The Esoteric Harmony between Religion and Science

By John L. Crow
Religion in American History

Ivey_Radiance coverOne of the general areas of interest I have is the intersection of religion and science. It is one of the reasons I have focused so much on the American religious traditions emerging in the mid-nineteenth century and leading in the early twentieth. During this time period, the boundaries were porous and claims fantastic. This is also one of the reasons why I study Theosophy, because from its beginning it has had an ambiguous relationship with both religion and science. Frequently members of the society would suggest that particular scientific discoveries would prove this or that esoteric claim made by members. Yet, should science not support their claims, they are quick to dismiss science as limited in its scope or abilities. For instance, in reading about Theosophical ideas about the human body, one author was quick to invoke scientific discoveries to validate part of his claims, but when science did not validate the other part, he is quick to add, “Nor does it much more concern us that the Scientists deny the existence of such an arrangement, because their instruments are inadequate to make their senses perceive it. We will simply reply—‘get better instruments and keener senses, and eventually you will.’”

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