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Keywords:

  • Athens and Jerusalem;
  • history;
  • postmodern;
  • religion;
  • science;
  • science and religion;
  • secularism;
  • technology;
  • techno-secularism

Abstract. The publication of my article “Athens, Jerusalem, and the Arrival of Techno-secularism” (2005) in Zygon was followed by twenty-one responses, most of them critical. In this essay I reply by clarifying the earlier one, separating out its two major theses: the Athens/Jerusalem template and the techno-secularism thesis. The Athens/Jerusalem template is a typology that provides a historical basis for understanding why religion/science conflicts persist by showing that the contrasts between intellectual knowledge and revealed knowledge are permanent features of Western cultural history. Postmodern criticisms often have a negative edge, rejecting “canonical” accounts but not presenting alternative explanations. Historical context is helpful in understanding religion/science conflicts, which continue to exist. The present cultural situation is that technology is replacing religion—and science—as the dominant condition and theory of our culture. Evidence for the techno-secularism thesis can be seen in the nature of electronic entertainment, which invades the silence required for religious contemplation and obscures the scientific laws that are the basis for the new technology.