According to Paul Davies “science emerged from medieval
Europe, under the twin influences of Greek Philosophy and the Judeo-Christian
thought.”1The
encounters between science and religion had progressed in the historical
scenario from conflict to integration through dialogue. These encounters can be
summarized as following. In the first instance science denies religion as a
pure relic from the past whereas religion denies science as a part of the
fallen world which has no access to the real truth. In the progressed instance
science and religion peacefully coexist. This is brought by the realization
that science itself is not knowledge of the world but only an interpretation of
the world. This realization is the outcome of postmodern enlightenment in the
scientific world. 2
When we go through the history of the development in the science we see a
paradigm shift from the mechanistic universe towards a quantum universe.

1.1.1.
Mechanical Universe

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The view of universe as a great mechanism is the direct outcome
of the phenomenal success of Newtonian mechanics. The classical or Newtonian
physics with its commitment to the mechanical concept of nature emphasized
distinctness, definiteness, clarity and exactness. They try to reduce
everything that exist in the universe to a mere mechanism. They claimed that
they have absolute accuracy, absolute certainty and exact predictability about
everything that happens in the universe. The four fundamental concepts of the
mechanical concept of nature are space, time, mass and force. These four
elements keep distinct each other. 3
This concept in itself did not have to end up in atheism, but in course of time
this concept became highly vulnerable to it.

In course of time this concept of mechanical universe
collapsed on its own weight, i.e., it was unable to fulfill its own promises.
It claimed to explain everything but failed to explain even some most ordinary
ones.4
Even though this concept suffered decline its influence continued and gave
birth to a new concept of universe, i.e., Logical Positivism. One of its
primary goals was to banish all traces of metaphysics from philosophy and
science. This claimed an extreme empiricism, i.e., theories can be only justified
if it is observable. They denied the non-rational elements like feelings,
emotions which are basics of religious experience. So this concept showed a
strong inclination towards the atheism.5

 

1.1.2.
Relativity Theory and Quantum Universe

Twentieth century witnessed the collapse of the reductionist
concept of universe. Quantum theory denies the existence of forces which were
the fundamentals of mechanistic concept. There are only interactions between
particles, mediated through fields. By the establishment of relativity theory,
it is found that just as space is relative, time is also relative to the
observer’s frame of reference.6
This realization demands that the process of observations requires an observing
system and an observed system. The subatomic world is described in terms of
quantum physics, in terms of probabilities. Subatomic particles show tendencies
to exist, and atomic events show tendencies to occur. 7
This comprehension gave birth to new principles.

1.1.3. Uncertainty Principle and
Complementary Principle

            Classical physics with its insistent
quest for clarity and distinctness gave rise to a sharp distinction between the
observing subject and the observed object. The developments in quantum theory
uncovered the impossibility of this division. Uncertainty principle of Werner
Heisenberg and the complementary principle of Niels Bohr challenged the
traditional claims of a subjectivity-free scientific knowledge. They admitted
that a certain interruption of subjectivity cannot be escaped.8 “The
uncertainty principle states that it is in principle impossible to determine
exactly both the position and momentum of a particle at the same time.”9 So
this principle renders that perfect knowledge is unattainable. As corresponding
to this principle the complementary principle that exact knowledge and
understanding could be achieved only by the unification of incompatible
concepts in a complementary fashion.10
The complementary principle gives a comprehensive view of universe which demand
us to see the universe as an interconnectedness. Recent progress in science, if
properly analysed and interpreted, will not appear to be anti-religious. Modern
age promotes a healthy and vibrant relationship between science and religion.
In the postmodern trends of science, we can see a tendency towards the
transcendence.

