The advancement of a civilization aiming to achieve a dynamic coherence between the material and spiritual dimensions of reality recognizes that science and religion are the two reciprocal knowledge systems that impels its advance. History gives rare, yet significant instances when these two systems have been complementary in their practice, and the resulting productivity of that society has been immense.
What is the state of these two systems today? Few would argue that they are in crisis. For religion, obvious signs include an almost endless fragmentation into irreconcilable factions and sects; the spread of religious intolerance, prejudice, and violence; the increasing corruption of its institutions; and its close-minded rejection of science.
For science, signs are less obvious, since it has brought humanity accelerated rates of technological advance. However, science, too, has experienced a severe fragmentation as competing fields and disciplines view the world through their increasingly reductionist perspectives; it has created prejudice against anything associated with spirituality or religion, in a blind and close-minded fashion; it has disempowered most of humanity, who now view the generation of knowledge as exclusive to specialists and experts; it disproportionately serves the interest of a privileged minority by being directed by concentrations of wealth and power; and the priorities and values imposed on it have produced efficient methods for mass manipulation and weapons of mass destruction.
Clearly, fresh conceptions of each are overdue, conceptions that recognize their complementarity and coherence.