cultural Revolution  Dominant educated-European view of the world before the Scientific Revolution:  derived from Aristotle and Ptolemy  initial breakthrough was by Nicolaus Copernicus  On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (1543)  promoted the view that the earth and the planets revolved around the sun  other scientists built on Copernicus’s insight  Johannes Kepler demonstrated elliptical orbits of the planets  Galileo Galilei developed an improved telescope ○ questioned the perfection of heavenly bodies ○ discovered the moons of Jupiter and new stars
  27. Science as Cultural Revolution  Sir Isaac Newton was the apogee of the Scientific Revolution  formulated laws of motion and mechanics  central concept: universal gravitation  By Newton’s death, educated Europeans had a fundamentally different view of the physical universe  knowledge of the universe can be obtained through reason  Catholic Church strenuously opposed much of this thinking  burning of Giordano Bruno in 1600 for proclaiming an infinite universe  Galileo was forced to renounce his belief that the earth moved around an orbit and rotated on its axis  but no early scientists rejected Christianity
  28. Science and Enlightenment  The Scientific Revolution gradually reached a wider European audience  Scientific approach to knowledge was applied to human affairs  Adam Smith (1723–1790) formulated economic laws  people believed that scientific development would bring “enlightenment” to humankind  Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) defined Enlightenment as a “daring to know”  Enlightenment thinkers believed that knowledge could transform human society  attacked arbitrary government, divine right, and aristocratic privilege  many writers advocated education for women
  29. Science and Enlightenment  Much Enlightenment thought attacked established religion  many thinkers were deists—belief in a remote deity who created the world but doesn’t intervene  some were pantheists—equated God and nature  Enlightenment thought was influenced by growing global awareness  Central theme of Enlightenment: the idea of progress  Some thinkers reacted against too much reliance on human reason  Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) argued for immersion in nature rather than book learning  the Romantic movement appealed to emotion and imagination
  30. Looking Ahead: Science in the Nineteenth Century  Modern science was cumulative and self-critical  In the nineteenth century, science was applied to new sorts of inquiry; in some ways, it undermined Enlightenment assumptions  Charles Darwin (1809–1882) argued that all of life was in flux  Karl Marx (1818–1883) presented human history as a process of change and struggle  Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) cast doubt on human rationality
  31. European Science beyond the West  Science became the most widely desired product of European culture  Chinese had selective interest in Jesuits’ teaching  European science had substantial impact on the Chinese kaozheng movement
  32. European Science beyond the West  Japan kept up some European contact via trade with the Dutch  import of Western books allowed, starting in 1720  a small group of Japanese scholars was interested in Western texts, anatomical studies in particular  Ottoman Empire chose not to translate major European scientific works  Ottoman scholars were only interested in ideas of practical utility (e.g., maps, calendars)
  33. Reflections: Cultural Borrowing and Its Hazards  Ideas shape peoples’ mental or cultural worlds and influence behavior.  The development of early modern ideas took place in an environment of great cultural borrowing.  borrowing sometimes caused serious conflict  foreign ideas and practices were often “domesticated”
  34. Questions 1. Why did the Scientific Revolution occur in Europe instead of China or the Muslim World? 2. What was “revolutionary” about the Scientific Revolution? 3. In what ways did the Enlightenment challenge older patterns of European thinking? 4. How did 19th century developments in the sciences challenge faith during the Enlightenment? 5. In what ways was European science received in the major civilizations of Asia in the Early Modern era?