The Semiotics of Science and Religion Dialogue and the Global Citizenship

Image Source: Open Access Government

Science -Religion dialogue has grown by leaps and bounds. In the context of this study, we wish to undertake a scrutiny of the dynamism of this vital dialogue. This brings us to the in-between zone opened by the two disciplines .

A spatial hermeneutics can illuminate many profound aspects of the in-between zone opened by Science and Religion. The spatial turn in the scholarly circles has broken the temporal prison house of our language and challenged all pious descendents of time to consider not just histories but geographies seriously. The sequential flow of time is replaced by simultaneity of space and time and we are enabled to see the dynamism of Science and Religion dialogue with greater clarity. Hence, our study attempts a special hermeneutics of Science-Religion dialogue

The paper strives to study the semiotic character dialogue of Science and Religion. Our semiotic analysis manifests that the dialogue between Science and Religion is indeed a trialogue. Our study indicates that the semiotic condition of the triologue reveals that our society can move to a profound configuration of human communion across the globe.

Spatial Hermeneutics

Understanding our Experience of Space

The experience of space and time is fundamental to us. Humans have given primacy to time and its narrative version, history from time in memorial. It is only with the arrival of the postmodern critique that space found its rightful place in the order of things. It is said that the work of Gaston Bachelard, Lefevre and Edward Soja brought about a spatial turn that strove to overcome the binary opposites that crippled our thinking for a long time. Soja in particular constantly probes the interstices of yes / no, black/white, center/ periphery, same/ other, etc. Between and beyond these binary opposites, Soja finds the third way.1

Soja teaches that time is experienced as homogeneous and linear while space is experienced as heterogeneous. Considering the complexities of our spatial experience, he presents the third space as an absolute alterity, a space for confrontation and hybridization of identity, a space for transcending the dualisms of the binary logic. Thus, the third space is a space for co-existence, a shared area transcending all the dividing lines. Thus, he successfully stimulates new ways of thinking and rebalanced spatiality, historicality, and sociality.2

Henri Lefebvre had already sowed the seeds of understanding the crucial relationships between physical, mental and social spaces in his book, the production of space (1974).3 His rescued space from Cartesian shadows and brought the discussion of space into relevance to a wide range of scholarly projects. His insight that the realist version of space as out there is independent of our involvement in it (physical space), and the manner in which we talk and represent space (mental) occlude many of the important concerns and is indeed significant. Hence, it is vital to consider the third space, a dialogical field that links people and their world.

This third space is a space produced by every society. Space is not a vacuum waiting to be filled by people, but it is actively constructed and produced by the people. Societies that fail to produce its social space fail to survive. Borrowing from Lefebrve, Soja teaches that the first space is a socially produced space that is materialized and empirical which is open to measurement and description. Often we see this kind of produced space as a backdrop to our other activities rather than appreciate how the space that we have actively produced has deep significance on everything we do.

The second space is a world of signs, codes and discourses that we have about the space. It is a semiotic space and is a playground of discursive resources that embody power, control and production. It is also produced by text and meaning, being a kind ‘metal space’ which contains the representations of ideology and worldviews. This is the most dominant space in the world. These perceived and conceived spaces that are called the first and the second space are very central to a person’s lived experience.

The third space is not just the first space which contains the empirical space and social forces of production. Neither it is a second space, which is a semiotic space embedding the representations of the world. It is a lived space and involves lived inter-changes with the world. Although the third space is different from the first and the second space by virtue of the manner it foregrounds active life within its bounds, yet it encompasses them. It is only understood on its plane of lived experience in the here and now and moves beyond the familiar either/ or structure of our thinking . All the binary opposites dissolve into a unity in the third space. The third space abandons the linear analysis of modernity that prefers to read space as products of historicality and sociality rather than spatiality. The linear, modernists analysis of space renders opaque real processes of power and exploitation experienced by the people as well delegitimize voices from the underside of human experience whose stories do not fit in the meta-narratives of progression that hide the fangs of oppression. The third space becomes an ethical space that brings forward an ethical imperative towards creation of a just and inclusive society. Hence, the space becomes a counter space, a space of resistance to the dominant order that usually emerges from the periphery and the margin.

