Faith & Science: Reclaiming Christianity’s Scientific Legacy

James Hannam
Date: 
November 15, 2012 - 7:00pm
Location: 
St. Philip the Deacon

James Hannam is author of The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution. In this book, he argues that without the scholarship of the supposedly “barbaric” Middle Ages—and, importantly, the Christian faith which supported it—modern science simply would not exist. Hannam holds degrees in physics and history from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London.

An overview of Hannam's Talk:
Are science and Christianity enemies, or friends? The prevailing cultural assumption is that the pagan Greeks of the ancient world invented science, but that it fell into disuse during the Christian dark ages. Under this view, Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers courageously freed themselves—and the rest of the world—from superstition and religious ignorance so that science could thrive again. Historians, however, have long known that the truth is rather different. Tonight’s speaker will reveal how Christianity was never an opponent of science. To the contrary, Christian faith provided early researchers with solid practical and intellectual support—and in the maligned Middle Ages, Christianity laid the foundations of modern science. Fine, some may say: historically that may be true, but what about today? With so many scientists declaring their atheism, is science no longer the friend of Christianity? Has science proved we are just machines whose fate is determined by our genes? Not at all, in the view of tonight’s speaker. He argues that the challenging findings of modern science simply echo the challenging message of the New Testament. Christians can be reassured that science is not their enemy, but their friend. It always has been.