Review: Morals not knowledge

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Department of Humanities


Sociology of religion expert John H. Evans has written a well-researched, multi-disciplinary text that speaks to our current historical moment. Using the sociology of religion; the history of sociology, science, and science’s relationship with religion; and data sets from surveys and in-depth interviews, Evans explores and troubles the alleged “foundational knowledge conflict” between religion and science, or that schism resulting from the long-held assumption that religion determines truth about the world “through supernatural revelation” whereas science does so through “observations and facts” (1). Crucial to this conflict is how “scholars see religion and science as belief systems, in which people engage in deductive reason from the most abstract justificatory principles down to the most concrete claims” (7). Evans acknowledges that although there are three types of conflict-causing relationships between religion and science—systemic knowledge, propositional belief, and moral—it is the former that is the most well-promoted. The re-enforcement of the systemic knowledge conflict contributes to stereotypes about religion and science as well as to ineffective debate, if not polarization, in the public sphere.

Publisher's Statement

© 2018 Shelly Galliah

Publication Title

Metapsychology Online Reviews