Identifying scientism as religion’s secular counterpart, this collection studies contemporary contestations of the authority of science. These controversies suggest that what we are witnessing today is not an increase in the authority of science at the cost of religion, but a dual decline in the authorities of religion and science alike. This entails an erosion of the legitimacy of universally binding truth claims, be they religiously or scientifically informed. Approaching the issue from a cultural-sociological perspective and building on theories from the sociology of religion, the volume unearths the cultural mechanisms that account for the headwind faced by contemporary science. The empirical contributions highlight how the field of academic science has lost much of its former authority vis-à-vis competing social realms; how political and religious worldviews define particular research findings as favorites while dismissing others; and how much of today’s distrust of science is directed against scientific institutions and academic scientists rather than against science per se.
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