Ferngren, Gary B(urt) 1942-

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FERNGREN, Gary B(urt) 1942-

PERSONAL:

Born April 14, 1942, in Bellingham, Washington; son of Al B. and Wilma (Edberg) Ferngren; married Agnes Loewen, March 26, 1970; children: Suzanne, Annie-Marie, Heather. Education: Western Washington University, B.A., 1964; University of British Columbia, M.A., 1967, Ph.D., 1973.

ADDRESSES:

Home—2040 Northwest 23rd St., Corvallis, OR 97330-1202. Office—Oregon State University, Department of History, 304 Milam Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER:

Oregon State University, instructor, 1970-72, assistant professor, 1972-78, associate professor, 1978-84, professor of Greek and Roman history, 1984—.

MEMBER:

International Society of the History of Medicine (vice president, 1996-97; U.S. delegate, councilor, 1997—; associate general secretary, 2000—), American Association for the History of Medicine, American Osler Society, History of Science Society.

AWARDS, HONORS:

College Physicians of Philadelphia fellow, 1981; National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, 1990, 1991; Oregon Commission for the Humanities fellow, 1985, 1989, 1995; Canada Council fellow, three times; Joseph J. Malone fellow (Egypt); Templeton Foundation grant to develop and teach course on science and religion; teaching awards, including Oregon State University Elizabeth Ritchie Award for Outstanding Teaching.

WRITINGS:

(Editor, with Samuel Kottek and others) From Athens to Jerusalem: Medicine in Hellenized Jewish Lore and Early Christian Literature, Erasmus (Rotterdam, Netherlands), 2000.

(Editor) Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2002.

General editor, with others, The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition: An Encyclopedia, Garland (New York, NY), 2000. Contributor of articles to professional journals and of chapters to books.

SIDELIGHTS:

Award-winning history professor Gary B. Ferngren's special research interests include the social history of ancient medicine, the relationship between science and religion throughout history, and religion and ancient medicine. He teaches ancient Greek and Roman history at Oregon State University and has served as editor of two volumes on science and religion in history.

The first is The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition: An Encyclopedia, for which he was general editor. The volume contains 103 essays, written by seventy-six notable experts in their field and organized into ten categories: "Intellectual Foundations and Philosophical Backgrounds," "The Relationship of Science and Religion," "Biographical Studies," "Astronomy and Cosmology," "The Physical Sciences," "Earth Sciences," "The Biological Sciences," "Specific Religious Traditions and Chronological Periods," "Medicine and Psychology," and "The Occult Sciences." Periods covered are from the beginning of the era of Christianity up to the late 1990s, and topics include evangelicalism, fundamentalism, gender studies, environmentalism, and postmodernism.

R. J. Havlik, in a review for Choice, called the articles "insightful" and described the book as "valuable" to all those "struggling with this ever-present relationship." Dan Burton, in a review for Science Books & Films, praised The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition as "meaty" and concluded, "Teachers and professionals in both science and history will find it a superb resource and may be tempted to read it cover to cover." In an interview with Mark Floyd posted on the Oregon State University Web site, Ferngren said, "Since the late 19th century, the prevailing thought has been that religion in general and Christianity in particular had a long history of opposing scientific progress in the interest of preserving dogmatic theology. But scholarship of the past 20 years or so has challenged that thesis.… People can choose to look at the conflicts, and they can choose to pit creationism against evolution. But there are a growing number of people who believe there is room for both."

In a review for Isis, Aileen Fyfe pointed out that The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition perhaps overemphasizes Christianity, especially Protestantism, since there are only ten pages on Islam and eight on Judaism in the section on Western religions. Fyfe said she enjoyed the section on the history and philosophy of science and religion, saying it has the largest variety of viewpoints. However, she observed, some beginning students might be confused by the opposing viewpoints and even develop a one-sided view of issues if they do not read other articles on the same subject. Yet, she found, "It will be an excellent starting point for those just beginning to investigate science and religion." William P. Collins, of Library Journal, said the encyclopedia is "filled with respect for the roles and methodologies of both religion and science." However, he thought there should have been more biographical essays and that the book should have covered the Baha'i religion because it is the only Western faith that scripturally proclaims the relationship between religion and science.

Ferngren has also edited Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction, which consists of thirty definitive articles from The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition, designed to give readers who do not have the lengthy volume a good overview of what is covered there. Augustine J. Curley, of Library Journal, called the book "an essential purchase" for libraries without the original volume.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Choice, December, 2000, R. J. Havlik, review of The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition: An Encyclopedia, p. 685.

Isis, September, 2002, Aileen Fyfe, review of The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition, p. 547.

Library Journal, August, 2000, William P. Collins, review of The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition, p. 90; October 15, 2002, Augustine J. Curley, review of Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction, p. 78.

Science Books & Films, September, 2001, Dan Burton, review of The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition, p. 200.

ONLINE

Oregon State University Web site,http://oregonstate.edu/ April 1, 2003), "Gary Ferngren."

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