Emmanuel Adeniyi


The conflict between science and spirituality is an established fact, even though some scholars dispute this reality arguing that it is rather unfashionable for contemporary academic inquiry. The present study interrogates the foregoing position, submitting that the conflict between the two fields of knowledge still subsists. It advocates the recognition of spirituality as an alternative knowledge field, despite its lack of deductive, empirical procedures. The proposition builds on the reality of existential risks threatening humanity which can be adequately tackled if the two domains collaborate to develop mechanisms for ending human misery. Using syncretism/hybridity as a conceptual touchstone, the article attempts a postcolonial reading of Irete Lazo’s The Accidental Santera (2008) to pontificate about the imperativeness of mutuality between science and spirituality, and the danger inherent in a branch of knowledge displaying hubristic, overweening attitude towards another knowledge field. The study further suggests a new order to reposition the knowledge fields.


Santeria; African Studies; Afro-Cuban Faith; Albert Einstein; Syncretism; the Yorùbá

Full Text:



Adeniyi, E. (2020). Relational Dialectics, Interspecific Interactions, and Religious Animus in Jorge Amado’s The War of the Saints – A Postcolonial Critique. Postcolonial Interventions, 5(1), 108-138.

Akinfenwa, O., Fagbamila, O. D., & Abdulganiyu, A. I. (2013). The Role of Religion in Modern Society: Masses Opium or Tool for Development: A Case Study of Saw-Mill Area, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 6(1), 8-17.

Albert, H. (1999). Between Social Science, Religion and Politics: Essays in Critical Rationalism. Rodopi.

Awolalu, J. O. (1973). Yoruba Sacrifice Practice. Journal of Religion in Africa, 5(2), 81-93.

Barbour, I. (1997). Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues. HarperCollins.

Barry, P. (1995). Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. Manchester University Press.

Benson, H. (1996). Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Belief. Scribner Publishers.

Bentley, J. H. (1993). Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times. Oxford University Press.

Brown, M. C. (2003). The Conflict between Religion and Science in Light of the Patterns of Religious Belief among Scientists. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, 38(3), 603-632.

Coyne, J. A. (2015). Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible. Viking.

Dawes, G. W. (2016). Galileo and the Conflict between Religion and Science. Routledge.

Dawkins, R. (2006). The God Delusion. Houghton Mifflin.

Dodson, G. F. (2016). The Impact of Reason on Faith, Ethics, and Belief. Vernon Press.

Efori, M. F., & Fătu-Hartmann, C. (2019). Beyond the Final Frontier. Everything for the Theory of Everything: An Epistemological Study. Coresi Publishing.

Evans, J. H. (2018). Morals Not Knowledge: Recasting the Contemporary U.S. Conflict between Religion and Science. University of California Press.

¬¬¬¬¬ Evans, J. H. (2011). Epistemological and Moral Conflict between Science and Religion. Journal for the Scientific Studies of Religion, 50(4), 707-727.

Ezenweke, E., & Kanu, I. (2012). Perspectives of Syncretism and its Modern Trend: A Case of Christian and African Tradition. Unizik Journal of Arts and Humanities, 13(2), 71-84.

Gehman, R. (2001). African Traditional Religion in the Light of the Bible. Baraka.

Gyekye, K. (2009). Relationship between Religion and Science: An Overview. Legon Journal of the Humanities, 20, 1-22.

Harris, S. (2004). The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. W. W. Norton and Company.

Herndon, J. C. (2007). Eric Voegelin and the Problem of Christian Political Order. University of Missouri.

Kant, I. (1998). Critique of Pure Reason. (P. Guyer & A. W. Wood, Trans. & Ed.). Cambridge University Press. (Original work published in 1781.)

Lightman, B. (2011). Unbelief. In J. H. Brooke & R. L. Numbers (Eds.), Science and Religion around the World (pp. 252-277). Oxford University Press.

Lazo, I. (2008). The Accidental Santera. St. Martin’s Press.

Maher, P. (2006). Reclaiming Spirituality in Nursing. In L. C. Andrist, P. K. Nicholas, & K. A. Wolf (Eds.), A History of Nursing Ideas (pp. 417-425). Jones and Bartlett.

McGrath, A. (2004). The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World. Doubleday.

McLelland, C. V. (2006). The Nature of Science and the Scientific Method. Boulder, Colorado: The Geological Society of America.

Mochon, D., Norton, M. I., & Ariely, D. (2011). Who Benefits from Religion? Social Indicators Research, 101(1), 1–15.

Nieminen, P., Loikkanen, J., Ryökäs, E., & Mustonen, A. (2020). Nature of Evidence in Religion and Natural Science. Theology and Science, 18(3), 448-474.

Scott, E. (2009). Evolutionism vs. Creationism: An Introduction. University of California Press.

Smith, T. (2019). The Methods of Science and Religion: Epistemologies in Conflict. Lexington Books.

Stenmark, M. (2013). Typologies in Science and Religion. In A. L. C. Runehov & L. Oviedo (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions. Springer.

White, P. (2015). The Concept of Diseases and Health Care in African Traditional Religion in Ghana. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, 71(3), 1-7.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Epiphany

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Epiphany (pISSN 2303-6850, eISSN 1840-3719) is currently Indexed/Abstracted