The third space is more open and accommodating to the spiritual capital than the staunch secular neutralism which seeks to privatize spiritual and religious belief and keep the public space uncontaminated from them. But the reality is that almost everyone has a spiritual capital and hence, the third space becomes a space for everyone to express their motivating worldview and vision for change. The third space is a potential space for radical hospitality and dialogue that opens us to a series of encounters with the other people and their radically other contexts. Thus, the third space takes us into a realm beyond binary norms that not only deepen our own sense of identity and mission but sensitize us to become compassionate and willing to encounter the otherness of the other beyond its transmutation into the sameness of our categories. This means our roots in the first and the second space do not disappear as we journey into the third space but they remain all the time life-enhancing.

Living in the Thirdspace

Image Source: The Third Space

The thirdspace4 enables one to speak from and live in a position of in-betweenness. It at once calls us to explore the position of in betweenness and speak from difference. This living and speaking from the position of in-betweenness brings us to the domain of thirdness as envisaged by the Russian literary theorist, Mickhail Bakhtin. Bakhtin refers to the thirdness as the third element connecting the utterance to the reply, and the relation between them.5 Scholars have already seen thirdness as the relational element, the in-between of any two or more diverse cultural groups.

The thirdness opens and thirds into the thirdspace that we have seen above as distinguished spatial practice. Thirding becomes a spatial practice wherein, we are enabled to mediate between representations of space (conceptualized space imposed by the dominant order) and representational space (the space of everyday experience). The third is the most important element of the self-other dyad. Bakhtin presents dialogism as a differential relation. Thus, without thirdness and the possibility of for relation with another to be configured in another place and time, there would not be any possibility of reaching what Homi Babha calls transgradience, towards the self.6 That is, to see one ‘s self as if from outside.

Despite its complexity, Baktin’s concept of thirdness is vital as it accounts for the dynamism of the self-other relations. It leads us to understand how this relation involves a response to the other. It highlights that ‘the individual does not exist, has no meaning, cannot define himself/ herself without the other.7 This brings us to Bakhtin’s notion of addressivity, that is, the quality of addressing the other.8 Addressivity directly depends on how the actor ‘senses and imagines his addresses’9 one cannot rule out some distorting effect on it, thereby negatively affecting thirdness. But scholars opine that satisfactory addressivity is enough to propel the process into the third space.

The third space is a hybrid, contradictory, and ambivalent and allows ‘the third perspective to grow in the margin of the dominant ways of seeing’.10 It sets up a new space of communication that manages to keep both perspectives in the field of vision in order to enable either side to translate the other perspective. Homi Babha sees the third space as the space of encounter with the other, a space where the communication, negotiation with the other or translation from one perspective to the other can take place.11 Thus, the notion of the third space, although used by many thinkers in poly-nuanced ways somehow boils down to mean a field of reconciliation of dialectical tensions or at best, it refers to the field that keeps opposing or different perspectives in play in the same space. Thus, in the third space, the oppositional perspectives can work together to generate new perspectives, new discourses. That is why Babha teaches that the third space constitutes the discursive conditions that ensure that even the same signs can be appropriated, translated, dehistoricized, and read anew.12

Discursive Production of the Third Space

The third space is produced in and through the language when people come together and resist cultural authority bringing different experiences to bear on the same linguistic signs or cultural symbols as well as different signs and symbols to bear on the same experience . This means it becomes a zone of instability of signs and symbols, a challenge to dominant conceptions of the ‘unity and fixity’ of culture and language. Thus, the third space is always in the making. It is always in the process of negotiation. We cannot essentialize the third space. It always remains dynamic. It remains away from the gaze but is ineffable and can only be felt. That is why the third space keeps us permanently in-between, permanently on the road.

Within the ambit of the third space, there is an attempt to conceptualize what is thought of as the third time.13 It is the in-between of time, an experience of in-between past and the present. Experiencing the third time is another way of experiencing the third space. I like to think of the experience a third time as the experience of a kairological time.

The third space can be seen as an enabling space on the borderlines of cultural margins, that transforms the margins into a space of radical openness , a profound edge that gives us a location to articulate our sense of the world. It becomes a space from which to speak both of, and as , the minority, the exilic, the marginal and the emergent. The third space enables us to sensitize ourselves to the politics of location that operates as a dividing practice constructing power equations within a particular society.

