2015 Aldersgate Prize Awarded to Australian Laureate Fellow

Indiana Wesleyan University’s John Wesley Honors College is pleased to announce that the 2015 Aldersgate Prize has been awarded to Professor Peter Harrison for his book, The Territories of Science and Religion (Univ. Chicago Press, 2015). Formerly the Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford, Harrison is currently the director of the University of Queensland’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Motivated by the ethos of its Christian liberal learning community, the John Wesley Honors College awards the Aldersgate Prize annually to celebrate the outstanding achievement of an author whose scholarly inquiry challenges reductionistic trends in academia by yielding a broadly integrative analysis of life’s complexities and by shedding fresh light on ultimate questions that can enrich Christian conceptions of human flourishing.

Selected from over seventy nominations for this year’s prize, The Territories of Science and Religion is a highly learned and penetrating refutation of prevailing notions that the conflict between science and religion is timeless and inevitable. Harrison’s analysis calls into question the very legitimacy of mapping the cultivation of knowledge according to categories known as “science” and “religion.” He demonstrates that this boundary making is a deeply modern invention that is neither self-evident nor coherent. Beginning with antiquity, Harrison systematically traces the historical transitions of the concepts underlying the modern categories of “science” and “religion” from their status as complementary virtues to the polarized domains of knowledge familiar to us today. In the process of exposing the dubious foundations of the modern mythology of the conflict between “science” and “religion,” Harrison offers up a thought-provoking recovery of the alternative ways that the pre-modern western world conceived of the relationship between the study of nature and theological reflection on it.

The Aldersgate Prize selection committee believes The Territories of Science and Religion has the potential to alter the course of some of our most important cultural conversations. Harrison’s book is a highly accessible clarion call to think more reflectively and creatively about the “territories of science and religion.” And the text equips its readers to navigate these territories with fresh maps: maps that illuminate more clearly the essential intersections and boundaries and, accordingly, the most constructive paths forward.

Professor Harrison will accept the Aldersgate Prize at the 2015 Celebration of Scholarship Luncheon (April 21) at Indiana Wesleyan University, where he will offer the keynote address.

The selection committee for the 2015 Aldersgate Prize included the faculty of the John Wesley Honors College , as well as Don Sprowl (Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, IWU), Karen Hoffman (Associate Vice President, School of Nursing, IWU), Rebecca Findley (Assistant Professor of Music Therapy, IWU), Willem Van De Merwe (Blanchard Chair in Physics, IWU, Emeritus), John Wilson (editor, Books and Culture), Catherine Brekus (Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America, Harvard University), and Christina Bieber Lake, (Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English, Wheaton College).

Nominations are open for the 2016 Aldersgate Prize

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