Hyphenating Science with Religion and vice versa

Dialogue always presupposes two different voices. These two different voicing of positions and opinions are assumed to find their fulfillment in some kind of their unification at point in a future. The point closes time and space for dialogue is thought to be the fulfilment of dialogue. Gadamer seems to call this unification as the fusion of horizons. It is a moment when the dialogue partners are enabled to speak with one voice. When they speak with one voice, they still remain two and not merged into one. This is how classical hermeneutics moves. But dialogue does not have to find a fulfillment or end in the speaking with one voice. We can also find another fruit of dialogue. It is in dialogue with the other, that one comes to find one’s own singular voice. It is in dialogue with the other that one comes to find one self and not just the other. This is exactly what happens in Science-Religion Dialogue. Science comes to itself in horizon of Religion and the same is true of Religion . In sharing a fusion of horizons both Science and Religion come to find their singular voices. They remain interdependently independent. They complement each other but none of them merge with the other.

Science and Religion as Dependently Independent

Dialogue begins with two voices and come back to one’ s singular voice in relation with the other. The end result of dialogue is completely opposite of classical goal of dialogue which sees that dialogue brings the two to a third space or a common ground. The classical dialogue presumes that the two in dialogue already have their own voices in advance. We seem to be black boxing the two and then make them dialogue to come to a fecund level as a consequence of the negotiation . Here we do not deny that fusion of horizon does not bring both Science and Religion to new and even higher level. What we wish to emphasize is that the two in dialogue return to their original selves without living the other. This means Science in Dialogue with Religion comes back as Science without losing it relation with Religion. Science and Religion in dialogue, therefore, becomes dependently independent. Thus the relation is not one of opposition grounded in the either/ or logic of thought but one of hyphenation of both Science and Religion. Dialogue of hyphenation opens Science to discover itself in the horizon of Religion. The same is true for Religion. Science and Religion discover their respective singularity as well as productivity in dialogue with each other.

Dialogue without Transcendental Endpoint

The dialogue between Science and Religion is not a movement or kinesis studied in Physics. It is not just a movement of some ideas that has common resonance between the two. Rather it contains the sense that we declare when we are deeply touched or moved. It is movement that stirs our deepest self. The intrinsic link with this movement is made visible in the analysis of poetry and rhapsody as Socrates argues. Socrates states that poetry and rhapsody in a form of art in which knowledge or a particular sense of truth is suspended in the communication. Now applied to hermeneutic, this takes the cognitive or understanding dimension out of classical hermeneutics or dialogue. What does it mean when hermeneutics suspends its goal of understanding. The suspension of understanding opens hermeneutical dialogue to poetic participation. This means what is participated in is not in truth or knowledge but in power that makes poets and rhapsodes sing. It is power to affect the deepest being in us. Now coming to the dialogue of Science and Religion , we can see that the enrichment of Science or Religion does not affect them. It is we humans who are moved by bring about the dialogue between the two. This is why we may declare: Science does not need Religion and Religion does not need Science, it is we humans who need both. There is no transcendental signified as the endpoint of the dialogue between Science and Religion. Hence, dialogue can produce fruits that affect us and move our deepest being.

The Dialogue to Come

Science -Religion dialogue does not close to any point or destination as required by classical hermeneutics. It remains open all the time. The Dialogue remains alive in the coming future. There is always novelty to come and not a discovery of some pre-determined Platonic forms that are copied through mimesis produced by dialogue. The dialogue of Science and Religion does not have a transcendental closure. There is not transcendental signified in Derridian sense. There is always more dialogue to come. Besides, there are more people to come to this dialogue. There is an unending future to this dialogue. If we find a transcendental endpoint to this dialogue , we will close the dialogue and become closed. The challenge is to stay in dialogue and keep the dialogue open and remain open ourselves. The dialogue will stir more people in the days to come. The dialogue is, therefore, a true miracle that will always keep Science and Religion dependently independent. By remaining always in a relation of openness to dialogue Science and Religion constitutes themselves and in doing so affect our way of being-humans-in-the-world. Science and Religion will continue to become significant to us as long as we resist positing a transcendental closure and stay in the mode of continuous dialogue. Thus, we keep the dialogue f Science and Religion free from being contaminated by onto-theological thinking.


The being and becoming of the dialogue between the being of Science and being of Religion has no endpoint or destination. When we see the miracle of the lack of the transcendental point that stands outside the becomings of dialogue of Science and Religion but acts as a final destination or closure of dialogue , the dialogue will remain forever open opening us to endless novelties and inspirations that will touch our way of being-human-in-the-world. This ever living dialogue will keep our life hyphenated with Science and Religion.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao