Christianity and the creation of modern science (short course)

7.00pm to 8.30pm (every Thursday), Thursday 4 February

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place


Standard £225
Members £190

This covers all six sessions.

Event description

Science is one of the crucial cultural constructs of the modern world. It is now practiced across the globe in many varieties of society, but the origins of modern science were specific to Europe. This course will trace the development of science through its relationship with Christianity, a specifically European religion. Starting with the Christian accommodation and expansion of Hellenistic ideas about the natural world, we will examine how the relationships changed over time down to the present where there is a divergence of opinion on what it ought to be. Although iconic events such as the trial of Galileo and the discussion between Wilberforce and Huxley over Darwin’s theory of evolution will be covered, the main emphasis will be on the religious contingency of science. 

Course dates

The course will run every Thursday for six sessions from 7pm to 8.00pm, with a one week break in the middle. The dates are:

  • 4 February
  • 11 February
  • 18 February
  • [Break]
  • 3 March
  • 10 March
  • 17 March.

Course Leader

Frank James is Professor of the History of Science at the Royal Institution. His work includes studies of the relationship between science and Christianity, particularly in the work of Michael Faraday whose correspondence he edits.

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