Science and Religion

SCIO’s research and education projects focus on key concerns in Science and Religion. SCIO has eight members of staff with research interests in this field and works closely with University of Oxford academics and institutions engaged in research in Science and Religion.

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Webinar Course on Science, Christianity, and Society, 2020-21

SCIO’s Webinar Course on Science, Christianity, and Society represents a new, webinar-based approach to teaching and learning about science’s intersections with broader societal forces, and especially its interactions with Christianity. Two cohorts — the first composed of early career faculty members from member institutions of the CCCU and the second, selected postdoctoral researchers at the University of Oxford — will join leading scholars to examine the larger social and cultural contexts within which science is located, and to reflect on specific intersections between science and those contexts. Find out more.

SCIO staff contributing to the discipline of science and religion:

Support from SCIO has been wonderful. I feel like my career is on a new trajectory and I am excited to see what is next. I have so many new ideas and have networked with people I never would have been able to before. I am so grateful for this opportunity.
Attendee, Bridging the two Cultures II, summer 2019

Recently completed projects

Oxford Interdisciplinary Seminars in Science and Religion: Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities II, 2017–19.

Building on the success of Bridging the Two Cultures I, SCIO offered a follow-up programme for a new cohort 25 faculty members from CCCU institutions and other faith-based institutions, including those in Latin America and Africa. Funded by the Templeton Religion Trust and The Blankemeyer Foundation with grants of c.$2 million, the programme focused on enhancing the development of faculty members and serving the broader academic communities which they represent. Faculty Participants explored Science and Religion issues in the unique setting of Oxford, developing interdisciplinary skills central to the field. The programme helped train a new generation of leaders in Science and Religion, providing mentoring for student researchers, encouraging broader student engagement, and expanding the conversations to include key campus leaders (presidents, provosts, chief student development officers, and chaplains). Find out more.

Glorification and Creaturehood in an Age of Biotechnological Enhancement, 2016–19.

Funded with a grant of £141,000 from the John Templeton Foundation, this project focused on defining Christian and scientific responses (neuroscience, psychology, and biology) to human beings as ‘creatures’ who are bound for ‘glory’ with the aim of applying this wisdom to debates on human biotechnological enhancement. The main activities of the project included the production of several peer-reviewed articles and a scholarly monograph, and an international symposium that convened with leading Christian scholars on the topic.

Earlier completed projects

Oxford Interdisciplinary Seminars in Science and Religion: Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities I, 2014–16.

Funded by the Templeton Religion Trust with a grant of c.£1.15 million, the project focused on building a community of the next generation of Science and Religion scholars by increasing their interdisciplinary skills through a substantial programme of activities in Oxford, and providing resources for greater home campus engagement.

Configuring Adam and Eve: Exploring Conceptual Space at the Interface of Theological and Scientific Reflection on Human Origins, 2012–15

Based at Wycliffe Hall, the $286,000 project was funded by the BioLogos Foundation and supported by SCIO Science and Religion staff. The project members hosted two international conferences, authored several academic and popular-level articles, and published a major edited volume on evolution and the image of God, original sin, and the problem of evil.

Balancing Perspectives: Science and Religion Research and Teaching within the Member Institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, 2011–13

This study of research and teaching at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) was commissioned by the John Templeton Foundation with a grant of $141,000. It culminated in a 111-page report to Templeton and a publicly available executive summary.

John Templeton Oxford Seminars on Science and Christianity, 2003–5

Building on the strengths of the first set of seminars and drawing upon the cohort trained in the first round, this set offered training to a new cohort of 35 scholars.

John Templeton Oxford Seminars on Science and Christianity, 1999–2001

Providing training for a cohort of 35 scholars, these seminars met for four weeks each summer for three years and helped to establish new scholars in the nascent field.

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