The way I see the world - Science and Theology

  1. Lemma
  2. Έτσι βλέπω τον κόσμο - Επιστήμη και Θεολογία
  3. Greek, Modern (1453-)
  4. Delli, Eudoxie
  5. Co-existence - History and philosophy of science - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning
  6. 12-5-2017
  7. Theodosiou Efstratios [Author]. The way I see the world - Science and Theology
  8. The way I see the world - Science and Theology
  9. Catholicm and Orthodoxy - Platonism - Aristotelian Physics - Cabala - Newton, Isaac (1643-1727) - scientific pragmatism - Matter
    1. <p>Theodosiou, E. [Θεοδοσίου, Ε.] (2016, December 3). Έτσι βλέπω τον κόσμο - Επιστήμη και Θεολογία [Video file]. Retrieved from</p>
    1. The issue of the hidden or obvious conflict between Christianity in general and Science has been addressed for various reasons by Greek society. The present broadcast aims to restore the truth on this point. Stratos Theodosiou claims that the conflict between theology and science concerns exclusively the relations of the Catholic Church with Science and does not refer to the contemporary relationship between Eastern Orthodox Christianity and science.

      This conflict between the Catholic Church and science culminated in the scientific revolution of the 17th century, long after the Schism between Eastern Church and Western Church (1054), and had nothing to do with Eastern Christianity, which then sank under the Ottoman yoke.

      The interest lies, according to the speaker, in the causes that provoked this rupture. The Western culture, in the period of its formation, after dramatic conflicts and controversies, adopted and incorporated selectively into the structure of Western civilization the Cabalist view of the structure of Universe together with early Christian doctrines on Creation, approaching Christianity as a continuation of Judaism with the prophecy of the Messiah coming to pass.

      Following Theodosiou, these conceptions led the Western thought to overemphasize one aspect of the Aristotelian philosophy, focusing on the observable universe which is accessible by sense-perception and measured by scientific instruments. Considered as the conceptual basis of modern Western science and technology, this approach to Aristotle - easily harmonized with the materialistic and mechanistic background originated from the aforementioned pre-Christian Jewish conceptions – open the path to a mechanist view of the structure of the universe.

      Τo the contrary, the "powerless" Eastern Christianity was based on the Platonic theory of the Ideas/Forms, which was better at expressing the meaning of the Word and Spirit of Christ beyond the materialistic world.

      The scientific revolution and especially the discoveries of Western astronomers clashed with Western Christianity, insofar as they debunked the Aristotelian-Cabalist vision of a geocentric universe. On the other side, the related materialistic and mechanical conceptions did not provoke the reactions of Western Christianity given their compatibility with it.

      On the contrary, Orthodox patristic tradition and especially Basil the Great attributed the origin of the universe to the divine power which remains, beyond the observable reality, inaccessible to sense-perception and Knowledge. At this point, Theodosiou mentions the contribution of Greek cleric-scholars, studied in West, to the transmission and diffusion of Western scientific knowledge and practices in the new-born Hellenic state.

      The speaker mentions that the interaction between Science and Theology has a long and complicated history and states that the resonances of Cabalistic doctrines are still alive and influential in West. He adds that the Catholic conception of a defined beginning and ending of the universe, automatically excludes the possibility of an infinite universe.

      According to the speaker, the theological doctrines cannot block up the development of contemporary scientific research. However, Church - having a large influence on many administrative, economic and political structures - could make life difficult for scientists, when it approaches science positively or negatively depending on whether it strengthens or weakens the impact and its institutional structures, which only leads to conflict.

      Scientists, on the other hand, also tend to add to the conflict by marginalizing other scientists that do not support the classical mechanist and materialist thought, rejecting as unscientific any metaphysical considerations.

      At the end of the broadcast, Theodosiou mentions that there are two main philosophical controversies between Christian theological though and classic Newtonian science. The first concerns the existence of the invisible realm which coexists with the accessible by sense-perception reality. Mechanistic Western thought rejects the reality of the invisible realm and of entities, accepted by Eastern Orthodox theology and others theological traditions. Demons and angels, life after death and supernatural phenomena together with miracles are considered as myths or strickly denied by scientific pragmatism. Reality is considered as being subject only to the laws of mechanical interaction between material objects.

      The second controversial issue is related to the concept and nature of matter and its relationship with the invisible world.

      Modern experimental methods and scientific thought offer new approach to matter, bringing to light the limits of sense-perception unable to give access to the whole reality. Matter and material reality is a Matrix-style world, a set of deformed and fragmented images of an invisible to human biology reality.

      Contemporary sciences should construct bridges with theology in the frame of a new dialogue, in order to achieve peaceful coexistence with Christian structures, assuming  the task to support the promotion of civilization. Scientists must persuade theologians and Church that they do not aim to undermine or replace religion, but support it towards a unifying view of knowledge. On the other side, theologians should follow the example of Christian Fathers and become masters of the so called hard sciences. The deficiencies of religious structures or of clerics cannot lead to the rejection of religion as a whole, insofar as the latter is a prevailing cultural factor. After all Christianity is all about love, justice, respect of otherness and solidarity.