Azim Shariff, assistant professor of psychology and social behavior, is mixing science and religion in a new online course that is open to the public.
To clarify: Shariff is using science to study religion, a methodological approach that for many decades was frowned upon, according to Psychology Today. Religious studies scholars frequently invoked notions such as "the sacred," "the holy" and "the transcendent" to bat away empirical examination.
While science might never fully explain some things about religion, other questions can be answered scientifically, such as the effect of religion on social behavior. Shariff, along with University of British Columbia Professor Edward Slingerland will explore those questions in the new online course.