Science and Religion: Quest for the Human Welfare

  • Mohd Ashraf Malik Doctoral Candidate, Shah-i-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies University of Kashmir, Srinagar, 19006 E. mail:
Keywords: Nature, Scripture, Religion, Science, Reason, Revelation


August Comte in the 19th century, James Frazer and Sigmund Freud in the 20th century declared earnestly that religion will be superseded by science. Science according to them would explain everything that humanity needed to expound for itself. The global resurgence of religious movements since the 1970s, however surprised many such Western observers as the afore-mentioned intellectuals, who had assumed that the process of secularization, based on 19th and the 20th centuries positivistic ideas of progress and modernization, was universal, unidirectional, and inevitable. In their view all societies were moving inexorably to increasingly secular conditions in which religious institutions would be progressively marginalized and their hold on society would diminish. The great Islamic Revolution of Iran (1979) further astonished the scientists cum secularists who could see with their own eyes, religion dominating the human affairs. The resurgence of religion made many a men of intelligence to revisit the essence of religion. Like the scientists, Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle in the past, they began to see their work as the part of religious enterprise devoted to the understanding of God’s creation. Among such scientists the prominent ones are the theoretical physicist John Polkinghorne, former director of the Human Genome Project Francis S. Collins, astronomer Owen Gingerrich to name a few. In the paper I would be dealing with some of the prominent themes where science finds religion as complimentary and partner in furthering the cause of human welfare. The areas where religion (especially Islam), and science stand neutral towards one another may also be analysed.


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