The Hermeneutics of the Dynamic In-between

The Semiotic Sphere of Science and Religion Dialogue

We can trace a third culture into cross-cultural or inter-disciplinary research. Thirdness has found important space in the semiotic work of Barthes and Pierce, philosophy and literary criticism of Michael Bakthin and cultural theory of Homi Bhabha. These important works have dismantled the discourse of binarism.

It is with this paradigm beyond binarism that we can understand the dynamism of Science and Religion dialogue. In this context, we need to bear in mind that the Science and Religion dialogue is not just an interdisciplinary interaction but a mode of communal existence. Hence, Science and Religion dialogue builds a harmonious human co-presence as the dialogue radiates from the semiotic sphere of the Society.

Bakhtin teaches that the semiotic sphere is a heteroglossic space in which two ideological forces (centripetal forces and centrifugal forces) are in constant tension. The centripetal forces are monoglossic in as much as they tend to standardize, centralize and close meanings in a language and the centripetal forces gravitate towards the cultural periphery, decentralize and diversify language and resist closure by articulating an unofficial worldview.14 It is these forces within the semiotic sphere of society that become the condition of production of all dialogue and understanding. The semiotic resources of the semiotic sphere of a society guides how we understand our interconnectedness and negotiate our differences. Thus, the semiotic trans-border flow (meaning-exchange) between Science and Religion significantly influences the socio-economic-politico contours of society. Therefore, the ‘power geometry’ of a Society does operate as a censoring regime of the dialogue between Science and Religion.

The Thirdness in Science and Religion Dialogue

Bakhtin elaborates thirding as meeting the other in a space of outsidedness. It is a space of in-between-ness produced by the very act of inner distancing and pushing one’s consciousness to the limit of otherness in order to meet the external alien. This act of descending into the space of outsideness bestows a surplus vision of self and the other. The outsideness is thus, the organizing center of meaning-making experience.15 Therefore, the border between self and the other becomes a semiotic space that embeds the dialogue of self with the other.

The dialogical practices of relating Science and Religion takes place into a space of outsideness, the third space. This means Science and Religion are thirding into a third space. This space of outsideness or thirdness is the Society. Society is the domain of the border-crossing dynamics of Science and Religion relations. This means that the semiotic flow between Science and Religion takes place in the context of our society. Therefore, in reality Science –Religion relations triggers a trialogue.

Society is the ‘contact zone’ for both Science and Religion. It is the Society that provides the space for their dialogical practices and becomes an effective medium by means of which they become co-present to each other through their dialogical border crossing dynamism. This dialogical border crossing takes place on the canvas of Society where it is not a passive spectator. Indeed, Science-Religion dialogue brings society as the third partner into play. That is why I refer to this semiotic-inflow as a dialogue between Science, Religion and Society (SRS).

The Semiosis of Relating Science and Religion

The semiotic sphere is seen as a meaning-generating space. It is a space where being in all its forms assumes multiple simultaneous interpretations. Lori Lotman teaches that no sign, text or culture can exist alone and singly.16 It is said that Lori Lotman constructed the concept of semiotic sphere in 1982 based on Vladimir Vernadsky’s notion of Biosphere.17 Just as life can only come from life, so also meaning can arise only from preceding meaning. That is why the semiosphere is seen as a web of sign processes or semiosis. The space of semiosis is a heterogeneous space that enables qualitative diversity to emerge, to fuse, and to sustain.

The space of semiosis between Science and Religion is the Society.18 The meaning generated by the dialogue of Science and Religion besides enriching both Science and Religion enriches Society as Science and Religion belong together in and for a Society. That is why the dialogue of Science and Religion triples into a trialogue.

Meaning is inter-subjectively generated. The interdisciplinary dialogue between Science and Religion is fundamentally inter-subjective. The inter-subjective production of meaning and its circulation feed into the social relations, their reproduction and their transformation. This means the production, communication and reception of the semiosis of the dialogue of Science and Religion takes place in the Society. This semiosis is performative. It means semiosis has real effects on social practice, social institutions and the social order. This means the dynamic relation between Science and Religion can become a semiotic resource for a Society.

