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Configuring Adam and Eve:

Exploring conceptual space at the interface of theological and scientific reflection on human origins

This grant has been awarded to SCIO’s partner institution Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.  SCIO hosts the monthly meetings of the research group and several staff members of SCIO are part of the core research team.

Many Christians are concerned that evolutionary accounts of human origins can put under heavy strain key Christians doctrines, particularly the image of God, original sin, and the goodness of God. Many non-believers reject Christian faith because they believe it is inconsistent with modern science. Such tensions are pastorally and evangelistically damaging.

This project brings together an international team of scholars based at the University of Oxford representing diverse academic fields in the arts (theology, history and philosophy) and sciences (biological physics and chemistry) and diverse theological and scientific commitments. They aim to bring their various viewpoints to bear on the complex relationships between Christian doctrine and recent scientific work on human origins. In particular, they will explore where progress can be made by distinguishing between scientific evidence and interpretations of that evidence, on the one hand, and between essential Christian doctrines and interpretations of those doctrines on the other.

The team’s work will take the form of two international conferences with published proceedings, one academic book on the problem of evil, articles in peer-reviewed journals, popular-level contributions to the BioLogos website, and three popular-level symposium-style books on the image of God, original sin and the problem of evil. The project will create opportunities for a broad array of scholars from Europe and North America to join in investigating and advancing this question.

Staff involvement:


  • Dr Stan Rosenberg (SCIO and Wycliffe Hall)
  • Revd Professor Benno van den Toren (Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and University of Groniken, Netherlands)

Senior Members:

  • Dr Michael Burdett (SCIO and Wycliffe Hall, and University of St Andrews)
  • Dr Jonathan Doye, Faculty of Chemistry and Queen’s College, Oxford
  • Revd Dr Michael Lloyd, Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford
  • Dr Ard Louis, Reader in the Department of Physics, Oxford