Researcher biography

  • Degrees: BA(Hons) (UCD), MA(magna cum laude) (TIU), PhD (2017)
  • Supervisors: Prof. Peter Harrison & Dr Ian Hesketh
  • Area of Research: This thesis reevaluates the narratives of conflict between religion and science in Victorian Britain. It is specifically interested in tracing the development, definition, and dissemination of John William Draper's History of Conflict between Religion and Science (1874) and Andrew Dickson White's two-volume History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896). In tracing its development or origins, this thesis demonstrates that the conflict narrative predates Draper and White—indeed, predates the nineteenth century. This thesis argues that these narratives were defined by Protestant polemics as early as the seventeenth century. Its genealogy was further modified in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, developing from a Protestant anti-Catholic polemic to a Protestant self-critique. Nourished in this religious context, by the mid-nineteenth century, narratives of conflict between religion and science were largely employed between contending theological schools of thought.