Relations between science and religion have grown so strained that it’s hard to imagine they were ever otherwise. Until the Enlightenment, however, science and religion were better than friendly: they were the same thing. The “scientists” at the great medieval universities were students of theology. Mining divine Scripture for insights into human morality and free will was the most rational thing a person could do, and the greatest thinkers of the Middle Ages (e.g., Thomas Aquinas) spent their lives engaged in such study. Now despite the efforts of a few believing scientists and intellectually rigorous believers, the divorce between the two could not be more acrimonious or complete.
About The Author
Lisa Miller is a contributing editor at New York magazine. She is the former religion columnist for the Washington Post, former senior editor of Newsweek magazine, and author of “Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife.” She is a multi-year winner of the New York Newswomen’s Club prize for feature writing and has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award.