Theological Reflection as a Specific Form of Rationality and the Possibility of Cooperation between Science and Religion

  1. Lemma
  2. Теологическо-богословская рефлексия как специфическая форма рациональности и возможности сотрудничества науки и религии
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ethics - Ecumenism and dialogue > Ecumenism - Orthodox theological tradition and practice - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning > Mysticism and Orthodox spiritual experience - Modes of interaction > Orthodox critique of science
  6. 07-08-2018
  7. Радугин, А. А. [Author]. Теологическо-богословская рефлексия как специфическая форма рациональности и возможности сотрудничества науки и религии
  8. Научные ведомости Белгородского государственного университета. Серия: Философия. Социология. Право.
  9. bioethics - ethics - ecclesiastical theology - rationality - scientific knowledge - religious philosophy
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    1. <p>Радугин, А. А. (2009). Теологическо-богословская рефлексия как специфическая форма рациональности и возможности сотрудничества науки и религии. <em>Научные ведомости Белгородского государственного университета. Серия: Философия. Социология. Право</em>, 8 (8 (63)), 79-88.</p>
    1. The author posits that although all scientific knowledge is rational, rational knowledge is not necessarily scientific. Many layers of philosophical and religious knowledge are rational, but not scientific. The development of a strictly defined concept of rationality has an important methodological significance.

      The author then proceeds to the comparison of scientific and religious rationalities. He notes that like science, religion is a complex social system. Religious consciousness, and therefore, religious knowledge, exists on two levels: the ordinary and the theoretical. At the theoretical level, religious consciousness is represented by theology and theosophy. Contrary to the former, theology is not based on esotericism and mystic knowledge. Theology, as the author defines it, is the highest level of religious consciousness, which seeks the rationale of the religious doctrine, and the adaptation of this doctrine to the peculiarities of particular societies.

      The author argues that theological systems are close to scientific theories. They usually consist of axiomatic and theoretical parts. The axiomatic part is composed of dogmas adopted by the Church at Ecumenical Councils. The substantiation of these dogmas and their conjugation with each other is conducted with a wide use of logical tools and scientific achievements. However, the rationality of theology is specific. And it is this specificity that fundamentally distinguishes the theological cognition from the scientific one. The axiomatic foundations of scientific theories are based on the study of reality. Theological concepts are based on the authority of the Holy Scriptures and the Church. Authoritarianism is thus the most characteristic feature of the theological style of thinking: it substitutes the study of reality by the procedure of definitions.

      At the same time, the author believes that science and religion have a lot in common. Although theological cognition, contrary to the scientific one, is based on faith, scientists themselves admit the importance of faith – as a psychological phenomenon - for science. Faith is necessary for the scientist to mobilize his/her spiritual and physical powers when he/she lacks information or evidence. It plays a compensatory function and allows the scientist to move further in the sphere of the unknown. The author believes that the clash of religious and scientific cognition is not inherent but arises when the features of these cognitive methods acquire the ideological character. Thus, when religion and science remove ideological opposition, fruitful cooperation is possible between them, in particular in the sphere of ethics and bioethics.

      The Catholic Church has produced a number of writings on bioethics. The Russian Orthodox Church has also taken an active part in solving the problems of interaction between science and religion. In 1998, the Church-Public Council on Biomedical Ethics was formed and included not only theologians, but also leading Russian scientists who set themselves such tasks as "moral and legal expertise of experimental and scientific activities in the field of biomedicine; the study of the state of biomedical research in Russia; informing and advising the general public on ethical issues of modern medicine.”