Orthodox Christianity and the Phenomenon of Nuclear Energy

  1. Lemma
  2. Православие и феномен ядерной энергии
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ethics - Orthodox view on technology and engineering
  6. 26-06-2018
  7. Комлева, Евгения Владиславовна [Author]. Православие и феномен ядерной энергии
  8. Наука. Общество. Государство
  9. Russian Orthodox Church - Russian Orthodoxy - Nuclear science - Nuclear storage facility - morality - Nuclear energy
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Комлева, Е. В. (2013). Православие и феномен ядерной энергии. <em>Наука. Общество. Государство</em>, (1 (1)), 196-212. Retrieved from: <a href="https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/pravoslavie-i-fenomen-yadernoy-energii-4">https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/pravoslavie-i-fenomen-yadernoy-energii-4</a> </p>
    1. The author points out that nuclear and religious phenomena have much in common: they both have elements of eternity in comparison with the life of mankind and they have both made great contributions to the reality of existence of humanity. Christian countries were the first to master nuclear energy. In response, Western Christian philosophers, theologians, and scientists (such as K. Jaspers, M. Heidegger, G. Picht, E. Fromm, W. Hesle, K.-O. Apel, G. Ropohl, D. Henrich, A. Einstein, M. Born, W. Heisenberg, KF Weizsaecker, R. Oppenheimer) were the first to identify problems facing humanity in the new nuclear world. Eastern Christian intellectuals are yet to make their contribution into the analysis of nuclear phenomena. In this, Komleva argues, they must cooperate with the scientific community.

      Such a collaboration has indeed been encouraged by Church representatives, such as Alexy II and Archpriest Kiryanov who underlined the correlation between science and religion. The Russian Orthodox Church has also interacted with the representatives of various non-Christian traditions as far as nuclear energy is concerned. The rapprochement between science and religion was recently manifested by the creation of theology chairs at a number of technical universities, the granting of Sc.D. degrees to some Church hierarchs as well as the creation of nuclear centres in Sarov and Sergiyev Posad.

      According to the Orthodox Christian tradition, there is heaven and hell. Mankind must choose between the two with full awareness of their existence. Nuclear energy thus can mean both heaven and hell. Knowledge about nuclear energy (in the anthropological and social context) and its use must necessarily imply a profound understanding of the essence of man and society. Orthodox Christianity points out that the present so-called normal state of mentality and spirituality (of both atheists and believers) is in fact deeply abnormal: human potential is great, but mankind needs to “purify” itself first. Because of the current state of humanity the social, political and technical development of mankind, contrary to the initial good intentions, can lead to the possibility of its own destruction. The Church believes that it is necessary to “humanize humanity”, to overcome internal evil in man in order to avoid catastrophe. Komleva points out that currently professionals and managers of the nuclear sector are far from being “purified”: their activities are characterised by a number of grave violations of moral and ethical norms as well as state legislation.

      That is why the author believes that the Russian Orthodox Church, the state, and the scientific community can work together to develop an ethical and responsible nuclear industry in Russia. As a concrete example, she mentions the possibility of joint action in such fields of nuclear energy for the creation of underground nuclear waste storage facilities. In this, Russia should also cooperate with neighbouring countries, primarily with China that is itself a major nuclear power.