Religion, science and natural environment

  1. Lemma
  2. Θρησκεία, επιστήμη και περιβάλλον
  3. Greek, Modern (1453-)
  4. Delli, Eudoxie
  5. Ecology and the environment - Orthodox Anthropology - Ecumenism and dialogue > Westernism and anti-westernism - Natural and the supernatural
  6. Sherrard, Philip [Author]. Religion, science and natural environment
  7. Σύναξη [Synaxi]
  8. desacralization - Plato - Berdyaev - Homer - Yeats, William - depersonalization - mechanistic approach
    1. <p>Sherrard, P. (1990). Θρησκεία, επιστήμη και περιβάλλον. <em>Σύναξη</em>, <em>34</em>, 53-66.</p>
    1. Philip Sherrard argues that the ecological crisis is a multi-faceted and universal problem closely related to the normative standards of modern life (leading to consumerism, overexploitation of the natural resources, over-industrialisation, pollution, intoxication of food and water etc.). For this reason, only a mutation of the way of living could stop the threat of a total destruction. This mutation requires a total revision of the core components of modern thought on the image of world and man.

      The author considers the ecological crisis as a symptom of a wider and deeper crisis whose origins go back to the worldview of the Renaissance, before culminating in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. This period inaugurates a new approach of Nature and Man. Nature is desecrated, becoming an object of strict mathematical inquiry. Natural world, viewed in its material and measurable dimensions as a working machine, has been disconnected from its metaphysical references and existential or spiritual meaning. According to Sherrard, this approach paved the path to the domination of Man over Nature leading to the overexploitation of its resources, while it gave also birth to an annex vision of man, which reduce human person to a living organism with physical needs and individual interests. In addition, this conception of nature had led to a deep alienation of the work-people in West. Human labour, work and profession, in the service of automatism and depersonalisation, had been disconnected for human identity and creativity.

      The author also criticizes the most recent contemporary scientific theories, which seem to be more flexible and comprehensive. Sciences cannot lead either to the understanding of God’s Revelation nor to a more holistic apprehension of world and humanity, because they are always changing and remain under the impact of mathematical and statistical fetishism, which designates relevant political decisions, educational programs and ethics all over the world.

      Sherrard proposes the rejection of the atheistic model of modern science and incites to revisit premodern traditions – which nowadays are considered as superstitious or primitive – in order to reintegrate in our worldview their metaphysical and supernatural dimension of nature and human life emphasizing on man’s likeness to God and on the transcendent principles of life.

      The author concludes that only a restoration of the image of world and of human self, within this spirit, could provide a remedy to the ecological crisis, based on the humility and the responsibility of man in approaching natural world and in acting in harmony within it.