Monthly Archives: May 2013

Rethinking Secularism: José Casanova’s The Secular, Secularizations, Secularisms

José Casanova’s exemplary essay in Rethinking Secularism is one of the best I have read on the subject. Casanova, a professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, engages secularism from a critical analytical angle. Because there are multiple and various ways of experiencing […]

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Myths about Science and Religion: That Christianity Gave Birth to Modern Science

In these posts I have often focused on the close interaction between science, or natural philosophy, and Christianity. But as Noah J. Efron helpfully reminds us in his entry in Galileo goes to Jail, “Christian ideas about nature were not exclusively Christian ideas.” Efron admits that the claim that Christianity led to modern science captures […]

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Now this…Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death

We live in a world of distractions. A world infiltrated by a cacophony of Internet sites, memes, and social networks; a world of cell phones and smart phones and iphones; an influx of cable channels by the hundreds, flat-screens, DVDs, HDTV and Blue-ray. In other words, a world of instantaneous and constant noise. Neil Postman’s […]

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Current Research

I have finished a number of books recently, all of which I hope to post some comments on soon. These books include Neil Postman’s classic epistemological critique of a technologically obsessed culture, Amusing Ourselves to Death.  I have also finished  Steven Shapin’s The Scientific Revolution, where in the Introduction he provocatively states, “There was no […]

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Peter Dear’s Historiography of Not-so-Recent Science

I came across Peter Dear’s “Historiography of Not-so-Recent Science” (Hist. Sci. 1, 2012) while doing some research last week at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Memorial Library. It is a fine article, reviewing some of the most recent themes and trends on the historiography of science on the period c. 1500-c.1700; that is, on the late Scientific […]

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Rethinking Secularism – Charles Taylor’s Western Secularity

Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (2007) has generated a huge amount of discussion. In the first chapter of Rethinking Secularism, entitled “Western Secularity,” Taylor revisits central themes from A Secular Age as he charts the historical trajectory that led from the “axial religion” through Latin Christendom to the contemporary conditions of modern secularity. While noting that […]

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