Synthesis of Science and Spirituality for
Peace and Harmony Conference 2018
"Science and spirituality are like two streams of the creative human mind.
Can there be any synthesis between them to bring about a higher good?"
September 22, 2018
RELC Auditorium, Singapore
organised in collaboration with
Science and Spirituality are two dominant paths in the world we live in today, often perceived as being unrelated. However, both science and spirituality can be viewed as two streams of the creative human mind and have been a source of much hope and progress for humanity at large. In the same vein, they have also been employed for much of the conflict and violence we have seen in the world throughout recorded history. In recent times, this is arguably of greater concern for the world in which we live – a world that is a much smaller place with increased connectivity, and with various cultures and traditions living in close proximity.
While many present day scientific thinkers deride religion as being a concept of the mind and the cause of unwarranted sufferings on earth, many of the scientific giants who have been responsible for the technological advancements we have today have had some concept of a higher spiritual dimension of existence. Furthermore, by carefully studying the fundamental concepts of different spiritual traditions and by understanding the fundamental concepts of science more deeply, they have been drawn to logically concur that both these paths may be complimentary and interrelated.
Objective I: To highlight the notion of the synthesis of science and spirituality and its potential to bring about a higher good
Given the influence of these two streams of creative human thought, the question arises as to whether there can be a synthesis of both science and spirituality to bring about a higher good? In particular, both scientific and spiritual traditions are concerned for the pursuit of truth for the wellbeing of humanity. Based on the works of many erudite scholars of the past and present, it has been found that bringing together both the principles of science and spirituality may have synergistic effects in our pursuit for peace and harmony instead of being viewed as mutually exclusive domains in our lives. In view of this, this conference has been organised to present the notion of the synthesis of Science and Spirituality and its potential for bringing about peace and harmony.
Objective II: To promote unity in diversity by drawing on the commonalities in both science and spirituality
A corollary objective of the event is to bring forward the principle of unity in diversity by drawing on and highlighting the commonalities of the spirituality and scientific paradigms, and through this process foreground the common values shared by both practitioners of spiritual and scientific pathways, such as the pursuit of truth, sincerity, integrity and openness of mind. Through this process of interactions and shared discussion, closer bonds and relationships based on trust can be forged and developed. This will be brought about through the participation of students of the various educational institutions who inculcate a scientific temperament through the study of the sciences in their curriculum, and who may have their own spiritual/religious belief systems.
Objective III: To raise awareness of the principle of the Synthesis of Science and Spirituality for Peace and Harmony among the younger generation (future leaders) of the ASEAN region
The third and most essential objective of the conference is to raise awareness of the importance of the principle of synthesis of science and spirituality among the younger generation in the ASEAN region. The ASEAN countries have rich cultures and traditions, mostly based on the prominent religions of their nations. Unfortunately, a number of these nations have been plagued by conflict in the name of religion, while at the same time they seek to develop their scientific and technological capabilities so as to benefit their citizens. Thus, it is imperative that the youth of ASEAN member nations, who will be their future leaders, start thinking in terms of the synthesis of science and spirituality for peace and harmony. In this way, as they move forward in developing the scientific and technological capabilities of the countries, while preserving their country’s rich traditions, culture and heritage, they will be able to draw on the virtues of both domains to derive greater meaning, purpose and quality of life.
In order to achieve the above objectives, the following activities have been planned.
A keynote speech by a distinguised speaker on the synthesis of science and spirituality (Professor Amit Goswami, Theoretical Quantum Physicist & Director, Center for Quantum Activism, Oregon, U.S.A.)
Seminar sessions given by leaders of various faiths on the subject of Science and Spirituality followed by a question and answer panel discussion.
A regional Synthesis of Science and Spirituality Essay Competition with participation in two categories (Student & Tertiary/Adult). The top five entries for each category will be invited to make a short presentation at the conference before the winners are determined. For more details of the Essay Competition, click here.
The launch of a compendium of the top 10-20 winning essays of each category.
A roundtable discussion with Professor Amit Goswami and seminar speakers, for invited participants and youth leaders of faith organisations and educational institutions (by invitation only).
As seats for the conference are limited, you are encouraged to register early for the conference.
Conference Logo: A Compass for Peace & Harmony
The conference logo represents a compass for peace and harmony and portrays the importance of the synthesis of science and spirituality for peace and harmony in the world. It depicts the peace insigna comprising the globe and four hands with different skin tones joined together in a spirit of unity in diversity, led by ASEAN. The globe is encircled with an outer ring, which is part of the peace insigna, and which consists of various scientific and spiritual symbols. Included in the outer ring are the direction arrows of the magnetic needle of a compass, indicating that the co-existence and synthesis of both scientific and spiritual paradigms provides the compass of peace and harmony in the world and in our lives.
About Dr. T. D. Singh Science & Spirituality URI Cooperation Circle
Dr. T. D. Singh Science & Spirituality Cooperation Circle is a cooperation circle of the United Religions Initiative (URI), and was formed by the founding members of the URI in honour of Dr. T. D. Singh, a founding member of the URI and a pioneer in the global dialogue on the synthesis of science and spirituality. The cooperation circle seeks to promote discussions on the interface of science and spirituality with a hope of bringing about unity and synthesis amongst all spiritual traditions of the world. Specifically, it seeks to bring about such a culture of unity, peace and harmony by the introduction of the study of science within spirituality and religion and vice versa.
For further information on the United Religions Initiative, please visit www.uri.org.
About Society for Bhagavata Culture
The Society for Bhagavata Culture (SBC) is a voluntary welfare organization set up in Singapore, which seeks to promote a culture of learning, mutual respect, cooperation and awareness of various scientific and spiritual traditions to contribute to and enhance cohesion, peace and harmony in society. Over the past few years, in pursuance of this vision, the Society has held various events on holistic parenting, character development, interfaith and discussions on the synthesis of science and spirituality, as well as regular monthly outreach programs for the elderly. Members of the Society have also been invited to speak at seminars and conferences outside Singapore.