We might understand the semiosis of Science and Religion dialogue in the light of some important concepts developed by some semioticians. Some of the semioticians following a critical realist philosophy distinguish between the ‘real’ from the ‘actual’ and the ‘empirical’ aspects of semiosis. The ‘real’ connotes the objects, events, institutions, social roles, etc., and their powers and limitations. That is, anything, (event or institution etc.,) becomes a semiotic resource. The ‘actual’ refers to what happens when the semiotic powers of what we have called as the ‘real’ are activated and produce a change. ‘The empirical’ is a subset of the real and the actual that is experienced by the actors.19 Thus, Science and Religion belong to the realm of the ‘real’ and form a dynamic semiotic resource and the dialogical practices of relating Science and Religion actualize the semiotic powers of the two disciples and the effects that are concretely experienced by individuals in Society belong to the empirical.

Science-Religion-Society Trialogue

The Dialogical Practices of Relating Science and Religion

Meaning is both socially constructed and structured and continues to structure Society. Within the frame of a large social apparatus of meaning production and circulation, we can notice a space of Science-Religion dialogue, a space of great promise and potential. The Science-Religion dialogue offers great enabling possibilities to our society.

The shape of the Science –Religion and Society (SRS) trialogue will be influenced by the habitus, or the semi-conscious dispositions that people acquire through the social/material interaction with their habitat and through social relations in their part of the social field.20 The habitus provides for the different degrees of feel for or disposition and build our capacities to engage in Science and Religion dialogue. This means the diverse dialogical practices of Science and Religion emerge from the dynamic semiotic conditions that allow us to semanticize and produce meaning. Thus, the semiotics of a Society becomes a condition that generates the dynamism of Science and Religion dialogue.

What has been called as ‘the humbling of Science’ in the light of the developments of 20th century physics has created a habit or disposition that has opened the road to the dialogue of Science and Religion. We can already discern how the rapid growth of the dialogical practices of Science and Religion indicate the semiotic conditions (the range of semanticity) have grown to enable us to semiotics, or produce meaning through Science and Religion dialogue.

Semiotic Formation of Science and Religion Dialogue

Science-Religion dialogue is already a way of relating the two disciplines. Hence, we need to draw our attention to the dynamism of the semiotic order that generates social structuring of semioticity and renders it open to multiple semioticians. Within the context of Science and Religion dialogue , we have already moved from the war paradigm , through a paradigm of non-interactive truce to an active dialogical dialogue. Yet we can still find adherents of the war model or the non-interactive model among us. This means that the configurations of the semiotic conditions of Science and Religion relations provide room for the above diverse models to emerge. This takes us to what we have already seen as the ‘real’ , ‘actual’, and the ‘empirical’. The ‘real’ in this context, becomes the entire domain of Science and Religion. It forms a great semiotic resource and remains open to the emergence of different semiotic orders/ semiotic regimes. Our engagement in the realm of Science and Religion leads us to evolve a variety of semiotic regimes. This is the level of the ‘actual’ and when some of them get selected and reach the stage of institutionalization, we are at the level of the empirical.

The entire process that we have discussed above is reflexive and spirally feeds into every level of its development. The term semiotic formation opens us to the semiotic dynamisms of Science and Religion dialogue. The semiotic dynamism of Science and Religion is complex and exerts reciprocal influence on Science, Religion and our Society. Therefore, the semiotic formation of Science Religion dialogue produces a semiotic condition that can generate profound dialogical practices relating to Science and Religion. The dialogical practices of relating Science and Religion have the potential to bring about an ethical audit of our society. The dialogical practices of relating of Science and Religion have the power to bring about the social transformation that can bring about the well being of the humans and the entire creation. Hence, the noble task of engaging in the dialogical practices of relating Science and Religion have to be globalized so that the well being of the entire created universe is assured.

The Pre-articulate State of Science and Religion Relation

The semiotic study that we have undertaken tries to articulate the pre-articulate state of Science and Religion relations. The pre-articulate state of the relation of Science and Religion is a zone ridden with the complexities of semiotic dynamism. The semiotic dynamism produces semiotic conditions that spawn semiotic regimes. Hence, it is important to understand the pre-articulate state of the Science and Religion so that we can intervene in the semiosis and produce the dialogical practices that will promote Science, Religion and Society triologue21 for the good of the entire created order.

