Science and Religion in Rome

Science and Religion in Rome, 1492-1940

Date: 28 April – 12 May 2014

Deadline for applications: 31 January 2014

In collaboration with the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, Utrecht University

Science and religion are a contentious couple. For some, science should be seen as the direct opposite of religion, others regard religion and science as complementary. In this masterclass we aim at problematizing these clichés by studying the historical development of scientific knowledge in the capital of Western religion: Rome, the heart of Catholic Christianity, but also a hotbed of intellectual activity and scientific discoveries, from Galileo Galilei to Enrico Fermi. Rome has always stimulated devout piety and intellectual inquiry; our aim is to explore how the spiritual charge of the Church and the human urge for knowledge have interacted over the centuries, affecting, stimulating, and challenging each other.

The focus of the masterclass is broad in both time and content: we take science in the continental meaning of the word (‘Scienze’, ‘Wissenschaft’), signifying not only the natural and the life sciences, but also the humanities and the social sciences. We understand religion to include modern ideologies such as nationalism and fascism, ‘secular relgions’ that aspired to supplant traditional Christianity. By observing Rome both as the object and the locus of knowledge making, we will discover that from whichever angle you approach the generation of knowledge, intellectual and spiritual interests intersect, often in surprising ways.

Prof. dr. H. Floris Cohen (UU), dr. Jetze Touber (UU), dr. Arthur Weststeijn (KNIR)

Target group and prerequisites
(Re)MA and PhD students in the humanities (esp. history) and sciences from UvA, VU, UL, UU, RU and RUG

Format and assessment
Two preparatory lectures followed by a two-week intensive study programme in Rome, including excursions and lectures on location. Participants write an exploratory paper (20%), give two presentations in Rome (each 20%), and submit a final paper two weeks after the end of the course (40%).

A syllabus of selected articles (ca. 300 pp.)

6 ECTS (168 hours)

Participating students will receive free accommodation in the KNIR. After succesful completion of the final paper, travel costs will be reimbursed up to €100,-

Registration and selection
Students can register via the link below. Participants are selected according to motivation, grades and cv.

Deadline registration
31 January 2014

More info