Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction (2nd edition) [#189]
Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction (2nd edition) [#189]


  • Reveals how the debate between theological and scientific argument has long been fuelled by complex cultural and political contexts
  • Explains the philosophical concepts that shape current debates and how they developed through history
  • Examines landmark episodes in science and religion history, including the Galileo affair, the Scopes “Monkey” trial, and the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Discusses recent developments in global affairs and public policy and how they are affected by science and religion
  • Includes perspectives from non-Christian religions, including the influence of colonialism and postcolonialism on the global spread of science-religion discourse

New to this Edition:

  • New edition includes detailed discussion of contemporary themes and issues, such as science denial, climate change and environmentalism, and religion and public health
  • Provides a broader worldwide perspective, giving greater attention to science-religion issues outside of Europe and North America
  • Includes new material on the influences of missionary and colonialist history on science and religion discourses today

Debates about science and religion are rarely out of the news. Whether it concerns what's being taught in schools, clashes between religious values and medical recommendations, or questions about how to address our changing global environment, emotions often run high and answers seem intractable. Yet there is much more to science and religion than the clash of extremes.

As Thomas Dixon and Adam Shapiro show in this balanced and thought-provoking Very Short Introduction, a whole range of views, subtle arguments, and fascinating perspectives can be found on this complex and centuries-old subject. They explore the key philosophical questions that underlie the debate, but also highlight the social, political, and ethical contexts that have made the tensions between science and religion such a fraught and interesting topic in the modern world. In this new edition, Dixon and Shapiro connect historical concepts such as evolution, the heliocentric solar system, and the problem of evil to present-day issues including the politicization of science; debates over mind, body, and identity; and the moral necessity of addressing environmental change. Ranging from medical missionaries to congregations adopting new technologies during a pandemic, from Galileo's astronomy to building the Thirty Meter Telescope, they explore how some of the most complex social issues of our day are rooted in discussions of science and religion.


1:What are science-religion debates really about?
2:Galileo and the philosophy of science
3:God and nature
4:Darwin and evolution
5:Mind and morality
6:The worlds of science and religion
References and further reading


Thomas Dixon, Professor of History, Queen Mary University of London, and Adam Shapiro, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow

Thomas Dixon is Professor of History at Queen Mary University of London. He was the author of the first edition of this Very Short Introduction, which won the Dingle Prize in 2009, awarded biennially by the British Society for the History of Science to the best book for a wide readership. He is also the author of several other titles, including How to Get a First: The Essential Guide to Academic Success (2004), and Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears (2015).
Adam R. Shapiro is a historian of science and religion. He taught at universities in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. for over a decade before accepting a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and shifting to work in public policy and science communication. He is the author of Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and the Antievolution Movement in American Schools (2013) as well as several articles on science and religion from the late eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

Review from previous edition 

A rich introductory text...on the study of relations of science and religion." - R. P. Whaite, Metascience

"A marvellous book that should be required reading for dogmatic fundamentalists of every persuasion." - Patricia Fara, British Journal for the History of Science

"Dixon shows great skill in composing a book which combines coherence and clarity with a strong forward momentum... The interested reader need not hesitate." - Michael Fuller, The Expository Times

"Bracing initiation" - Observer.

"The relationship between science and religion, past and present, is much more varied and more interesting than the popular caricature of conflict. Thomas Dixon gives us the richer picture, and he does it with clarity and verve. This is an ideal introduction to a fascinating subject." - Peter Lipton. University of Cambridge

"Thomas Dixon has made a delightful contribution to this OUP series of Very Short Introductions." - Church Times


ISBN : 9780198831020

Thomas Dixon; Adam Shapiro
176 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction (2nd edition) [#189]

Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction (2nd edition) [#189]

Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction (2nd edition) [#189]