We might understand what we have christened as the pre-articulate state of Science and Religion relation matrix in the light of the notions of langue and parole of Ferdinand Saussure. Parole refers a ‘statement’ while langue refers to the universe of meaning that makes the parole meaningful.22 The pre-articulate state of Science and Religion matrix can be compared to the langue while the dialogical practice of relating both science and religion can be seen as a langue. Just as parole depends on the language so to the range and the degree of the development of dialogical practices of Science and Religion will depend on the pre-articulate state of Science and Religion relation matrix.

The dialogical capacity of a Society will depend on the configuration of the pre-articulate state of Science and Religion relation. Hence, it is for us to work with semiotic resources embedded in the pre-articulate state of Science and Religion relation matrix and build an atmosphere conducive for the emergence of the dialogical practices of relating Science and Religion. The developments of the twentieth century, Science have brought about openness of Science to Religion. Moreover, the openness of Religions to Science, is triggered by the rehabilitation of Galileo through the mea culpa expressed by the Catholic Church. All these developments have led to the rise of Science and Religion dialogue in our Society.

Promises of Science –Religion-Society Trialogue

The Moral Dividend of the Triologue

The Science-Religion-Society (SRS) triologue promises to bring about an ethical audit of our Society. Science and Religion being two powerful pillars of our Society, a dialogue between the two has a great potential of bringing about a value audit of a society. The dialogue can contribute to making the Society more and more humane.

The ethical audit is the third element of the dialogue of Science and Religion. It becomes a critical point that will purify both Science and Religion. Science in dialogue with Religion is challenged to give up many of its false absolutes and Religion in contact with Science is challenged to give up its false superstitions. The mutual dialogue of Science and Religion, thus promotes a sustainable Society.

This means the dialogue has the potential of producing a moral dividend in our Society. The moral dividend can promote a sustainable living and produce a global sustainable community. The dialogue of Science and Religion will bring about a just and sustainable global community with marked features like solidarity, earth-keeping life styles, eco-justice, gender-justice, and intergenerational justice. This means, it has the power to bring about both ecological as well as social justice in our Society

The dialogue of Science and Religion evolves a supportive ethos that will generate an ethical imperative for the well being of the global human community as well as the entire biotic community of the planet earth. The quest for social and ecological justice and well being demonstrates that both Science and Religion have a contract with the Society. In short, it will promote both inter and intra-generational justice, and equity. This means the moral dividend generated by Science and Religion dialogue has great promises for the wellbeing for the entire human community.

The Social Contract with Science

The Science-Religion-Society (SRS) triologue promises to bring about an ethical audit of our Society. Science and Religion being two powerful pillars of our Society, a dialogue between the two has a great potential of bringing about a value audit of a society. The dialogue can contribute to making the Society more and more humane.

The ethical audit is the third element of the dialogue of Science and Religion. It becomes a critical point that will purify both Science and Religion. Science in dialogue with Religion is challenged to give up many of its false absolutes and Religion in contact with Science is challenged to give up its false superstitions. The mutual dialogue of Science and Religion, thus promotes a sustainable Society.

This means the dialogue has the potential of producing a moral dividend in our Society. The moral dividend can promote a sustainable living and produce a global sustainable community. The dialogue of Science and Religion will bring about a just and sustainable global community with marked features like solidarity, earth-keeping life styles, eco-justice, gender-justice, and intergenerational justice. This means, it has the power to bring about both ecological as well as social justice in our Society

The dialogue of Science and Religion evolves a supportive ethos that will generate an ethical imperative for the well being of the global human community as well as the entire biotic community of the planet earth. The quest for social and ecological justice and well being demonstrates that both Science and Religion have a contract with the Society. In short, it will promote both inter and intra-generational justice, and equity. This means the moral dividend generated by Science and Religion dialogue has great promises for the wellbeing for the entire human community.

The Social Contract with Science

The discourse around the contract between Science and Society becomes meaningful and relevant in a world where Science has put on a mask of a progressive march into an endless frontier. The need for deeper reflection on the social responsibilities of Science has been triggered by the ills of the presently operating regimes in the realm of Science that have myopically fallen captive to the lure of economic gain alone. The priority of economic development as the first mode of human development has steadily brought Science under the regime of the market. Hence, market fundamentalism has come to determine Science and Technology in our Society.

