Roman Catholicism and Modern Science

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Roman Catholicism and Modern Science: A History (2006) is a book written by Don O'Leary and published by the Continuum International Publishing Group. It has been reviewed and praised.[1] The book covers science and religion interactions with the Roman Catholic Church from 1800 to the present, with some material on Galileo and post-Galieo interactions. Until this book such historical coverage on the relationship of the Roman Catholic Church with science was extraordinarily specialized and de facto inaccessible to the majority of science and religion scholars. Almost all science and religion literature after 1640 has focused on the interactions of science with Protestantism. Leading scholars in the Anglican Communion such as William G. Pollard have expressed the more or less well-known hopes of Anglo-Catholic reconciliation[2] and in some sense have been speaking for decades about the relationship between science and sacramental salvation/sacramental grace. All the same, Don O'Leary's book is one of the first truly Roman Catholic voices to emerge. O'Leary's primary sources include the Bible and dozens of works by Pope John Paul II.[3]


Twelve Chapters.

  • Chapter 1 "From Galileo to Darwin".
  • Chapter 2 "Religion and Science in Victorian Britian".
  • Chapter 3 "A Church under Siege".
  • Chapter 4 " Defensive Strategies".
  • Chapter 5 "The Suppression of the Mivartian Hypothesis".
  • Chapter 6 "Antimodernism".
  • Chapter 7 "Catholicism and Science in the Interwar Years".
  • Chapter 8 "Pope Pius XII and the New Theology".
  • Chapter 9 "Science Faith and the Second Vatican Council"
  • Chapter 10 "Pope John Paul II's Philosophy of Science and Faith".
  • Chapter 11 "Bioethics".
  • Chapter 12 "Reflections".

External links

    • THEOLOGICAL STUDIES 2007, 68, no. 4, p. 930
    • America 2006 Vol 195 Issue 19 pp. 31-32
    • Library jounal 2006 Vol 131 Issue 13 p. 96
  1. See Physicist and Christian, William G. Pollard, 1962,
    • p. 9, "...This, indeed, is the meaning and basis of the assertion that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church.";
    • p. 13, "I am convinced that the historic Catholic faith is an image of reality which in essence is just as public and objectively real as is the whole theoretical structure which constitutes modern physics.";
    • p. 17, "few people outside the Church realize how much it is possible in principle to modify essentially all of the historic doctrines of the Catholic faith, nor how essential it is to the power and vitality of the Gospel that each age re-express the historic understandings of the Faith in the light of its own experience. The trouble with doctrine in contemporary physics is that everyone on the outside supposes it to be easily changed, but very few on the inside have the genius and courage to attempt it. The trouble in Christian theology is just the reverse. There everyone on the outside supposes the doctrines to be rigorously and permanently fixed, while those on the inside are often too easily tempted to advance naive proposals for radical changes without a proper appreciation of the extent to which the suggested change has been thoroughly explored and rejected long ago.";
    • p. 42, "But for Anglicans, in common with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Catholic churches, it is essential to the wholeness of the Faith that the Church be ecumenical vertically in time, as well as horizontally in space in our age or any age to come."
  2. Roman Catholicism and Modern Science: A History , p.319-322