STRANGE BEDFELLOWS? ORTHODOX PERSPECTIVES ON THEOLOGY, SPIRITUALITY, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY
This paper considers whether Orthodox theology and spirituality can interact with science and technology peacefully and creatively. The issue lies with the popular assumption that the Orthodox follow the early Christians who, supposedly, opposed science and technology. However, traditionally, the early Christians approached human resourcefulness with discernment and wisely. It goes the same for two modern Orthodox theologians, Pelikan and StaÌ†niloae. I consider the scriptural stories of the Fall and the Tower of Babel, showing what they mean for the way theology, spirituality, science, and tech- nology intersect. Then I introduce the anonymous Letter to Diognetus and Max- imus the Confessor"™s Book of Difficulties, especially the parts about the creative coexistence of the four areas; I demonstrate that these sources do not consider them strange bedfellows. These sources show how to read the two scriptural stories and suggest ways out of current impasses. The paper contends that the lessons drawn from these texts lead to a mature Orthodox understanding of current challenges related to scientific and technological advance.
Keywords: discernment, patristic tradition, science, spirituality, technology, theology
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