Original Research

Is there a wall to peek over? Exploring approaches in the science and religion conversation

Wessel Bentley
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 1 | a5113 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i1.5113 | © 2018 Wessel Bentley | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 May 2018 | Published: 22 November 2018

About the author(s)

Wessel Bentley, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, South Africa


Is there a metaphorical wall that separates science and religion? In the continued interaction between science and religion, the questions of ontology (what is there?) and epistemology (how do we know what is there?) plague efforts to come to an integrated model that successfully includes both partners. In this article, three possible scenarios are discussed: firstly, that science and religion occupy opposite sides of a dividing ‘wall’. Secondly, that science and religion stand on the same side of a ‘wall’ that separates the known from the unknown. Thirdly, the possibility that no ‘wall’ exists and that science and religion effectively come to interdependent conclusions based on their interaction within an open system. This article addresses the questions of transcendence and immanence against the background of the wall metaphor.


Ontology; Epistemology; Science; Religion


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