Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2007


Philosophy of Science | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


A spate of recent books would claim that science’s only role vis a vis theology is to discredit it. Sam Harris, in The End of Faith, credits religious faith as the source of much of the violence in today’s world. Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion, views religion as, at best, a profound misunderstanding, and at worst a form of madness. Both find an antidote to such irrationality in science. To Harris and Dawkins religion is a body of accumulated knowledge. However, religion can also be thought of as a process, one based on experience, questions, and results. One group that has systematized such a process is the Society of Friends, or Quakers. The Quaker tradition shows that it is quite possible for religion to rest on experience and questioning, and for these to form the basis for an active and involved faith, one that need never reject science and its findings, but will temper their use with the best wisdom that can be gained from personal and communal experience.


This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Herzfeld, Noreen. 2007. "The End of Faith?" Science and Theology as Process. Dialog: A Journal of Theology 46(3): 288-293., which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6385.2007.00338.x.