Historical interactions between judaism and science and their influence on science teaching and learning

Jeff Dodick, Raphael B. Shuchat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Historically, Jewish authorities have largely looked positively upon science. Concurrently, there were specific periods and regions where (rabbinical) authorities were worried about how science influences Jewish piety and so strongly opposed contact with it. This is especially applied to “controversial” subjects (such as evolution) that seem to challenge Judaism’s beliefs. Thus, it is better to define Judaism’s relationship with science through a spectrum of philosophical approaches, which in turn have influenced science education in Jewish schools. The Conservative and Reform movements do not constrain topics of science; in contrast, Orthodox communities have developed a range of approaches from rejecting most secular learning to permitting it but applying safeguards towards “controversial” issues. This chapter provides a historical overview of the relationship of Judaism to science. Based on this overview, we examine how it has influenced science education while suggesting how to possibly avoid future clashes between Judaism and science education.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Research in History, Philosophy and Science Teaching
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9789400776548
ISBN (Print)9789400776531
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014.


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