• PUBLIC EVENT in the context of the project Dialogue of Cultures:
Nature and the Traditions


Argyris Nicolaidis, University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Modern Science and the Patristic Tradition

Recep Şentürk, Fatih University, Turkey
Semiotics of Nature and Open Science:
The Example of Traditional Islam

Friday, June 13 2008 at 7 pm, Amphitheater of the Teloglion Foundation of Art AUTh, Thessaloniki, Greece

Nature and the Traditions

Invitation to the event (in Greek):

Nature-Traditions flyer

 Greeting of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

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Dear Argyris Nicolaidis, Coordinator of the European Research Network "Science-Religion Interaction of the 21st Century", beloved son of our Humility in the Lord, grace to you and peace from the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is with great pleasure that we received your letter of June 4, 2008, in which you notify us of the event you organized under the European Research Network that you coordinate on the question of "Nature and the Traditions".

Our contemporary culture of machines and technology unfortunately does not reserve any place for nature and traditions. On the one hand, nature is exhausted by man, who perceives it as an object for possession and conquest, while tradition is continuously
marginalized; what is promoted in its place is the omnipotence of human thought, which finally subjects human feelings, moods and visions, and gradually transforms the human into its spare part and slave.

Nature is a bible that provides valuable information concerning the progress and civilization of man, while tradition is the tool that helps us read nature. Tradition enables us to hear the voice and see the unspoilt form of nature; nature also enables us to study the dense web of developing relations and the association between man and the world.

The question of disturbing the relationship of nature and tradition with the human being expresses a deeper cultural crisis; moreover, it is the consequence of a specific attitude and a particular way of life.

The undermining of tradition, the absolutising of reason under western scholasticism, the belief of the enlightenment that thinking man is a point of reference, can be considered as the root causes of this morbid situation. Fallen man, imprisoned within his own individuality, perceived nature as an inexhaustible source of exploitation; he also thought of tradition as a historic fact that is not empirical and necessary for his progress and prosperity in God.

The Orthodox Church, in this challenge, urges man to become a priest of creation and preserver of traditions, because this relationship, between nature and tradition, is beneficial for him, transforms and renews the world, teaches truth and acknowledges that man is not merely a biological being but a psychosomatic entity with a perpetual and divine prospect. Man, experiencing this truth of the Church, transforms the world into a field of revelation of the communion of men in love, while life away from this communion transforms the world and life in it into a ground of conflict among selfish, fighting and egocentric individuals.

Thus invoking wholeheartedly our Patriarchal blessing on all those participating in this scientific event in any capacity, and congratulate you and all of the participants on the above pious initiative. Having the firm belief that this latter initiative will sufficiently promote the relations between nature and the Christian and Islamic traditions, we wish that God may lead your work to a fortunate conclusion, to the benefit of science and the Church of Constantinople

May you all have His grace and blessing.

12 June 2007
Your Excellency’s fervent supplicant before God,
+ Bartholomew of Constantinople

All communication regarding the SR21 network should be addressed to:

Prof. Argyris Nicolaidis
Theoretical  Physics Department
University of Thessaloniki
54124 Thessaloniki, Greece

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