Science, Religion and Philosophy: A Search for Communication and Tolerance Matej Bel University Banska Bystrica
This society is the first of its kind “after forty years of atheistic ideology in the former Czechoslovakia” had prevented any “systematic dialog among scientists, philosophers, and religious thinkers.” According to the society leaders, the various groups in the region “had their own monologues, but there was no open exchange of ideas. The objective of this project is to start up such an exchange.” Based in Central Slovakia, this program promotes mutual tolerance and appreciation for alternative interpretations through informal public lectures for teachers, students, and the public. The group holds meetings with invited speakers presenting issues such as: scientific theory and belief; philosophy of science; religious perspectives on scientific discovery and ethical issues; and cosmology. Meetings are followed with thorough exchange of ideas and perspectives. An Internet database encourages the sharing of thoughts and alternative interpretations on current issues, terminology, concepts, theories, and also to helps to identify “traps” and “gaps” that seem to threaten any dialogue within the group. Additionally, this Internet forum allows members, as well as the interested public, to contribute to the discussion. An annual newsletter presents the work and achievements of the group. Yearly, a section of the International Conference on Spirituality, organized by the Department of Philosophy, will include a section exploring science and religion issues in order to engage conference participants this new aspect of dialogue. Matching funds are provided by Matej Bel University.