There are commonalities between science and religion as systems of knowledge that help conceptualize them as complementary and reciprocal. The first is that they both derive from assumptions and articles of faith.
Religion assumes the existence of a Divine and Transcendent Reality, an Unknowable Creator referred to as God. Religion then assumes that, although humanity cannot know God’s essence, we can perceive attributes of God and intimations of Divine will through revelation. Religion further assumes that we can learn to apply these revealed teachings towards the betterment of humankind.
Science assumes that the phenomenal world, apparently chaotic, is actually governed by universal laws and principles which constitute a hidden order. Science then assumes that humanity can increasingly understand these hidden laws and principles through systematic and rational methods. Science further assumes that we can apply this knowledge towards the betterment of humankind.
These articles of faith are almost identical – in one system, applied to physical reality; in the other, to spiritual reality; though in both, being applied to human social reality.
How do you see these common assumptions operating in your field?