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Title: Invoking the ghosts in the machine : reassessing the evolution of the science/religion phenomena : alternative perspectives
Author: Shalet, Danielle
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 0482
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is an in-depth critical analysis of the nature of the science/religion relationship. The purpose of this project is to expose the problems associated with the many fallacies related to these phenomena, and to evaluate the reasons behind certain perceptions. It outlines the damage done through years of misconceiving and misunderstanding the concepts of science and religion, and to address what led to such inadequacies in interpretation, emphasizing the use of insufficient and archaic methodologies. A number of the methodological problems that will be assessed are the following: Chapter One will focus primarily on the issues related to the definition of religion and will evaluate how this was/is a contributing factor in how ‘religion’ is received and recognized in the academic community as well as in more popular circles. The main emphasis here will be on the false conception that ‘religion’ is a stagnant concept rather than a dynamic one, and will be examined through an appraisal of its chromatic history. This will be followed by an examination of the primarily Christocentric and Western ideologies that are endemic to this field of study, and will demonstrate how these beliefs are related to the Western construction of ‘religion’ and are tied strongly to the spread of imperialism throughout the world. Chapter Two will build on these issues, through highlighting the Western conceptualizations of religion and science, especially the erroneous belief that these phenomena are universally shared. Similarly evaluated in this chapter will be a number of other factors: (1) The subjective approaches taken by some scholars who insist on making ‘science’ sound more like ‘religion’ through the use of clever machinations. (2) Related to this is the concept of inclusivism, which will call attention to the negative effects that Western biases (in academia) have on non-Western practices, mainly denuding them of their cultural uniqueness. (3) Furthermore, this chapter will examine the over simplification of complex cultural phenomena in academia and will evaluate the inefficacy of certain works in dealing with these phenomena. This will be garnished with a critical assessment of this scholarship and will gauge how years of misinformation and negligence (within the academy) has led to a troubling relationship between science and religion. This will be proceeded by a case-study of the ‘scientific movement’ known as transhumanism as a means to demonstrate the long lasting and problematic effects that years of misinterpretation has had on the popular understanding of the science/religion phenomena, from at least one perspective. This will be concluded with an examination of the future of this evolution. Evidenced here through the use of SF film, is how transhumanism, because of its relationship to science and religion and its communion with popular transcultural SF ideas, has the potential to become a site for a belief system that translates well cross-culturally and incorporates both of these phenomena.
Supervisor: Deacy, Chris Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B Philosophy (General) ; BL Religion