Orthodoxy and Science: dissent or the richness of differentness?

  1. Lemma
  2. Pravoslavlje i nauka: razdor ili bogatstvo razlicitosti
  3. Serbian
  4. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  5. Modes of interaction
  6. 28-10-2017
  7. Bodin, Milenko [Interviewee]. Orthodoxy and Science: dissent or the richness of differentness?
  8. Slovoljubve
    1. Bodin, Milenko
    2. Conference "Orthodoxy and Science"
  9. interaction
  10. 28/10/2017
    1. On the occasion of the International Conference "Orthodoxy and Science" held on Monday, 23th October, at Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment in Belgrade, with the blessing of the Serbian Patriarch Irinej, the guest of the program Under the Question on Radio Slovoljubve is professor Milenko Bodin, one of the event organizers and the president of the Department of Orthodox Scientists in Serbia.

      Professor Bodin stated that the aim of the conference is to help bridge the gap between science and religion and provide answers to the contemporary social issues. He added that it is not easy to explain that a person can be an Orthodox Scientist, but if one is close to the source of knowledge and feelings, it is clear that they can overlap and amalgamate, support each other in very important questions. Those sources are gospels and the world around – the existential questions man is interested in.

      On the question “What does religion give to science and vice versa?” professor Bodin emphasized the problem of considering them to be contrasted for decades, emphasizing that ideological framework, ideological fog that dimmed their interrelatedness. He also added that science and religion are undoubtedly related to one another. Faith gets stimulated by scientific knowledge to explore and defend itself from pseudoscientific statements. Science may obtain spiritual capacity, impetus to overcome limitations and understand answers that the divine creation has provided humans with.

      Regarding the conference, it is organized by the Department of Orthodox Scientists that originated in Russia 5 years before. Father Genadij was the one who asked professor Bodin to establish the Department, and he himself was a scientist who turned to theology and became a priest, still interested in the scientific field. The event was aimed by the Society of Friends of Serbian Monasteries “Studenica Circle”. 

      The 3-day conference is a continuation of the similar ones held in Greece in 2015 and Bulgaria in 2016. It all started in Russia though, where the first conferences were held, aiming at fostering the cooperation among the Orthodox countries.

      The question the conference is to open with, is whether the gap between science and orthodoxy may be bridged. Professor Bodin, as one of the organizers, claims that they can by eliminating ideological delusions.

      The first event would be a round table Orthodoxy: A Hundred Years after the October Communist Revolution, 1917–2017, introducing the other topics and opening the theme of Orthodox legacy.

      More than a hundred persons have been announced to take part in the conference and relate to the interrelatedness of science and religion. Some of them are academician Veselin Djuretic who explores historical sideways of the scientific worldview, Caslav Ocic, Dr. Bojan Dimitrijevic whose stance is that communist states have been related to Orthodoxy since Orthodox countries are less prone to competitiveness and hence tend to collectivism such as the ideology of communism is.

      Professor Bodin added that any opportunity to tackle the relationship of authentic spirituality that follows scientific interest is of vital importance, particularly at present since the society is at the point of history when globalization tends to swallow all values and young generations do not have proper paragons. Hence, it is important to talk on Orthodoxy and the Gospel so as to awaken the meaning of life.

      The theory of evolution would be one of the most interesting themes at the conference since currently it is widely debated in Serbian academic, political and educational circles. The theory is taught and presented as the one that destroys religious worldview and is masked by diverse ideologies since Enlightenment and Marxism, used as a weapon against spirituality. Professor concludes that even Darwin himself would not agree with the ideologies that sprang. Therefore, one of the participants would be Dr. Roncevic, the initiator of the 2017 petition seeking to review Darwin’s theory of evolution in Serbian educational system and his presentation would probably spark public interest and perhaps bring some new arguments to the topic. Professor Bodin says that theory of evolution can never be scientifically proved since it is metaphysical which deprives it of scientific argument for the course from single cell organism to the complex one can never be traced. It is not possible to find the transition from nonorganic to organic state. He further states that it is rather connected to the model of Enlightenment that perceived other possibilities as regressive, but acknowledged the theory of evolution in the spirit of ideology of progress.

      Professor Bodin added that as a part of the program foreign visitors would have the opportunity to visit Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries.

      One of the plans for the next year, 2018, is the artistic performance “Martyrdom and Resurrection” on the occasion of the 100 years from the suffering and temptations to Orthodoxy, but also implying that Orthodoxy has not been in calamity even though the communist ideology was supposed to have eliminated it.