chapter  1
7 Pages

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Science, spirituality and religion An exploration of bridges and gaps

One of the basic tenets of Quakerism is that, regardless of what respected authorities say, we are enjoined to speak of our own experience of the living God, and from our own experience of the living God. Quakerism appeals to many scientists, for the openness and search that this experiential attitude implies is similar to the experimental approach of the research scientist. There are strong parallels, and in particular both require integrity. Scientists are trained to check their data, but having checked it, to respect its integrity, respect what it is telling them, neither over-interpreting nor falsifying the outcomes. Similarly in our religious life, Quakers have procedures for testing one another’s religious leadings, but having checked them we are encouraged to respect them and what they are telling us.