SCIO Junior Dean wins Oxford University Student Union award

Thiago Alves Pinto, SCIO’s Junior Dean for the academic year 2015–16 and a doctoral student at the University of Oxford, was presented with the prize for ‘Best support staff’ in Oxford University Student Union 2016 Teaching awards ceremony at Oxford Town Hall last week.  Students from across the University, including SCIO’s Scholars’ Semester students who are Registered Visiting Students at the University, were invited to nominate an Outstanding tutor, Most acclaimed Lecturer, and Outstanding supervisor, and there were also a Special recognition award, and an award for Outstanding pastoral support.

Residents at The Vines, home to Thiago and most SCIO students during their time in Oxford, gave him a book with messages of appreciation for his wisdom, care, and encouragement in their academic and personal lives.

Thiago comments
‘I am honoured to receive the OUSU Award for Best Support Staff in my capacity as Junior Dean for SCIO. Yet, even more valuable than the award, was a booklet that the students made with extremely generous messages of appreciation. It has been a great pleasure to serve SCIO students as Junior Dean and the best prize of all is their friendship. I have learned a lot during my time with the students at The Vines, and I will always treasure the moments we spent together.’

SCIO student accepted onto prestigious leadership programme

SCIO  congratulates Isaiah Whitten, a Northwest University student currently studying on the Scholar’s semester in Oxford (SSO), who has been chosen for the Washington programme of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship. The programme, which gives African American men the chance to develop in leadership roles, takes place over two summers and includes a full-time internship, classes, professional development, mentorship, and graduate-school preparation. Isaiah has made his mark in Oxford by establishing the Oxford American Student Union to be a focus for Americans in Oxford and Oxfordians interested in America. Congratulations all round Isaiah!

Congratulations to SCIO’s fall semester 2015 prize winners

 

SCIO is delighted to announce the de Jager prize winners for the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford fall 2015.  The de Jager prizes are funded by a generous donation to SCIO from Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager who have a long standing commitment to encouraging excellence in education and scholarship.

These students showed exceptional academic performance in the following aspects of the programme

Two of the students reflect on their time during the programme
My time in Oxford was one of the best experiences of my life. But it was also one of the most difficult. I am beginning to learn that those two often go together. The Oxford environment challenged me academically, emotionally and spiritually in ways that I never thought possible, but I grew as a person more in one semester than ever before. The unique combination of rigorous academics, intentional conversations with tutors and peers, and walks through the many parks all within the beautiful city of Oxford made it an experience unlike any other. In the future, as I look back, I know that I will always view my time in Oxford as integral to my formation as a person, a scholar, and a Christian.

Eric Tuttle

My time with SCIO was personally and academically transformative. I learned so much about the world, and about myself, during my fourteen weeks in Oxford that I consider myself deeply changed by the place, people, and program. I spent many hours in the library, and many hours in coffee shops with my library books. I spent hours talking with housemates about philosophy, theology, literature, and history. I researched and wrote essays that changed the way I see the world. Conversations with tutors and SCIO staff helped me to consider different perspectives and arguments that I had not [...]

Congratulations to SCIO’s 2015 Spring semester prize winners

SCIO is delighted to announce the de Jager prize winners for the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford spring 2015  The de Jager prizes are funded by a generous donation to SCIO from Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager who have a long standing commitment to encouraging excellence in education and scholarship.

These students showed exceptional academic performance in the following aspects of the programme

Two of the students reflect on their time during the programme
Oxford, for me, was more than a semester of school. It was a transformative experience, marking a new stage of my growth as a person. Oxford sank into my bones. I am not the person I was before I saw those towering spires, or bought those books at Blackwell’s, or biked those cobbled streets, or cooked food with those friends I fell in love with. Oxford became a part of me, and SCIO made that happen. I will be forever grateful, and I am forever changed.     Ryan Klein
 
As a Visiting Student at Wycliffe Hall, I read more books, wrote more essays and enjoyed my studies more than I ever have before. There, amidst libraries, lecture halls, and late night writing parties, my fellow students and I were blessed to participate in a community characterized by thoughtful scholarship and a deep love for learning. SCIO introduced us to this city in all her old-stone beauty and to the notion that we too were academics in our own right, albeit young, inexperienced ones. Coming to Oxford opened so many doors for me, like the ability to study medievial manuscripts through the Green Scholars Initiative. The seven months I spent there were, in a word, glorious and I will always remember them and that city with love.     Elspeth [...]

Final week of ‘Bridging the Two Cultures’ seminar in Oxford

The first Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities seminar, funded by the Templeton Religion Trust is drawing to a close this week.  The twenty-five participants have attended a month of lectures, workshops, and mentoring sessions with eminent scholars in the field, including Alister McGrath, John Hedley Brooke,  David N. Livingstone, Markus Bockmuehl and René van Woudenberg.

The programme aims to foster in participants the interdisciplinary skills and understanding central to the study of science and religion, so that these early and mid-career scholars can return to their campuses equipped to lead corresponding discussions and research projects.

The twenty-five scholars will return to Oxford for next year’s seminar taking place from 3–30 July 2016 which will end with a conference on science and religion for the presidents of the participants’ institutions.

For further information and comment please see the CCCU website.

SCIO Junior Dean gains postdoctoral teaching fellowship at Indiana Wesleyan University

We are delighted to announce that Lexi Eikelboom has gained a 2–3 year postdoctoral teaching fellowship with the John Wesley Honors College at Indiana Wesleyan University, in Marion, Indiana. The Honors College offers an Honors Humanities Major through interdisciplinary seminars based on questions fundamental to human existence such as: ‘What is truth?’ ‘What is beauty?’, and ‘What is humanity?’ as well as seminars based on faculty research. Lexi will be teaching some of these seminars as well as continuing with her own research on rhythm as a theological category.

