Dialogue of Science and Religion: New Perspectives


The Dialogue of Religion and Science: New Approaches (An Overview of Discussions)

The paper is authored by the heads of the research project «The Development of a New Methodology for Dialogue and Cooperation between Science and Religion in Russia» (supported by John Templeton Foundation). The paper gives an overview of research results. The traditional dialogue (within Christian cultural tradition), which was largely epistemological, should be made wider and deeper thanks to new approaches — in particular looking comparatively at the very ethos of the scientific and religious communities.

The Dialogue of Science and Religion from the Perspective of Contemporary Theories of Democracy

This article deals with the dialogue between science and religion through the lens of contemporary theories of democracy. Can religion, along with science, make valuable contributions to the public debate? Should scientific community respect this contribution, and if yes, then why? The article analyzes the two general considerations in favor of religious contributions. One is normative, connected with contemporary theories of democracy.

Ethos of Religion and Forms of Rationality

The article examines the relationship between religion and science (or rational activities as a whole) as two irreducible basic aspects of human existence and two subsystems of culture, constituted by different systems of values and norms. Theories postulating their harmonious coexistence are failures, and we need to understand the profound causes of conflicts. These causes are not in the sphere of particular or general cognitive disagreements, but in fundamental difference of spiritual settings, that stand behind both religion and science.

Science and Christianity: Confrontation of Ways of Thinking

The article considers the ways of thinking of Science and Christianity in their relationship. The article demonstrates that there are three different aspects in understanding of scientific thinking. The first is based on «dogmatic» tradition of the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. The second considers science in the frame of critical rationality (K. Popper, H. Albert). The third demonstrates the irrational base of science and therefore its closeness to religion.

Philosophy, Religion, and Science: the Models of Understanding

This article deals with the basic models of philosophical understanding of religion, those constitutive characteristics of it that determine its specificity in relation to other forms of human existence. The article outlines several approaches to the description of religion: Kantian, Hegelian, phenomenological, and analytical. The special character of religious thinking is defined by its participation in faith: religious thinking is like a meeting with an object of thought that reveals itself for the thought and thereby determines our thinking.

Science and Religion: New Methodological Opportunities

The paper deals with logical and historical relations of science and religion. Science is dualistic: it seeks to learn the world and to dominate over it. Christianity sees the world, before all, as a display of the Divine; but faith is not just contemplation but also the way of salvation. Science is a sequence of falsified and verified theories. In religion, the knowledge of God is given in revelation, but refracted through a tradition, hence the importance of interpretation.

The Discourse of Science-Religion Dialogue in Modern Russia: An Institutional Dimension

«Science and religion» discourse plays a significant role in shaping the intellectual landscape of modern European thought. The article covers three topics: (1) it explores the meaning of this discourse in Imperial and Soviet Russia, (2) it overviews institutionalization of this discourse in modern Russia, and (3) it presents recommendations for its further development.

No. 1 (33) 2015