With the purpose of highlighting the meaningful interface of science and religion in a globalised world, The Goethals Indian Library and Research Society and the physics and environmental science departments of St. Xavier’s College organised a two-day international seminar on February 18 and 19 on ‘Emerging Issues on the Interface of Science and Religion’.
The first day of the seminar was presided over by Father Felix Raj, vice-chancellor of St. Xavier’s University; Father Dominic Savio, principal of St. Xavier’s College; and Father Xavier Savarimuthu, vice-principal, commerce (morning).
The seminar opened with a lecture by Swami Atmapriyananda, vice-chancellor, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Education and Research Institute (RKMVERI), Belur, on Hindu spirituality and its relation with the scientific temperament, with reference to the knowledge of the Vedas and Upanishads.
Father Xavier Savarimuthu gave an exposition on how the global environment is affected by human ignorance, using instances cited from diverse topographies and climates with statistics.
Aleksandar Zecevic, professor of electrical engineering and associate dean for graduate studies at Santa Clara University, California, highlighted the differential dimensions of scientific research and its link with religious awareness.
The second day opened with a lecture on Buddhism by Soosai Lawrence from Jeevan Saugham, Bodhgaya. The second talk on Hinduism was delivered by Swami Sarvottamananda, pro-vice chancellor, RKMVERI. Minara Yeasmin, a research scholar and academician on Islam, delivered the third lecture of the day. The seminar closed with a talk on Christianity by Sunil Michael Caleb, principal and professor of theology at Bishop’s College, Calcutta.
“The world today is rife with a variety of dissensions, manifested in wars, religious intolerance and inter-faith conflicts. In a society primarily governed by material needs, religion comes to play a significant role in improving man’s understanding of the origins of nature and destiny of the human race and their environment. Science, on the other hand, fosters an objective and rational perspective on the elemental aspects of man’s existence to create a world in which love, justice and responsible modes of living prevail,” said Father Dominic Savio.