1.2. Humanistic psychology: the
Quest for Self-Actualization

Humanistic psychology, basically an American phenomenon,
took shape in the decade after World War II as both a protest movement and a
program for the future of psychology. The emergence of Humanistic Psychology is
mainly caused by the drastic changes in the socio-cultural life. In this period
people were being replaced by machines at a large scale and their works became
more specialized. As a result, people appeared were merely replaceable parts in
the big machine of society. The depersonalization spread to all spheres of
life. In this circumstance the humanists sought to restore psychology to deal
with the whole life of people. They emphasized on the people’s innate capacity
for creativity and goodness. Their fundamental concern was the self-concepts
i.e., our mental portrait of ourselves, according to which we judge and
interpret our behaviour and experience. Freud’s Psychoanalysis comprehended
human being as motivated by the selfish and irrational id whereas Humanist
Psychology with its positive vision states human beings are allowed to develop
freely to some higher vision of their capabilities. The most influential
Humanistic psychologists who based their theories on the optimistic foundation
are Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.11

1.2.1. Carl
Rogers (1902-1987): The Actualizing Tendency

Carl Rogers comprehend all behaviour as motivated by a
single overriding factor i.e., the actualizing tendency. This is the desire to
preserve and enhance oneself. This includes both the drive simply to stay alive
i.e., by eating, keeping warm, and avoiding physical danger and the people’s
desire to test and fulfill their capabilities i.e., to expose themselves to new
experiences, to master new skills, to quit boring jobs and find more exciting
ones etc. This process of fulfilling one’s potential is called
self-actualization. Our image of ourselves is the self-concept. Rogers state
that the degree of self-actualization that we achieve depends on the degree of
congruence between the self and the organism.12

1.2.2. Abraham Maslow
(1908-1970): The Hierarchy of Needs

Just like Rogers, Abraham Maslow states that human beings
are basically good and all their behaviour develop from their drive toward
self-actualization. He provides the concept of the hierarchy of needs, which
includes a series of needs that need to be fulfilled in process of achieving
self-actualization. He proposed five levels of needs in which each level should
be fulfilled before presiding to next level.13 Maslow’s
hierarchy is described as follows:

1.    
Physiological
needs, such as needs for food, sleep and air.

2.    
Safety,
or the needs for security and protection, especially those that emerge from
social or political instability.

3.    
Belonging
and love including, the needs of deficiency and selfish taking instead of
giving, and unselfish love that is based upon growth rather than deficiency.

4.    
Needs
for self-esteem, self-respect, and healthy, positive feelings derived from
admiration.

5.    
And
“being” needs concerning creative self-growth, engendered from fulfillment of
potential and meaning in life. 14

            This
self-actualization tendency in the modern psychology is also a cause for the
emergence of new age movements. Most of the new age leaders are influenced by
this kind of psychologies.

1 Job
Kozhamthadam ed., Modern Science,
Religion and the Quest for Unity, Pune, ASSR Publication, 2005, 3.

2 Cf. Job
Kozhamthadam ed., Religious Phenomena in
a World of Science, Pune, ASSR Publication, 2004, 62-63.

3 Cf. Job
Kozhamthadam ed., Modern Science,
Religion and the Quest for Unity, Pune, ASSR Publication, 2005, 3.

4 Cf. Job
Kozhamthadam ed., Science and Religion in
Dialogue: Challenges and Opportunities, Pune, ASSR Publication, 2002, 25.

5 Cf. Job
Kozhamthadam ed., Science and Religion in
Dialogue: Challenges and Opportunities, Pune, ASSR Publication, 2002,26-27.

6 Cf. Job
Kozhamthadam ed., Science and Religion in
Dialogue: Challenges and Opportunities, Pune, ASSR Publication, 2002,6-7.

7 Cf. Job
Kozhamthadam ed., Science and Religion in
Dialogue: Challenges and Opportunities, Pune, ASSR Publication, 2002,8-9.

8 Cf. Job
Kozhamthadam ed., Modern Science,
Religion and the Quest for Unity, Pune, ASSR Publication, 2005,10-11.

9 Job Kozhamthadam ed., Modern
Science, Religion and the Quest for Unity, Pune, ASSR Publication, 2005,11.

10 Cf. Job
Kozhamthadam ed., Modern Science,
Religion and the Quest for Unity, Pune, ASSR Publication, 2005, 10-11.

11 Cf. www.self-realization.com/humanistic-psychology (accessed on
14-07-17)

12 Cf. www.en.wikipedia.org/humanistic_psychology (accessed on
14-07-17)

13 Cf. www.self-realization.com/humanistic-psychology (accessed on 14-07-17)

14 Cf. www.en.wikipedia.org/humanistic_psychology (accessed on
14-07-17)