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Science, Religion and Humanity: Who gets to say?

Science, Religion and Humanity: Who gets to say?

Drawing on his BBC Radio 4 series The Secret History of Science and Religion and forthcoming book on the subject, Nick Spencer explores how the two have, do and can relate to one another.

Science and Religion: everyone seems to have an opinion.

They are in direct opposition to one another (and always have been). They are in broad harmony with one another (and always shall be). They actually have nothing to do with one another – NOMA or “Non–Overlapping Magisteria” in Stephen Jay Gould’s phrase – and so are neither in opposition nor in harmony.

At this York Festival of Ideas event, Nick Spencer explores how the two have, do and can relate to one another drawing on his BBC Radio 4 series The Secret History of Science and Religion and forthcoming book on the subject.

Pointing to centuries of complex and colourful interaction between science and religion, he proposes a new idea. Rather than being “NOMA”, perhaps science and religion are actually POMA “Partially–Overlapping Magisteria”, with the overlap being not about Genesis or geology, or the Big Bang, or even evolution but about the nature of human beings, and in particular – who gets to say.

The event will include an in–conversation segment with Vicky Johnson, Canon Precentor at York Minster, as well as an opportunity to ask your own questions.

This event is hosted live on Zoom Webinar. You’ll receive a link to join a couple of days before the event takes place and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

This event is part of the York Festival of Ideas Being Human series which delves into the nature of humanity. You may also enjoy Human Dignity: Without meaning or meaningful? on Monday 14 June and Holiness and Desire: What makes us who we are? on Thursday 17 June.


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 Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Cheselden t36 prayer

Nick Spencer

Nick Spencer

Nick is Senior Fellow at Theos. He is the author of a number of books and reports, most recently The Political Samaritan: how power hijacked a parable (Bloomsbury, 2017), The Evolution of the West (SPCK, 2016) and Atheists: The Origin of the Species (Bloomsbury, 2014).

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