Science versus Religion -- the antithesis conjures two hypostatized entities of the later nineteenth century: Huxley St George slaying Samuel smoothest of dragons; a mysterious undefined ghost called Science against a mysterious indefinable ghost called Religion; until by 1900 schoolboys decided not to have faith because Science, whatever that was, disproved Religion, whatever that was.
The twentieth century strips legends, and among the legends started stripping this. The healthy action of historical investigation, like any other scientific enquiry, refused to be content with inherited ideas received uncritically, and asked how far those axioms were invented, how far they depended on a real antithesis of minds, how far they were devised or made rhetorical by propaganda, and how far they expressed deeper currents of antagonism than the intellectual. (161)
Monday, September 16, 2013
Taken from Owen Chadwick's Gifford Lectures for 1973-4, published as The Secularization of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: University Press, 1975):