Uniting science and religion

I’ve a piece published in the Church Times on the relationship between science and religion. The one line summary: “Mystical experience is a human birthright.”. Here’s the start…

IF YOU follow the debate on the relationship between science and religion, it is easy to come to one conclusion. There is nothing new under the sun. One side declares: science is eroding old superstitions, such as belief in God and miracles. Oh no it isn’t, the other retorts: the very fact that the universe can be understood, and science is done, suggests a cosmic mind. And so it goes on, with variations on the theme.

But, last month, I attended a conference where I felt that a different approach emerged. It was organised by the Fetzer Institute, an American philanthropic organisation that supports “building the spiritual foundation for a loving world”. A group of scientists and thinkers, of various faiths and none, had gathered to discuss the possibility of substantiating that vision — although, early on, it became clear that a question hung over us: would we have anything new to say?

It seemed unlikely. The mood noticeably shifted, however, when we considered things from a different angle. Perhaps it isn’t the arguments about religious beliefs and scientific discoveries that matter; rather, it could be the attitudes that people adopt.

To continue reading…

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