The attention to the social responsibility of Science has already shown that the social contract between Science and Society was established from the every birth of Science. We can discern several turning points in the evolution of this contract. At the birth of Science, scientific knowledge was taught to be neutral and was pursued by the elite and enjoyed the patronage of the kings and the princess. The industrial revolution necessitated the professionalization and specialization of Science and the visible impact of Science could be felt in the Society. As a result, new spaces of scientific knowledge production were born as research labs and departments in the universities. Science came to be accepted as an important means of human development and funding of Science came to be seen as natural and inevitable. Steadily Science became a tool of wealth creation for the rich and the powerful and almost lost all its social sensibilities. Hence, the return to emphasis on the social responsibilities of Science in recent times is indeed the need of the hour. Dr Jane Labchenco, as the president of the American association for the advancement of Science, in 1997 called for a new social contract between Science and Society.23 The social contract suggests that the scientific community is duty bound to use the full potential of Science for the well being of humanity and the entire creation. Thus, it has led to the belief that Science is not merely a motor of economic growth but an agent of a fuller and wholesome human life in communion with nature and the whole universe. Therefore, Science has rightly come under tremendous public scrutiny and the need for a new ethics of knowledge production is felt by many. That is why we propose that a dialogue of Science and Religion can take this social contract to a new level and transform Science and Religion into new forces that will bring about a new synergy of social and ecological wellbeing.

Social Contract with Religion

The fact that Religion is a powerful force in a Society is beyond all debate. The growth of religiously inspired politics around the globe has raised many concerns everywhere. The growing links of terror with religious ideologies embedded into a singular and unitary interpretation of truth has brought about a peace deficit across the globe. Hence, inter-faith dialogue in a religiously plural world is no longer viewed as a mere option.

In the contest of growing abuse of the religious sentiments of innocent people, a discourse about a need for a new social contract with Religion is gaining ground. This social contract discourse challenges Religion to sensitize its social responsibilities to develop the moral quotient of a society. The Religions across the globe have a number of resources to bring about this social contract. The notion of covenant in the Judeo-Christian tradition or the notion of Dharma or Dhama in the Indic traditions can provide profound insights for the evolution of the contract of Religion with Society.

The social contract with Religion is indeed urgent for the wellbeing of humanity. Hence the sociological scrutiny of the phenomenon of Religion is fundamental for the same. Moreover, a dialogue of Religion with science can bring us to a new paradigm of inter community living. The Science-Religion dialogue being a triologue would bring about an audit of both Science and Religion. This social audit of both Science and Religion has the power to save Science from scientism and Religion from all shades of fideists. Thus, the social contract with both Science and Religion is indeed a path that promises to transform our Society and bring about a common good of the entire humanity and the whole of creation.

Socio-semiotic Conditions for Global Citizenship

Potentials SRS Triologue and Human Values

Science Religion and Society dialogue has a great potential to influence the process of generation of values in our society. The triological relations of Science, Religion and Society is not linear but is complex and non-linear. The semiotic order that structures the semioticity and opens it to multiple semiotizations follows a non-linear logic. Unlike linear logic which proceeds from a straight line , non-linear logic is circular or rather spiral. Secondly, unlike linear logic , the whole and the part relation in a non- linear logic is more than the sum of each of its parts. Thirdly, the inter-relations , inter-dependence and dynamism between the whole and the parts is such that rules that generate its dynamism keep changing from time to time.24

That is why different values are churned out depending on the type of semiotic formation of our Society. SRS triologue can influence the value genesis in our society. As values become imperatives for action and as such exercise a tremendous power and influence human behavior very profoundly. The SRS trialogue being co-emergent can generate values of harmony, justice, truth and peace.

Someone might point out that Science does not need Religion and Religion does not need Science. But one cannot fail to realize that it is humans that need both. Hence, it is significant to understand that the SRS trialogue can embed values that can enhance Society at all levels. The very being of humans in the world is mediated through signs. As a result there are plural ways of being human depending on the kind of interpretation favored by the semiotic processes. The SRS trialogue can unleash a semiotic process that can generate values of communion that will promote global citizenship.

