Changing the paradigm in cosmology. The opportunities and the risks of a dialogue between science and Orthodox theology .

  1. Lemma
  2. Schimbarea de paradigmă în cosmologie. Oportunitătile şi riscurile unui dialog între stiinţă si teologia ortodoxă.
  3. Romanian
  4. Stavinschi, Alexandra
  5. Modes of interaction > Integration - Various approaches to the problem of correlation between science and theology - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning
  6. 19-1-2017
  7. Paraschiv, Tudor [Author]. Changing the paradigm in cosmology. The opportunities and the risks of a dialogue between science and Orthodox theology.
  8. Transdisciplinarity in Science and Religion
  9. apophatisim - cosmology - criteria of truth - dialogue
  10. Click Here
    1. The author’s aim is to contribute to the healing of the "tragic schism” between faith and reason that was the consequence of the "divorce” between science and religion.

      The article is structured as follows: Contemporary Orthodox theology and science - common positions; The preconditions of a genuine dialogue of Orthodox theology with contemporary science; The determinist paradigm of scientific rationalism - science and faith in conflict; Risks of a poor dialogue between science and theology; The attitude of orthodox theology towards progress and scientific truths; Conclusions.

      The first part focuses on the aspects that modern science and orthodox theology have in common. Here are a few similarities between the positions of Orthodox Christianity and modern science:

      a. Criticism of mythology and imaginary universe often produced by different cultures;

      b. Criticism of the empty speculation, of the dialectical exercise disconnected from reality and not confirmed by experience;

      c. Criticism of the isolated or sectarian human experience, unconfirmed by the scientific or the ecclesiastical community; fighting obscure mysticism and pietism;

      d. Aspiration towards the universal truth, profound conviction of the unity and rationality of the world, beyond its diversity;

      e. Refusal of any ideological enslavement;

      f. Acceptance of the relativity and limits of human knowledge, which can be endlessly improved.

      The author goes on to list aspects related to individual and communitarian behaviour, stressing the importance of the community in establishing and safeguarding the truth. He also points out differences between institutional attitudes in the western and the eastern church; in his view, the latter cannot be accused of dogmatism and hindering scientific progress.

      To sum up, everything boils down to the passionate search of the truth about the world and man and to the importance of experience in establishing these truths, even if science and religion follow different routes; however, their purpose is the same. In the second part, the author identifies the preconditions of a genuine dialogue between orthodox theology and contemporary science.

      a) the incommensurability of the paradigms of science and religion;

      b) the need for each partner to remain in its own area of competence;

      c) the imperative of axiological neutrality for science.

      The author believes that it is crucial to maintain the distinction between the methods of scientific knowledge and theological knowledge. Firstly, the author insists on the difference of perspective in their approach. Secondly, he emphasizes the importance of strictly defining their competences. The divorce between science and theology, that has happened gradually in the western culture, was prompted by the radical duality between spirit and matter, which underpins the scolastic and neoscolastic thinking. Another reason was the unjustified appropriation of the church of the ptolemaic cosmology. The inevitable clashes that ensued led to positing a radical contrast between reason and faith, which shaped collective thinking in the West. While encouraging the dialogue between science and religion, the author mentions a number of approaches that can be counterproductive. Modern dialogue should learn from past mistakes.

      Orthodox theology, based on the theological apophatism of the Fathers of the Church, accepts temporary explanations of the fallen world, but always relates them to the Revelation and assumes that they can never be taken as definitive; its attitude towards science can be considered as radically positive and radically critical.