Economics, Science and Religion Project: Introduction

econideolExisting accounts of the religion-and-science relationship—most notably the typology developed by Ian Barbour in the 1980s—tend to construe “religion” and “science” as sharply separated realms battling for cultural supremacy, working for détente, or perhaps striving for reconciliation. Such accounts take for granted and reinforce the culturally dualistic view that "religion" is one thing and "science" another. The basic and contrary premise of the present project is that what can broadly be called the "religious impulse" and the "scientific impulse" are two intertwined and interdependent dimensions of human inquiry.

The first major task of the project is to argue that nowhere is this intertwining and interdependence more evident and usefully examined than in the practice of economics as an academic discipline. In what ways ought the theories put forward by economists be regarded as “scientific”? And to what degree do these theories depend upon ideas about the nature of time, human existence, and the material world that are properly seen as religious or even theological in nature?

The project's second major task is to leverage its investigation of the practices of economics for the sake of developing a nondualistic account of the human person as simultaneously homo scientificus and homo religiosus. This involves undertaking a corresponding reconceptualization of the relationship between science and religion in the Euro-American, post-Enlightenment context.

The Economics, Science and Religion Project was initiated by 2013-2014 Institute Research Associate Dr. Kirk Wegter-McNelly. More information about Kirk is available here.