Beginning with the contemporary debates regarding creationism, alternative medicine, and witchcraft (Wicca), the paper examines the relation between the modern sciences and the worlds of Kabbalah, alchemy, and apocalyptic religion from which they emerged.
In our own day, science enjoys enormous prestige and is clearly distinguished from
both religion and magic. But it was not always so. The great founder of modern science,
Isaac Newton, dabbled in alchemy and wrote commentaries on the Bible of a kind we
would now regard as crazy. So how did science emerge from a world of mysticism and
The paper tries to answer this question by examining two early modern thinkers: Giordano Bruno, who was put to death by the Roman Inquisition, and Galileo Galilei, who escaped the same fate by renouncing his scientific views.
|Paper title||Religion, Science, and Magic|
|Teaching period||First Semester|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$868.95|
|International Tuition Fees (NZD)||$3,656.70|
- 36 points
- RELS 317
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music, Theology
- Professor Greg Dawes email@example.com
- More information link
- View more information on the Department of Theology and Religion's websites: Theology or Religion
- Teaching staff
- Lecturer: Professor Greg Dawes
- Paper Structure
- The paper is worth 18 points, which is equivalent to 12 hours of work each week. Outside
of lectures, 10 hours a week should be devoted to your own study and assignment preparation.
- Test - 10%
- Essay - 25%
- Final Examination - 65%
- Teaching Arrangements
- On campus there are two lectures (each one hour) per week.
- There is a reader for the paper. The readings will be the basis for tutorial discussions during the first half of the semester. There is no other textbook required.
- Course outline
- View the course outline for RELS 217
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship,
Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy,
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
- Students who successfully complete this paper will be able to
- Understand the premodern distinction between religion, science and magic
- Understand the emergence of our modern conceptions of religion and science and our modern attitudes towards magic
- Understand the echoes of these historical changes in our contemporary popular culture