Article ID: CBB000300206

Negotiating the Boundaries of Science and Religion: The Conversion of Allan Sandage (2003)


In the early 1950s, astronomer Allan Sandage inherited from Edwin Hubble the task of determining whether expansion was real. In the succeeding forty years, Sandage established the discipline of observational cosmology (Overbye 1991, 188). At the same time, he encountered the limits of science to address the full mystery of existence. In seeking an answer to the question of purpose, in particular, Sandage came to the abyss of reason and made the leap of faith. This conversion, however, involved, and continues to involve, an ongoing process of balancing two avenues to the truth, drawing upon resources from both scientific and religious traditions. Reason and faith seem reconcilable in life lived as an experiment and in bowing before the mystery (Sandage 1990). Ultimately, Sandage suggests that religious conversion comes not so much through reasoned pursuit as in the realization of being pursued.

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Authors & Contributors
Holder, Rodney D.
Zharkaya, Varvara
Stenico, Mauro
McCarthy, John P.
Thierry Belleguic
Baptiste Rappin
Micrologus: Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies
Science and Christian Belief
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Journal of Asian Studies
Galilæana: Journal of Galilean Studies
Edizioni di Pagina
Fondazione Museo Storico del Trentino
Templeton Press
Imperial College Press
Science and religion
Big bang theory
Natural theology
Galilei, Galileo
Lemaître, Georges Édouard
Maximus, Confessor, Saint
Wiener, Norbert
Riccioli, Giovanni Battista
Hoyle, Fred
Time Periods
20th century
17th century
19th century
18th century

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