Semiotic Conditions of Global Citizenship

The regime of signs in a society are embedded in the semiotic sphere of a Society. The play of signs is not simply generated by society. The social coming-of-consciousness is indeed semiotic because human social existence in space and time is semiotically represented through the mediation of a sign system. It is through a sign system that humans communicate. But our consideration of language and parole has already shown that the articulated languages depend on the unarticulated , subverbal languages.

In some way within the regime of the signs, a human somehow exists as a signifier. Humans occupy a place in a network of social relationships and are identifiable through these relationships. That is within the semiotic apparatus of a society humans see themselves in relationship with fellow human beings. Therefore, it is within the dynamic unarticulated language of a particular society various groupings within it emerge. This means that the dynamism of the unarticulated langue is the semiotic condition that produces both communion and discord. The change in the semiotic condition can change the social configuration of a given society.

The SRS Trialogue has produced the semiotic conditions for the emergence of a new consciousness of the communion of global humanity. The production of global villages through the communication technologies as well as the discovery of the common genetic inheritance of humanity has brought Science to forge with the unifying and binding power of Religion. All these developments suggest that the language that undergirds these developments exhibits semiotic dispositions to a global communion. Since, the language and parole are reciprocally interrelated and interdependent so the disposition to the global community enlarges with the growth of SRS Triologue in our Society.

Global Citizenship and the Thirding in the Third Space

SRS Triologue can build human communion in our Society. The growth of Science and Technology has converted our world into a neighborhood, sometimes also called the global village. It was left to Religion to convert it into a brotherhood. This conversion of our neighborhoods into brotherhood would require us to require us to address the various regimes of subjectivization or processes that transform us into subjects of a particular Society.

The notion of ‘bare life‘ of George Agamben, an Italian scholar, is highly insightful. Agamben teaches that the Greeks introduced the distinction between bare life (zoe) and political existence, between natural existence and legal existence. Thus, for instance, Aristotle thought that bare life was transformed into good life through politics. That is, Aristotle perceived that man as animal is born to life but exits with regard to good life through politics. Since ancient times, law separated ‘political beings’ (citizens) from ‘bare life’ (bodies). The inclusion into the political community is possible only by the simultaneous exclusion of some human beings who do not qualify to be full citizens. This politics of inclusion/ exclusion (inclusive exclusion) into the political body has determined sovereignty since ancient times. It is the binary opposites like the insider/ outsider or the subject/ out laws that produced sovereignty.

Carl Schmitt had already argued that sovereignty is constituted through the linking of localization and order to each other. Order was conceptualized in spatial terms as home, town, and nation and disorder was thought to reign on the outside of these constructed orderly spaces. But with his notion of ‘state of exception’ Agamben showed that localization and order reined only in certain situations and disorder is also localized in enclosed space and not on the outskirts of an ordered space. He presented the instance of the concentration camps of Hitler as the location of ‘unlaw’. ‘The homo sacer’ of the ancient Roman law also exposes the flip side of the sovereign logic as the sovereign who is in a position above the law yet ‘the homo sacer’ being reduced to some kind of ‘living dead’ also is set free from the law. This is because ‘the homo sacer’ could be killed by anyone without being condemned for homicide. Thus ‘the homo sacer’ enters the domain of bare life that remains beyond the competence of sovereign while at the same time provides basis for the rule of sovereignty. Although located at the very margins of politics, ‘the homo sacer’ turned out to be the very basis of political life. Thus, the production of ‘homines sacri’ is constitutive but unrecognized part of political life. Therefore, bare life does not refer to natural, original or ahistorical nakedness but presents an artificial product that hides and conceals social markings and symbolization.25

One can see in Foucault , there appears a kind of de-territorialized localization through his notion of the gaze of panopticon. Foucault effectively shows how sovereignty becomes omnipresent through invisibility.26 Hence, the citizens could be disciplined without confinement. Thus, it appears that the state has taken upon itself the technologies of self by which the individual is drawn to a process of subjectivization through which the individual is bound to his identity and consciousness and at the same time to an external power. Similar fear is also described by Agamben although a bit differently when he says that every citizen somehow becomes a ‘homo sacer’ as everyone is susceptible to bare life under the present political order.

