Science, Psychology, &
Religion
Lecture by Louis Hoffman, PhD
Colorado School of Professional Psychology
July, 2006
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
Overview
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Introduction
What is Science? Psychology? Religion?
Terms & Definitional Issues in Historical Context
History of Science & Religion through the Gifford
Lectures
Variants in the History of Psychology & Religion
Barbour’s Categories
The Future of Science, Psychology, & Religion
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
Introduction
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Purpose of this Lecture:
General Overview of Science & Religion
 More Specific Attention to Psychology & Religion
 Why History?
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History Illuminates the Current Context
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
What is Science? Psychology?
Religion?
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Science?
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Psychology?
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Broad: Systematic Study
Narrow: Empiricism, Scientific Method
History of Empiricism
Special Type of Science Focusing on Human Beings
Psychology as Art or Science?
Religion?
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Systematic Structure or Organization of Beliefs
Lecture Focus: Organized Religion
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
Terms & Definitional Issues in
Historical Context
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Epistemology
Philosophy of Science
Metaphysics
Empiricism
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
Terms & Definitional Issues in
Historical Context
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Psychology of Religion
Integration of Psychology and Religion
Religious Psychology
Psychology and Religion
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
History of Science & Religion
through the Gifford Lectures
Witham’s Measure of God
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Natural Theology – Take 1 (1800’s to late
1800’s/early 1900’s)
Scientific Materialism – (late 1800’s/early 1900’s
through mide 1900’s)
Rebellion against Scientism/Return to
Subjectivism (mid 1900’s to 1980’s)
A New Natural Theology (1980’s to current)
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
Variants in the History of
Psychology & Religion
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Distinguishing Empirical Psychology & Clinical
Psychology
Early Roots Against Religion: Freud, Skinner
Early Openness to Religion: James, Maslow
Fuller Seminary & the History of American Psychology
& Religion
The 1980’s: Renewed Openness
From Religion to Spirituality
Spirituality in the Contemporary Paradigm
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
Barbour’s Categories:
4 Views on Science & Religion
Conflict Position
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Biblical Literalism (1a)
Scientific Materialism (1b)
Independence Position
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Separate Domains (2a)
Differing Language & Functions (2b)
Dialogue Position
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Presuppositions
and Limit-Questions (3a)
Methodological and Conceptual Parallels (3b)
Integration Position
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Natural Theology (4a)
Theology of Nature (4b)
Systematic Synthesis (4c)
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
Conflict Position
Religion
Conflict
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
Science
Independence Position
Religion
Independence
(No Relationship)
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
Science
Dialogue Position
Religion
Science
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
Integration
Religion
&
Science
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
The Future of Science, Psychology,
& Religion
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Science, Psychology, & Religion in the Postmodern
Context
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Religion is on the outs
Spirituality is in
Science is in question
Psychology is popular, but undergoing identity changes
Greater Epistemological Equality
Importance of Interdisciplinary Work & Dialogue
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
References
Barbour, I. (1990). Religion in an age of science. San Francisco, CA: Harper. (Purchase here)
Barbour, I. (2000). When science meets religion: Enemies, strangers, or partners? San
Francisco, CA: Harper. (Purchase here)
Freud, S. (1961). The future of an illusion (J. Strachey trans.). New York: Norton &
Company. (Original work published in 1927) (Purchase)
James, W. (1997). The varieties of religious experience. New York: Touchstone.
(Originally published in 1902) (Purchase here)
Malony, H. N. & Vande Kemp, H. (1995). Psychology and the cross. Pasadena, CA:
Fuller Theological Seminary. (Purchase here)
Moore, T. (2003). The soul's religion. New York: Perennial. (Purchase here)
Witham, L. (2005). The measure of God: Our century-long struggle to reconcile science and
religion. The story of the Gifford Lectures. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.(Purchase
here)
Copyright, Louis Hoffman, PhD, 2006
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Science, Psychology, & Religion