by John C. Mannone
Science without religion is lame,
religion without science is blind.
— Albert Einstein
Science teaches beyond mere facts, it analyzes them // there’s a methodology to observation // a questioning from hypothesis to experiment to formulation of theory // the testing of it. Theologians can surely learn from scientists // their methodology different—hermeneutics //sometimes stilted and leans toward opinion // rallies a specific denomination instead of pursuing an unbiased truth // It could set them free from legalism // make all of us more catholic and apostolic // but traditions of men often make void the word of God. Religion reaches beyond spirituality // fingers reason and the splendiferousness of science with its description of the natural world // which cannot prove, nor disprove, the existence of God // However, as any good lawyer knows, the preponderance of circumstantial evidence points to the probable, despite the lack of direct evidence. On the other hand, scientists can surely learn from priests of our peculiar generation // from the sacred texts that speak beyond science, beyond the mind // and deep into the heart. As a physicist, I ask the big questions // even the ones that cannot answer with equations or experiments // Who am I? What is my purpose? Where will I go after this life? // There is no shortage of questions // no diminishment of longing // no limit to the awe of creation. And I know it did not create itself.
John C. Mannone has poems in North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry South, Windhover, Braided Way, Spirit Fire Review, Credo Espoir, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and Scriblerus Arts Journal. He won the Impressions of Appalachia Creative Arts Contest in poetry (2020) and the Carol Oen Memorial Fiction Prize (2020). He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). He has three poetry chapbooks, and four full-length collections: Disabled Monsters (Linnet’s Wings Press, 2015), Flux Lines: The Intersection of Science, Love, and Poetry (Linnet’s Wings Press, 2022), Sacred Flute Iris Press, 2022), and Song of the Mountains (Middle Creek Publishing, forthcoming 2023). He’s been nominated for Pushcart, Rhysling, and Best of the Net awards. He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex, Silver Blade, Liquid Imagination, and American Diversity Report. A retired professor of physics, he lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.