Interplay Between Religion and Science: Level of Inclusion and Relevance in Religious Studies in Nigeria
From the point of view of the scientific sceptics, scriptural literalists, and anyone who eschew some form of fundamentalism or religious conservatism, religion and science are two different human endeavours, which do not have anything in common and as such hold no prospect for mutual interaction or any form of rapprochement. It is not impossible to also find great men and women of science, religion and philosophy with undeniable touch of most current pattern of reasoning falling into this category. This worldview is predicated on the thinking that the respective internal logic and metaphysics of science and religion are such that bringing them into dialogue will, on the one hand, lead to conflation, and consequently, conflict; and on the other hand, a corrosion of the truth and integrity of religious faith. A conceptual analysis approach was adopted to analyse the nature of both science and religion with the aim of laying bare the underlying assumptions that tend to vitiate the nature of these frameworks thereby significantly affecting how relationship between them can be construed. We argue in this paper that such conclusion in respect to the relationship between religion and science is inappropriate and premised on erroneous assumptions. Rather, we submitted that an apprehension of reality, devoid of unnecessary naivety, demands that we employ insights from both modes of experiencing and analysing reality to attain wholesome human self-understanding and that of the entire universe. We also pointed out that in view of the relevance of religion-science debate, deliberate efforts should be made to further inculcate this interdisciplinary approach in the enunciation of religion in Nigeria and other parts of Africa; particularly in the study of religion.