The Shifting Territories of Science and Religion?

Dr. Peter Harrison

In a public symposium based on his 2011 Gifford Lectures, Dr. Peter Harrison of the University of Queensland lectured on his continued work on what he calls “The Shifting Territories of Science and Religion.” Discussions of the relationship between science and religion often assume that it is a relatively simple matter to establish clear boundaries for what counts as science and what counts as religion. Indeed, the idea that we can meaningfully discuss this relationship at all—whether it is conceived in positive or negative terms—relies to a large extent on our capacity to demarcate both science and religion from other activities. Harrison argues that many theoretical demarcation efforts fail to capture the essence of science and religion as they formerly were, and currently are, conducted in practice.