The re‐discovery of contemplation through science

Zygon 56 (3):758-776 (2021)
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Some of the early‐modern changes in the social framing of science, while often believed to be essential, are shown to be contingent. They contribute to the flawed public narrative around science today, and especially to the misconceptions around science and religion. Four are examined in detail, each of which contributes to the demise of the contemplative stance that science both requires and offers. They are: (1) a turn from an immersed subject to the pretense of a pure objectivity, (2) a turn from imagination as a legitimate pathway to knowledge, (3) a turn from shared and participative science to a restricted professionalism, and (4) an overprosaic reading of the metaphor of the “Book of Nature.” All four, but especially the imperative to consider reading nature as poetry, and a deeper examination of the entanglements between poetry and theoretical science, draw unavoidably on theological ideas, and contribute to a developing “theology of science.”



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