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Abstract:
Regarding a compilation on science and religion; includes a short list of references to science and religion.
Notes:
Submitted by and posted with permission of recipient.

Science and Religion, Quotations on

by Universal House of Justice

1997-08-13
M E M O R A N D U M

To: The Universal House of Justice

From: Research Department

Quotations on Science and Religion

The Research Department has considered the request for references to science and religion which was contained in the electronic mail message of 25 June 1997 from Mr. ... to the Universal House of Justice. Mr. ... explains that a number of members of the Association for Bahá'í Studies who have access to email have "decided to try to study the Bahá'í quotations on science and the relation of science and religion". He, therefore, enquires about the availability of a compilation on the subject and seeks information concerning other Bahá'ís who might be studying this same topic. We provide the following response.

The Research Department regrets that no comprehensive compilation on science and religion is currently available at the Bahá'í World Centre. There are, however, many references to this subject scattered throughout the published literature of the Faith, which are easily accessed through such programmes as Refer and Immerse. To assist Mr. ... and his group in their study we attach the following items:

1. A compilation entitled, "Selected Extracts on Science and Technology", prepared in response to an earlier request. This compilation, drawn from somewhat less accessible sources, contains extracts from the letters of Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice concerning such subjects as the Bahá'í perspective on science, its place in the curriculum, and its relationship to the Faith and to the processes of decline and growth at work in the world.

We call attention to the final extract in the compilation, which we cite below. This passage might well help to provide an overall sense of direction to the discussions of the group:

With regard to the harmony of science and religion, the Writings of the Central Figures and the commentaries of the Guardian make abundantly clear that the task of humanity, including the Bahá'í community that serves as the "leaven" within it, is to create a global civilization which embodies both the spiritual and material dimensions of existence. The nature and scope of such a civilization are still beyond anything the present generation can conceive. The prosecution of this vast enterprise will depend on a progressive interaction between the truths and principles of religion and the discoveries and insights of scientific inquiry. This entails living with ambiguities as a natural and inescapable feature of the process of exploring reality. It also requires us not to limit science to any particular school of thought or methodological approach postulated in the course of its development. The challenge


Quotations on Science and Religion       13 August 1997        Page 2

facing Bahá'í thinkers is to provide responsible leadership in this endeavour, since it is they who have both the priceless insights of the Revelation and the advantages conferred by scientific investigation. (19 May 1995, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

2. "Science and Religion", a short (and partial) list of references to books and articles by Bahá'ís on this subject.

In addition, Mr. ... may wish to refer to the compilation prepared by the Research Department on "Scholarship" (Mona Vale: Bahá'í Publications Australia, 1995). This collection of texts contains many useful references to science, the scientific method, and the role of scientists.

With regard to the names of Bahá'ís who are engaged in studying the Bahá'í teachings on science and religion, it is suggested that Mr. ... contact the Office of Research at the National Bahá'í Centre in the United States. It is our understanding that this Office is in the process of collecting information about the research interests of Bahá'í scholars.


Science and Religion       13 August 1997        Page 1

Short list of references to science and religion

Association Europeenne Francophone pour les Etudes Bahá'íes: Conference Annuelle (1st: 1984: Montreux, Switzerland). "Science et Religion / Recueil des Conferences", premiere rencontre des 17 et 18 novembre 1984 a Montreux (Suisse). -- Bienne, Switzerland: Association Europeenne Francophone pour les Etudes Bahá'íes, 1984.

European Conference on Science and Religion (2nd: 1988: Enschede, Netherlands). "Science and Religion: One World - Changing Perspectives on Reality", paper presented at the Second European Conference on Science and Religion, March 10-13, 1988. Edited by Jan Fennema and Paul Iain. -- Dordrecht; Boston; London: Kluwer Academic Press, c1990.

Hatcher, William S. "The Unity of Religion and Science", "World Order" (Wilmette, Ill.), vol. 9, no. 3 (Spring 1975).

Hatcher, William S. "The Science of Religion", 2nd ed. (Thornhill, Ontario: Canadian Association for Studies on the Bahá'í Faith, 1980).

Hatcher, William S. "Logic and Logos: Essays on Science, Religion and Philosophy" (Oxford: George Ronald, 1990).

Khursheed, Anjam. "Science and Religion: Towards the Restoration of an Ancient Harmony" (London: Oneworld Publications, 1987).

Loehle, Craig. "On the Shoulders of Giants" (Oxford: George Ronald, 1994).

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