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Contribution to Book
Disjoining Wisdom and Knowledge: Science, Theology and the Making of Western Modernity
Humanities & Social Sciences papers
  • Peter Harrison, Bond University
Date of this Version
1-1-2006
Document Type
Book Chapter
Publication Details
Harrison, Peter (2006) Disjoining Wisdom and Knowledge: Science, Theology and the Making of Western Modernity is a chapter in Wisdom or Knowledge? Science, Theology and Cultural Dynamics, Meisinger, Hubert, Drees, Willem B., and Liana, Zbigniew (eds), T & T Clark International, Continuum Imprint, London, 2006, Chapter 4, pp. 51-73.
To obtain a copy of this publication contact Continuum Imprint

2006 HERDC submission
Abstract
This chapter focuses on four distinct phases of the relationship between science and wisdom in the West and deals with them in chronological order: (1) Early Christian and patristic views that oppose heavenly and earthly wisdom, and which identify classical science with the earthly wisdom. (2)Thomas Aquinas's thirteenth-century adaptation of Aristotle's classification of the sciences, according to which both theology and the study of nature (natural philosophy) count as sciences and as virtues. In a sense, both are forms of wisdom, with the earthly wisdom of the sciences not being opposed to the heavenly wisdom of theology, but rather providing a path to it. (3) The early modern rejection of the Thomist notion that science (scientia) was a virtue, and the tendency to regard both theology and natural science as activities related to propositions. (4)The final stage of the dissociation of wisdom and science that came with the professionalization of science in the nineteenth century, when both moral and theological issues are explicitly excluded from the scope of the natural sciences. This is followed by concluding remarks about what all of this might mean for our current understandings of the relationship between science, religion and wisdom.
Citation Information
Peter Harrison. "Disjoining Wisdom and Knowledge: Science, Theology and the Making of Western Modernity" (2006)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/peter_harrison/2/