Past and Future
Edited By Michael Welker
The Use of Metaphors when Talking about the Nature of Organisms
The relationship between science and religion is burdened by a divisive history at many levels and it is a difficult task to identify areas in which science, religion and theology can interact productively.1 It seems obvious that attempts by either side to do the job of the other are doomed to fail; with what I mean attempts by scientists to declare what religion is about2 or religion deciding how science is done or what scientific insights are acceptable.3 Attempts to forge a joint narrative from elements of scientific and religious traditions are interesting but may quickly reach the limits of what each side takes for granted in their respective narratives. There is however, one area, in which I have great hopes for a productive interaction between theologians, clergy and scientists. A legitimate area of joint concern for both sides is the spiritual and mental wellbeing of humankind.
Science and its extension in technology affects the lives of people in direct physical as well as indirect spiritual and mental ways. It is easy to see that the consequences of technological progress affect people in ways that religious leaders and people of faith are called upon to react. Examples are the consequences of reproductive technologies on human live and wellbeing as well as the impact of economic activity on the environment. There are, however, also more subtle ways that science affects the life of people that I want to discuss in this short contribution and which also should...
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