Research and projects

As well as being a centre for teaching, SCIO has from early on been a centre for research, funded in part by major grant-awarding bodies.

Funding partners include the John Templeton Foundation, Templeton Religion Trust, and The Blankemeyer Foundation. A succession of grants beginning in 1999 has allowed SCIO to develop considerable expertise in the relationship between science and religion. Two series of seminars for faculty members from North American colleges (principally members of the CCCU) were followed by an investigation into research and teaching of Science and Religion in North America. This latter study served as a precursor to the Bridging the Two Cultures programmes funded by Templeton Religion Trust and now also by The Blankemeyer Foundation. The Trust awarded a grant of nearly £1.15 million for the Bridging the Two Cultures I project beginning in May 2014, with summer seminars in Oxford in 2015 and 2016, support for participants in their home institutions, and the inaugural US tour of the play Mr Darwin’s Tree. This has led to a range of scholarly outcomes in research and teaching.

Building on the success of the initial project, Templeton Religion Trust and The Blankemeyer Foundation have granted SCIO a new award worth c.$2 million to run an enhanced programme, Bridging the Two Cultures II, from 2017 to 2019.

Logos 2015

A fourth partner is the Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative, the research arm of one of the world’s most important collections of manuscripts related to the Bible. SCIO hosts the summer institute Logos, at which an international group of faculty members and students join Oxford-based scholars active in biblical scholarship. SCIO manages the major graduate award offered by the Museum, the Yamauchi Award. In addition, SCIO staff assist in the Museum’s ‘Science and the Bible’ initiative and serve as the UK Regional Director and Associate Director for the Scholars Initiative, coordinating research projects on Museum of the Bible holdings and other related collections with projects at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Exeter.

As well as these projects, SCIO supports scholarly research by visiting faculty members from CCCU member colleges and by its own staff, who have research interests ranging from Augustine to feminist history.