She comments,
One of the reasons that I am excited about this job is that I suspect the students in the John Wesley Honors College will be similar to the students who have come through SCIO: inquisitive, generous, and genuinely trying to understand how to live, think, and follow Christ well in a very complicated world. Investing in the lives of undergraduates has enriched my life and my research, and I am so pleased that this will continue to be a significant part of the next step in my academic journey.
Lexi and her husband Paul (pictured above) have been Junior Deans at The Vines, SCIO’s residence in Oxford, for three years. They have seen six cohorts of students through the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford, and assisted with numerous conferences and summer programmes. They have been invaluable members of the SCIO staff team: we will miss them!

SCIO announces prize winners of the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford fall term 2014

Top line, left to right: Joel Sams, Chance Gamble, Paul Stapleton. Middle line, left to right: Emily Sargent, Lydia Good, Abigail Storch, Samuel Ernest. Bottom Line, left to right: Claire Lambert, Graham Warnken, Emily Lund

SCIO is delighted to announce the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford de Jager prize winners for fall 2014. The de Jager prizes are funded by a generous donation to SCIO from Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager who have a long standing commitment to encouraging excellence in education and scholarship.

These students showed exceptional academic performance in the following aspects of the programme

 

Two of the students reflect on their time in Oxford below

The dreaming spires, the cyclists dashing between buses and down cobbled side streets, the late-night kitchen conversations over mugs of tea, my pounding heart as I walked into my first tutorials: Oxford was a dream I was privileged enough to live out for a few wondrous months. Yes, I was stressed and stretched. But I was also blessed to be alongside some of the brightest minds and biggest hearts I could have ever hoped to know, fellow scholars intent on pursuing knowledge and truth. SCIO taught me a new definition of ‘learning’, one that reemphasized not only the power of the written and spoken word, but also the power of living in community.
                                                                                                                                        [...]

Twenty-five participants chosen for SCIO’s Templeton-funded project in Oxford

Scholarship & Christianity In Oxford (SCIO), the UK Centre of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), is pleased to announce the twenty-five participants for the Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities project.  Funded by the Templeton Religion Trust, seminars will take place in Oxford, UK in the summers of 2015 and 2016. The programme fosters in participants the interdisciplinary skills and understanding central to the study of science and religion.
 In addition to attending the summer seminars with lectures from eminent scholars in the field, participants will work on an original research project in science and religion intended for major publication. Funds are provided for a research assistant to help the participant’s research project and establish (or bolster) a science and religion student club at the home institution. A final conference with presidents from participating institutions will be held in the summer of 2016.

While most participants are from North American CCCU institutions, there was a special effort to increase diversity.  The selection committee is pleased to have selected from the 70 applicants two participants from Africa, one from Central America and one from South America.  There is also one participant from a public university and seven women.

Helped by 10 specialist reviewers, the selection committee comprised:

Professor Alister McGrath, Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion, and Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford; Academic Director of Bridging the Two Cultures
Dr Stanley Rosenberg, Executive Director of SCIO and faculty member of Wycliffe Hall and the Theology and Religion Faculty, University of Oxford; Project Director of Bridging the Two Cultures
Dr Michael Burdett, Postdoctoral Fellow at SCIO and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford; Project Coordinator of Bridging the Two Cultures
Dr [...]

Book published by SCIO staff member, Dr Michael Burdett

SCIO is delighted to announce the publication of Dr Michael Burdett’s book, Eschatology and the Technological Future (Routledge, 2015). Michael has been involved with the work of SCIO since 2008. He was a Junior Dean for the SSO programme 2008–2010 and Lecturer in Philosophy and Theology 2011–2013. He has played a significant role in the development of SCIO’s research in science and religion in recent years. From 2011–2013 he was the Junior Research Fellow for the Balancing Perspectives project funded by the John Templeton Foundation and is now Postdoctoral Fellow and Project Coordinator for the Bridging Two Cultures Project’ funded by the Templeton Religion Trust.

Michael’s book is based on his doctoral research on religion and technology. Michael comments:

‘The work originally arose out of a personal desire to bring together my two vocations as an engineer and theologian. As I surveyed the literature, I found very little that explicitly brought into conversation Christian eschatology and our contemporary preoccupation with the apparent technological future. This book seeks to contextualize the growing literature on the cultural, philosophical, and religious implications of technological growth by considering technological futurisms such as transhumanism in the context of the long historical tradition of technological dreaming. I trace the latent religious sources of our contemporary technological imagination by looking at visionary approaches to technology and the future in seminal technological utopias and science fiction. I then draw on past theological responses to the technological future to arrive at a contemporary Christian response based around the themes of possibility and promise.’

Further information on Michael’s research can be found at  academia.edu.

Rev Prof Alister McGrath gives inaugural professorial lecture at Oxford University

The Rev Professor Alister McGrath, Academic Director of SCIO’s Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities project (which is funded by Templeton Religion Trust), recently took up the Andreas Idreos Professorship of Science and Religion at Oxford University and became Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre.  He delivered his inaugural professorial lecture at the University’s Examination Schools on 20 October, 2014 titled, “Conflict or mutual enrichment? Why science and theology need to talk to each other.” His lecture is available here.

Stan Rosenberg, SCIO’s Executive Director comments, “We are really delighted to see Professor McGrath take up this post and in this lecture clearly establish a commitment to the public presentation of science and religion from the context of his own extensive interdisciplinary training in, history of critical engagement with, and significant leadership in science and religion discussions.  This appointment continues an outstanding tradition of commitment to this critical issue at Oxford and will provide an important platform for his work in a way which will benefit many.”