The production of ‘homines sacri’ in our society has brought about new sensitivity to this construction of bare life in its multiple forms across the globe. This process of overcoming the politics of inclusive exclusion can be enhanced by the SRS triologue. The dismantling of the insider/ outsider binary equation along with the blurring of all binary opposites will take us to the realm of the third space. Hence, the thirding of SRS can intervene in the way a human being turns himself or herself into a subject. The various regimes of subjectivization might be negotiated both directly or indirectly leading to the creation of a harmonious human community of global citizens. This means the individual will be enabled to resist modes of self-constitution emanating from the reigning regime of subjectivization that is only enslaving and empower them to constitute themselves otherwise.

Conclusion

The triologue of Science-Religion and Society(SRS) has great potential to bring about a revolution of human communion in our times. The triologue is a consequence of a dialogue of Science and Religion. Society is the third space where both Science and Religion are embedded. That is why the dialogue of Science and Religion is indeed a trialogue. The dynamic trialogue would convert our society into a civilization of life. The civilization of love will naturally bloom into a fraternity of Global citizens.

Sources

  1. See Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies: the Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory (London: Verso, 1989).
  2. See Edward Soja, Thirdspace : Journeys to Los Angeles and Other-Real-and-Imagined Spaces ( Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1996).
  3. See Henri Lefebvre , Production of Space , Donald Nicolson-smith (trans), ( Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 1992)
  4. Edward Soja writes Third space as a single word, written thirdspace
  5. See M. M Bakhtin, the Dialogic Imagination, ed. M.Holquist , trans. C Emerson and M Holquist (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981),p. 249-422.
  6. See M. Holquist , Dialogism Bakhtin and his World (London Routledge 1990) , p.38.
  7. See C. Kramsch , ‘Thirdness ,the Intercultural Stance’ in T. Vestergaard (Ed.), Language, Culture and Identity (Alborg: center for Languages and intercultural studies), p. 45.
  8. See Wretsch J. V, Voices of Mind: a Sociocultural Approach to Mediated Action (London: Harvester WheatSheaf, 1991).p. 52.
  9. See M M Bakhtin, Speech , Genres and Other Essays (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), p. 95.
  10. See C. Kramsch , ‘Thirdness ,the Intercultural Stance’ in T. Vestergaard (Ed.), Language, Culture and Identity, p. 47.
  11. See Martin Fougere, Sense Making in the third space, Essays in French-Finish, Bicultural Experience in Organizations and their Narratives (Helsingfors , 2005) unpublished pdf file in the internet.
  12. See H. k Bhabha , The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994), p. 37.
  13. See Y. Tuan, Space and Place: the Perspective of Experience (Chicago: the University of Chicago Press, 1977), p. 129.
  14. See M. M Bakhtin, the Dialogic Imagination, ed. M.Holquist , trans. C Emerson and M Holquist,p. 272.
  15. See V.N. Voloshinov , Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, trans., L Matjeka I. R. Titunik (New York : Seminar Press, 1973),p. 93.
  16. See Juri Lotman ‘on the semiotic sphere’ Wilma Clark (trans), www.ut.ee/ SOSE /SSSS/ Lotman 331 acced on 2-4,2011.
  17. See Vladimir Vernadsky, The Biosphere , trans., David B. Langmuir (New York : Copernicus , 1998).
  18. We are attempting to do a semiotics of Science and Religion dialogue. This project appears to be unique and novel. I could only trace an attempt to develop a semantics of Science while I pursued this project. See Roy Harris , the Semantics of Science (London: Continuum, 2007).
  19. See Norman Fiarclough, Bob Jessop, and Andrew Sayer “Critical Realism and Semiosis’ Jonathan Joseph and John Michael Roberts, (Ed.), Realism, Discourse and Deconstruction, (London :Routledge, 2004), p. 25.
  20. Ibid, p. 28.
  21. SRS Trilogue.
  22. See Peter Barry, Beginning Theory, an Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory , 3rd Ed. , (New Delhi: Viva Books, 2010), p. 43.
  23. See link accessed on 20th April 2011.
  24. See Kip S. Throne, Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outstanding Legacy (London : Macmillan, 1955).
  25. See Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare life, trans., Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford: Stanford University, 1998)
  26. See Lydia Alix Fillingham, Foucault : for Beginners (Chennai: Orient Longman , 2000), pp.126-132.

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