Church and Science – is there a conflict? Opinion of the members of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. Lemma
  2. Церковь и Наука – есть ли конфликт? Мнения академиков
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Complementarity - Co-existence - Various approaches to the problem of correlation between science and theology
  6. 06-01-2017
  7. Editorial board of the online site Pravoslavie i Mir - Pravmir.Ru [Author]. Церковь и Наука – есть ли конфликт? Мнения академиков
  8. Pravmir.Ru
  9. Russian history - Russian Academy of Sciences - science - Monastery
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Editorial board of the online site Pravoslavie i Mir - Pravmir.Ru (2007). Церковь и Наука – есть ли конфликт? Мнения академиков. <em>Pravmir.Ru</em>. Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The authors discuss the reaction of some members of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) to the Church’s involvement with social issues in Russia. Indeed, a group of members of the RAS sent an open letter to President Putin criticizing the interference of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) with the social life of the country. The authors believe that this group overreacted and that in fact there was no conflict. The president of the RAS, Yurii Osipov, shared this opinion and asked both scientists and clericals to work together for the common good of the country. Osipov highlighted the fact that Russian monasteries had been centres for scientific knowledge in Russia for six hundred years, and that the first publishing house had appeared in the Patriarch’s house. In addition, Patriarch Joachim (1620-1690) was the one who founded the Greek-Latin Academy (1687) in Russia, and Patriarch Nikon (1605-1681) invited foreign scientists to Russia.

      The article quotes another prominent scientist - academician R.I. Ilkaev, head of the Nuclear Energy Centre in Sarov. Ilkaev is quoted as saying that he could not imagine progressive development in Russia without the work of both scientists and the ROC. Ilkaev mentioned the positive influence of the ROC leaders’ visits at the Sarov Centre and their support for the centre’s mission, namely the security of Russia. Ilkaev also spoke about the historical role of Sarov – an important religious centre – that needs to be given a fresh impetus. Indeed, the Sarov monastery had been home to one of the most renowned Russian saints Serafim Sarovski (1759-1833). Ilkaev mentioned that to his own surprise he found 30 churches in Los Alamos, the US nuclear energy research centre, for the about 18 000 people working there, whereas there were only two churches in Sarov for 85 000 people.

      Another academician and president of the Russian Social Sciences University, V.I. Zhukov, said that without spirituality, educational establishments could not create a specialist who would be competent in profound causes of social facts. Zhukov agrees with patriarch Aleksei II’s words that the genuine renaissance of religion would undoubtedly come after the period of superficial religiousness. Academician E.V. Fortov stated that science had developed in medieval European monasteries for the common good of the society. He argued that the idea of monotheism encouraged this development. Monotheism followed the logic of the existence of one God and consequently one Providence. Thus it established the existence of an undivided subject of research, unlike polytheism of the East, which implied plural truths.

      The article also quotes N.P. Bekhtereva, director of the Institute of the Human Brain of the RAS, who pointed out that the role of the Church in creating social norms and stereotypes helped people to avoid committing serious mistakes and crimes. Finally, Sadovnichy, the president of the Moscow State University, mentioned that great breakthroughs in science occurred when scientists broke the conventional norms, including accepted assumptions and illusions. Therefore science uses wisdom that often implies non-scientific knowledge.