Science-Religion Dialog and Critical Thinking
Faculty of Philosophy, Catholic University Ruzomberok
This group consists of scholars specializing in natural sciences, bioethics, theology, philosophy, and mass media communications. An internal group of nine scholars from CU and four scholars from neighboring institutions work in conjunction with efforts of the two previously established LSIs in Slovakia, as well as the international Society for Critical Thinking. The object of the project is for members to use their expertise and resources to promote the idea that science-religion dialogue should be based on critical, balanced, and open principles as a standard academic discipline. Equally important to group members is the notion of supporting an intellectual atmosphere of free and unforced exchange of ideas to counter the current lack of democratic culture and critical thinking in the country. After initial stages of dialogue, core members intend to broaden activities to other major Slovak universities. The intention is to apply some of the results of the Critical Thinking program to enhance and mainstream the science-religion dialogue and its critical elements in the form of courses. Society programs consist of a series of internal reading and discussion groups; annual participation in an international conference on religion, science, and society; faculty seminars and student conferences in local and foreign universities; development of resource materials, an annual newsletter and a comprehensive website, promotion in scholarly journals and popular magazines; and the introduction of courses to at least three Slovak universities. Using a combination of contemporary texts in science and faith and discussions of application to Slovak educational and socio-political realities, members call on the expertise through partnership with Prof. Bulent Senay of the Bursa Local Society Initiative in Turkey to provide Islamic perspectives to their work. The project also promotes collaboration and outreach to universities and colleges in the network of Catholic universities in the neighboring countries of the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Ukraine to encourage the expansion of science-religion in Central Europe. Matching funds are provided by Catholic University Ruzomberok.