• authority;
  • Ian Barbour;
  • Nidhal Guessoum;
  • Islam;
  • local culture;
  • science and religion in practice

Abstract When speaking about Islam and contemporary issues in science, Guessoum's Islam's Quantum Question shares many characterizations with Barbourian science and religion discourse. The focus is on theological responses to particular scientific theories. In this article I suggest an expansion of the discourse by looking at how science meets religion (as well as other local system of knowledge) in practice, in particular events such as natural disaster, when they are called upon as sources of meaning making. The encounter takes place not only at the cognitive level, but may take the form of competition, collaboration, or negotiation over the authority to provide explanation. In practice the authority is supported not only by objective knowledge but involves many other factors, including politics. Thus, part of my proposal for expansion suggests the broadening of how we understand science and religion to include how assertions of authority are made in practice.