Second International Conference of Project SOW

Athens, National Hellenic Research Foundation

9-10 February, 2018

Orthodox Christianity and the Reassessment of Scientific Knowledge

Two world wars, the fear of nuclear apocalypse during the Cold War, and the ecological catastrophes of the last quarter of the century have undermined the hope that the achievements of science and technology would usher in a glorious future for humankind. But have we moved beyond the claims of scientific positivism that only science can open the door to genuine knowledge? Influential spokespersons for science continue to preach a gospel of scientism that is anchored in materialism and explanatory reductionism. Yet other voices, from within and beyond science, call for serious reappraisal of our approach to scientific knowledge and human progress. They ask whether there is a universal concept of science or several competing models of science? They call for different conceptions of science, nature, and the mind that transcend explanatory reductionism and provide a place for wonder and the divine in the world? They question why scientific findings are often so uncongenial to human aspirations?
Orthodox Christianity may have much to offer in these matters, and the Second SOW International Conference will examine how a characteristic Orthodox approach can contribute to the reassessment of scientific knowledge and enhance the conversation between science and religion. Among several themes to be offered for discussion are the following:
• What are the current conceptual foundations of modern science and Orthodox Christianity? How do they differ? Are they compatible in any meaningful way?
• What can Orthodox Christianity contribute to the contemporary reassessment of scientific knowledge?
• Can we suggest models of science that pay proper tribute to the enormous explanatory power of science while avoiding the excesses of scientism and reductionism?
• What is the contemporary Orthodox stance with regard to the moral and ethical aspects of science, and the manipulation of nature and humankind?

A number of distinguished scientists, theologians, historians, philosophers and thinkers from different countries gather in Athens for a lively and fruitful dialog between exponents of various viewpoints.


More to be announced soon!



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