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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2009

T C 302 • Scientists and Religion in History-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
42760 MW
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
MAI 220B

Course Description

This freshman seminar will introduce students to the dynamic and changing relations between science and Judeo-Christian religions. Students will analyze and discuss how various beliefs and religious issues affected the lives and works of five influential scientists: Kepler (Lutheran), Galileo (Catholic), Newton (Arian), Darwin (Anglican/ deist/agnostic), Einstein (Jewish/Spinozan).

Grading Policy

Active class participation 20%, + Oral Presentation 10%
Midterm Critical Essay 15%
Reading Reaction Essays (Five, 1-page each) 20%
Essays Contrasting Primary vs. Secondary Sources (Three, 2-page each) 15%
Final Essay Exam 20%


James A. Connor, Kepler's Witch: An Astronomers Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother (Harper, 2004).
Mario DAddio, The Galileo Case: Trial/Science/Truth (Gracewing, 2004).
Richard S. Westfall, "Newton and Christianity," in Newton (Norton, 1995).
David Kubrin, Newton and the Cyclical Cosmos: Providence and the Mechanical Philosophy," in Newton (Norton, 1995).
John Hedley Brooke, Darwin and Victorian Christianity, in The Cambridge Companion to Darwin (Cambridge, 2003).
Max Jammer, Einstein and Religion: Physics and Theology (Princeton, 1999).

About the Professor
Professor Martinez received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2001. He is a fellow of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT. His research interests include the history of physics, especially the origins of Einstein's special theory of relativity, history of mathematics. He is the author of Negative Math (Princeton University Press, 2005) and Kinematics: Lost Origins of Einstein's Relativity, forthcoming from Johns Hopkins University Press. He has also published various articles in American Journal of Physics, American Mathematical Monthly, Archive for History of the Exact Sciences, Physics in Perspective, School Science Review, Physics World, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, and more.


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