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Rizal and Science: A Struggle for Faith, Religion, and Knowledge
Much of what has been written about Jose Rizal focuses on his politicalthinking, with side references to his numerous accomplishments in the artsand letters, in science, technology, and medicine. In this essay, I chooseto focus on Rizal the scientist, both in the sense of someone searching forknowledge as well as someone employing scientific methods to the studyof society. I use Rizal’s writings, including correspondence with family andfriends and a former Jesuit mentor, Father Pablo Pastells;his“Letter to theWomen of Malolos”; his essay “Indolence of the Filipinos”; and his novel NoliMe Tangere to highlight the often difficult struggles he encountered aroundissues of faith and reason. I propose here that the struggles of Rizal thescientist, in particular to reconcile faith and reason, must be considered tounderstand Rizal the visionary and hero.