- Encyclopedia article
- 6 pages
- Level: high school and above
An article entitled “Christianity, Roman Catholic, Issues in Science and Religion” in the Encyclopedia Of Science And Religion. This article was written by Fr. George V. Coyne, S. J. (Director of the Vatican Observatory from 1978 to 2006). Coyne writes:
The most distinctive features of Roman Catholicism that influence the religion-science dialogue are its hierarchical and authoritative structure and its emphasis upon the rational foundations for religious belief. Many of the divisions that have occurred within Christianity in the course of history have their origins in one or both of these characteristics of Roman Catholicism. The history of the interaction within Roman Catholicism between science and religion has been dominated by its hierarchical structure. On the other hand the insistence on reason as fundamental to the relationship of human beings to the universe and, therefore, to the creator of the universe has played an important role in the birth of modern science and provides a platform for the dialogue between the belief system of Roman Catholicism and other disciplines, especially science.