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A 1991 article by psychologist John D. Carter offers an underdeveloped insight that typologies for relating science and religion might be fruitfully formulated in discipline-specific perspectives. This essay thus covers a specifically theological perspective only briefly outlined in Carter, and it expands four models that theologians have used to relate religion and science. This essay renames these models and expands their implications, especially for addressing the behavioral sciences. (1) The contrarian model generally opposes science, (2) the apologetic makes theology congenial to science, (3) the correlational holds both disciplines in tension, and (4) the synthetic attempts a grand unification of them. Arguing from the theologian's perspective, this essay is intended to demonstrate that different models/methods for relating science and religion are really reflections of deeper religious attitudes and argues that the task for which a method is employed ultimately determines its adequacy within that attitude's constraints.

Keywords: apologetics; contrarian; correlation; methodology; model; religion; science; synthetic; typology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9744.2010.01159.x

Affiliations: David J. Zehnder is a Ph.D. candidate at Concordia St. Louis currently working in theological library research, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105, USA;, Email: zehnderd@csl.edu.

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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