Historical Interactions Between Judaism and Science and Their Influence on Science Teaching and Learning

  • Jeff Dodick
  • Raphael B. Shuchat


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.


Science Education Exact Science Philosophical Approach Greek Philosophy Jewish World 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Science Teaching CenterThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.The Center for Basic Jewish StudiesBar-Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael

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