The Dialogue Between Religion and Science: Challenges and Future Directions, by Antje Jackelén
This series of three lectures is devoted to an exploration of three challenges for the current dialogue between science and religion: the challenges from hermeneutics, feminisms and postmodernisms. Hermeneutics, the practice and theory of interpretation and understanding, deals with questions of interpreting texts and data and examines the role and use of language in religion as well as in science. Results of the post-Kuhnian discussion are used to exemplify a wider range of hermeneutical issues, such as the ideological potential of scientific concepts, the dynamics of interdisciplinarity and the significance of the socio-economic situatedness of science and religion. Feminist research analyzes the consequences of the interplay of masculine, feminine and gender typologies in religion and science. Examples from the history of science as well as current scientific conceptualizations indicate that beliefs in the inferiority of woman form part of our inherited scientific, religious and metaphysical framework. The second lecture concludes with an application of insights from hermeneutics and feminism to an understanding of creation theology in a scientific perspective. The third lecture argues that postmodernism in its most constructive form shares the best fruits of modernity, especially of the Enlightenment, while at the same time avoiding some of its most serious mistakes. Drawing on the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and his understanding of science, the connection between modern and postmodern, between rationality and piety is demonstrated. A conclusion offers an outline of constructive suggestions and critical observations concerning the future of this dialogue.