Religion, Science, and Democracy

Religion, Science, and Democracy : A Disputational Friendship

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This book uses Hannah Arendt's work to understand the paradoxical role of religion and science in public life and to develop a model for the science and religion discourse which does not focus on truth claims, but rather promotes public discourse and judgment. It advocates the position of the storyteller, who never tells a definitive story but instead seeks more stories, and promotes a disputational friendship in which we seek out points of disagreement in order to expand the conversation and incorporate more stories.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 238 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 22mm | 519.99g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0739142860
  • 9780739142868

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter One: Religion, Science, and the "Culture Wars" Chapter Two: Science, Neutrality, and Public Life Chapter Three: Authority Chapter Four: The Art of Distinctions Chapter Five: Religion, Science, and Politics Chapter Six: Religion and Science as Social Activities Chapter Seven: Beyond Doctrines and Discoveries Chapter Eight: A Disputational Friendship
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Review quote

Stenmark makes a strong and attractive case for a morally adequate approach to religion and science that recognizes differences while granting greater equality. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science In this innovative essay, Lisa Stenmark tugs us out of the 'doctrines and discoveries' approach to religion and science and back to genuine social engagement. Focusing on storytelling, meaning-making, and 'world-building,' she envisions a prophetic rather than political (or purely private) role for the science-religion dialogue. Well-argued and persuasive, Stenmark's book offers an inspiring vision of a 'disputational friendship'- learning 'to stay, and to listen, and to be with each other.' -- Philip Clayton, Ingraham Professor of Theology, Claremont School of Theology, Author of In Quest of Freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World The predominant public and academic discourse about religion and science in recent decades has focused on questions of truth. Lisa Stenmark here argues that this emphasis on 'doctrines and discoveries' is misguided, and represents a fundamental misunderstanding of both science and religion. Drawing on the thought of Hannah Arendt and engaging such prominent thinkers as John Rawls, Richard Rorty, Stanley Hauerwas, and Jeffrey Stout, Stenmark's aim is nothing less than to shift debates about religion and science to what she sees as a more profitable direction, one that recognizes the political dimensions of discourse about concepts of neutrality, authority, and tradition that informs our understanding of both religion and science. Provocative and thought-provoking, Stenmark's proposed model of 'disputational friendship' deserves attention as a new model of thinking about this most important of issues. -- Gregory R. Peterson, South Dakota State University
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About Lisa L. Stenmark

Lisa Stenmark earned an MDiv/MA from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary/ the Graduate Theological Union, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Vanderbilt University, and currently teaches at San Jose State University.
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