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Okrugli stol Značenje enciklike "Vjera i razum" za odnos religije, filozofije i znanosti

Sudjelovanje na znanstvenom skupu Transdisciplinarity and the Unity of Knowledge: Beyond the Science and Religion Dialogu (M. Šunjić)

Sudjelovanje na znanstvenom skupu Transdisciplinary approaches of the dialogue between science, art and religion in the Europe of tomorrow (M. Šunjić)

Predavanje Eutanazija (N. Zurak)

Sudjelovanje na znanstvenom skupu Etika u medicinskoj znanosti (N. Zurak i D. Kocijan-Hercigonja)

Sudjelovanje na znanstvenom skupu Diktatura relativizma (S. Tadić, S. Kutleša, N. Stanković)



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Marijan Šunjić

Social aspects of the science - religion dialogue in post-totalitarian societis

 Metanexus Institute's 6th Annual Conference of the Local Societies Initiative "Transdisciplinarity and the Unity of Knowledge: Beyond the Science and Religion Dialogue" link_button.jpg (1543 bytes)

 Philadelphia, SAD, 2-6.06.2007.



When organizing a discussion on the science-religion dialogue one usually starts with the two basic questions: "Why?" and "How?". The initial motivation is always deeply personal, but one immediately realizes the necessity to include wider social aspects of the problem, due to the fact that both science and religion are intrinsically connected with the development of our Western civilization. They had and still have deep impact on the conditions in our societies, and vice versa, these conditions strongly influence their relationship. The answers to the original questions should therefore consider both the universal and the situation specific parts, though they are often related. Without taking into account the latter aspect one could not understand the roots of possible conflicts and even less be able to find ways for their resolution. This general statement becomes especially relevant in times of great social upheavals and changes, as is the case today after the collapse of communism in some countries of Central and Eastern Europe and their attempted transition to democracy. All totalitarian regimes of the 20th century in Europe were strongly influenced by the scientistic ideas and used them as the ideological tool (together with the brute force) to persecute religion and religious segments of the population, particularly intellectuals, who were thus eliminated from public life and their natural role in the society. The quest for absolute power, typical of the totalitarian regimes, also included destruction and/or total control and manipulation of all institutions, including academic, cultural and even religious ones, thus preventing their normal functioning in a civil society which includes the tolerant and argumentative discussion including the science-religion dialogue. In this paper, as part of the answer to the "How?" question, we want to illustrate some of the consequences of this totalitarian period which make this dialogue different and more complex than in other social situations. In particular this refers to the change in the mentality and attitudes resulting from ideological pressures in education, media, including systematic brainwashing of the population, suppression of information and sheer terror. Destruction of the institutions, mentioned above, as well as the continuing but disguised pressures from the old power centers ("nomenklatura") should also be considered. We also want to amplify the answer to the "Why?" question by emphasizing the special need for the science-religion dialogue in post-totalitarian societies, as part of the process that would contribute to the establishment of a more tolerant intellectual (and also political) atmosphere in the society. Elimination of the ideologically induced prejudices would lead specifically to the rehabilitation of the religious segment of the population who should thus acquire their proper role in the society.


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