Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Rees, Robert A.
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Editorial / 5 that are equally devastating. As Richard Eberhardt says, modern man "can kill as Cain could, but with multitudinous will,/no further advanced than in his ancient furies." Today man's scientific knowledge and technical ability are expanding the frontiers of discovery in every aspect of life—from the black holes and exploding stars of outer space to the dark caves and bursting lights of inner space. And yet our existence on the earth hasn't been as perilous since the sea rose up to sweep away Noah's ark. Just as we are on the verge of creating a better world and exploring new worlds, we are destroying the world around us. As we explore the silent wilderness of space and the primal sounds of the psyche, we are wasting the precious wilderness of our lovely little planet. What we need is a new alliance between science and religion based on mutual trust and a recognition by each of the uniqueness of the other's contribution to man's life. When either science or religion acts as if it has exclusive rights in the domain of truth, it is a guarantee that truth will not be served. Scientists who play God, or priests who speak of God as if, in Thoreau's term, "they enjoy a monopoly on the subject," are not acting in God's or man's best interest. It is imperative that science and religion abandon their present peaceful but fragile co-existence in favor of a co-operative alliance. This need not happen by obscuring the differences between science and religion or in pretending that those differences do not exist. Although each offers different ways of pursuing and perceiving truth, they have more in common than most realize. For example, each requires faith, intuition and imagination to be truly effective. Recognizing their differences and building on their commonality science and religion can make a synthesis that centers on man and that serves man. It is only in such a cooperative venture that we can hope to survive our scientific knowledge. Latter-day Saints may have a unique contribution to make to a humanistic synthesis of science and religion. We believe that the Spirit of the Lord which was poured out in rich abundance beginning with the Renaissance and which culminated in the revelations of the Restoration heralded not only a renewal of man's spiritual hope but of his material hope as well—that the modern explosion of scientific and technologic knowledge is also an evidence of God's grace: He reveals both spiritual and material knowledge for our blessing. That Joseph Smith understood this well is seen not only in his declaration that spirit is nothing more than refined matter but in his famous observation that a religion which cannot save a people temporally cannot hope to save them spiritually. Mormonism's concept of God as an exalted man has profound implications, for if God was once a man as we are then he obviously progressed from partial scientific and religious knowledge to complete knowledge, just as we are promised we may: "He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things" (D & C 93 -.28); and, "He that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him" (D & C 84:38). Thus, though we now understand neither the mysteries of light nor the mysteries of the atonement, we someday will—or at least can through our righteousness and the exercise of our intelligence. Through the epistemology of exaltation we will come to know all science and all religion and know they are one. To apply some lines from T. S. Eliot's "Little Gidding":