We are familiar with Stephen Jay Gould's separation of science and religion as two Non-Overlapping Magistaria (NOMA) - basically investigations of the natural world on one side and the questions of morals and meaning on the other. It works in some cases, and falls apart in others (there are no referees to enforce the boundaries). But I recently encountered Friedrich Schleiermacher's (1768-1834) three spheres of human life - and I think they are interesting. He divides them as follows:
a) Practical reason (science) or knowing
b) Morality/human action or doing
So I find interesting that he placed morality issues outside of religion. Much of Gould's NOMA gets into trouble when you start looking at scientific studies of the origins of morality, etc. But then what does Schleiermacher (hmm...it takes a while to spell out his name...) think or religion? Well, he considers that the the universe and its relation to humans is described through these three spheres. For the first two,"knowing" and "doing", humans are at the center (i.e. we look at the universe from the human perspective). Whereas, for religion, it is the way the universe acts on us. In this way, religion is our intuition of that action. Or in other words, religion, for Schleiermacher, is rooted in a fundamental experience of being related to the universe as a part within a larger whole. The essence of religion then is the "sense and taste for the infinite". This is mystical/Sufi (and to a certain degree, Sagan, I might add :)) stuff.
What I like about this is that it reduces the chances of clash between science & religion - as religion is now bounded primarily in personal experience (William James can also help on this) and its centrality is to humans have to be looked in a completely different way than science and morality (this way it also avoids Euthyphro's dilemma - "Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?").
Some food for thought.
But if one does not subscribe to this mystical vision of the infinite, then this may appear to be yet another place where religion is ceding ground.
I ran into Schleiemacher's views on religion while listening to Teaching Company's (as usual) fantastic lectures on Skeptics and Believers: Religious Debate in the Western Intellectual Tradition by Professor Tyler Roberts.