Bridging the Two Cultures II, 2017–19

Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities II, 2017–19, was a significant opportunity for 25 early- to mid-level career faculty members from the CCCU and across the globe to experience an enhanced summer programme aimed at developing interdisciplinary skills in Science and Religion.

Project outline

The programme comprised three components:

  1. Summer research seminars for faculty participants in Oxford, UK
  2. Research and student-focused activities on CCCU campuses and in Oxford
  3. Roundtable and colloquium for institutional leaders on relevant issues

The Oxford-based seminars, which took place from 1 to 29 July 2018 and from 30 June to 28 July 2019, focused on the development of interdisciplinary skills and understanding central to the field of Science and Religion, within the unique setting of Oxford. Social and natural scientists joined those in the humanities to explore established and emerging Science and Religion issues, guided by eminent scholars in the field, in a respectful and research-rich learning environment. The seminars trained a new generation of leaders in Science and Religion.

Campus activities at the participants’ home institutions helped develop young scholars, supporting conversations across the wider student body, and helping campus leaders to engage with current issues in Science and Religion.

A roundtable in Oxford for presidents of participating institutions and a colloquium in North America for the senior academic officers, chief student development officers, and chaplains fostered further engagement with a wide range of institutional leaders. These complementary project elements will shape participants and their institutions for years to come.

Key Features of the Project

  • For CCCU members and affiliates, though consideration was given to applications from other faith-based universities, especially from Latin America and Africa
  • Two month-long seminars, for which each participant received a £1,750 stipend each summer, which included:
    • significant time for research and access to Bodleian Libraries
    • lectures by eminent scholars in Science and Religion
    • mentor sessions with participants and senior scholars
    • one-to-one cross-disciplinary Oxford-style supervisions
    • workshops on rhetorical, pedagogical, translational, and faith-based Science and Religion issues on CCCU campuses
    • excursions to places such as Darwin’s house and relevant collections in Cambridge
    • cultural activities relevant to addressing the ‘two cultures’ challenge between science and religion
  • A touring play was made available to participating North American campuses
  • Support for individual research projects
  • Two course releases for participants, for the sake of research, partially funded by the project
  • Substantial funding to establish (or bolster) Science and Religion student clubs on participants’ home campuses
  • Funding towards student research assistants studying Science and Religion-related subjects in Oxford on one of SCIO’s student programmes
  • A three-day Presidents’ Roundtable in Oxford on Science and Religion issues with institutional leaders from participants’ campuses
  • A weekend colloquium in North America in February 2019 for the participants along with their chief academic officers, chief student development officers, and chaplains
  • Book allowances for participants from institutions in Africa and Latin America
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