“If Neurotheology is the Answer, What is the Question?”, by Andrew Newberg

I would like to thank ISSR for inviting me to write a little about my latest book titled: Neurotheology: How Science Can Enlighten Us About Spirituality. I am very excited about this book from Columbia Press as it helps to circumscribe the current state of the field of neurotheology. Of course, part of the hope of this book is to help establish neurotheology as a field by reviewing the current scholarship, both scientific and spiritual, and help demonstrate how an interdisciplinary approach might help us address some of the great questions that have challenged humanity since our origins. First, I think mapping some of the territory is an important thing to do here. This is a blog piece after all, an invitation to look further and deeper. To

By |2018-04-10T15:08:51+01:00April 10th, 2018|Categories: Blog, News|

Apocalypses Now: Modern Science and Biblical Miracles, by Mark Harris

 (Boyle Lecture, St Mary-le-Bow Church, London, 7 February 2018)   Before I begin, I’d like to thank all of those responsible for placing me in this pulpit: in the science-and-theology world there’s no greater honour than being invited to give the Boyle lecture, and I’d like to say a heartfelt thanks to the organising committee for granting me this enormous privilege. In the matter of organisation, I also want to say a special word of thanks to Michael Byrne for all of his help in organising the lecture, and also to the Rector, George Bush, and to Matthew Power here in St Mary-le-bow. Finally, I was delighted when John Hedley Brooke agreed to respond to my lecture. I’ve known John since I was a student at Oxford, and

By |2018-03-22T13:45:56+01:00March 22nd, 2018|Categories: Blog|

Earth Stewardship and Laudato Si’: Care for Our Common Home Compels Undividedness of Science and Religion, by Calvin B. DeWitt

Earth Stewardship and Laudato Si’: Care for Our Common Home Compels Undividedness of Science and Religion, by Calvin B. DeWitt   As I was finishing my paper, Earth Stewardship and Laudato Si’—for The Quarterly Review of Biology at the invitation of its editor-in-chief, Daniel Dykhuisen—I found myself being drawn to a compelling conclusion: Laudato Si’ is so integrative of science and religion, so integrative of human and natural ecology, and so vital towards caring for Earth as Our Common Home, that it clearly earns the status of required reading for all. Indeed, in its 246 numbered sections, its call for an ‘integral ecology’ warrants attention by absolutely everyone—even as it embraces everyone and everything.   For Science and Religion, it is particularly significant, as it compels undivided perseverance

By |2018-02-05T14:04:03+01:00February 5th, 2018|Categories: Blog, News|

The Image of God, Personhood and the Embryo, by Calum MacKellar

  Dr. Calum MacKellar, is a Visiting Lecturer in Bioethics at St Mary’s University in London, UK, and a Fellow with the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity at Trinity International University in Chicago, USA.    Discussions concerning biomedical developments relating to the human embryo never really leave headline news. Even very recently, new debates have arisen concerning the possibility of lifting the 14 day limit during which it is possible to undertaken destructive embryonic research in the UK. This is because scientists are now able to grow embryos beyond such a limit and some believe that doing so may be in the interest of biomedical research. But this would mean reevaluating, yet again, the moral status of early human embryos as if it was something that changed

By |2018-01-15T14:36:01+01:00January 15th, 2018|Categories: Blog|

The New Cosmic Story: Inside Our Awakening Universe, by John Haught

Scientists now know that the universe is a story still unfolding. Fairly recently, as the story goes, on planet Earth in the Milky Way galaxy a new species of organisms, one endowed with conscious self-awareness, ethical aspiration, and an insatiable restlessness for more being, has entered into the narrative. New scientific awareness of the long cosmic preamble to this arrival has inspired attempts recently to connect the relatively short span of our own existence to the longer epic of the universe. These efforts, known as Big History, try to tell the story of everything that has taken place in the past, including what was going on in the universe long before Homo sapiens arrived. The emergence of Big History, I propose, offers us a new way of understanding

By |2017-12-15T17:41:16+01:00December 15th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

The Intelligent Design Debate and the Temptation of Scientism, by Rope Kojonen

Debate over the controversial Intelligent Design movement has continued for over two decades. Though Intelligent Design has not made much progress in convincing the broader scientific community of the rightness of its cause, supporters of the movement’s ideas are not giving up. For its defenders, ID is revolutionary new science, and its opposition is merely ideological. The conclusion that nature is designed is argued to be the clear result of the cumulative efforts of the various natural sciences, and proponents of ID believe this conclusion to be ‘so unambiguous and so significant that it must be ranked as one of the greatest achievements in the history of science’. However, for its varied critics, ID is “neither sound science nor good theology”, as the ISSR statement on Intelligent Design

By |2017-11-30T16:59:42+01:00November 30th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Theological Neuroethics: Christian Ethics Meets the Science of the Human Brain, by Neil Messer

While I was writing my new book Theological Neuroethics (Messer 2017), I had many conversations with colleagues, students and friends about my current research. Quite often, when I said I was working on neuroethics, they began to look puzzled. Sometimes, people thought I’d said “Euroethics.” Since most of the book was written in the year of the UK’s Brexit referendum, this had the potential to cause all kinds of misunderstanding. But even if they heard the word correctly, some were still puzzled: they had never heard that there was such a thing as “neuroethics,” and it took a little more conversation to explain what it might be. To be fair to my puzzled friends, nobody at all had heard of neuroethics before about 2002. It was around then

By |2017-11-06T11:53:27+01:00November 6th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

The New Biology: Implications for Philosophy, Theology and Education by Fraser Watts

  The joint conference of the Ian Ramsey Centre and ISSR in the summer this year (2017) provided a great opportunity to draw together some of the threads of the project on “The New Biology: Implications for Philosophy, Theology and Education” that ISSR has been running since May 2015. The project has two main strands, one on philosophy and theology, the other on implications for education.   There was a plenary symposium at the conference on the broader implications, with three keynote speakers. Dame Ottoline Leyser went first. She is a distinguished plant biologist who directs the Sainsbury Laboratory in Cambridge, and she explained with beautiful clarity how what is happening to the plant as a whole helps to determine what happens at any particular point. The idea

By |2017-10-18T17:35:05+01:00October 18th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

On Faith and Science: Welcome to Our Dialogue by Ed Larson and Michael Ruse

Harris Wiseman of ISSR was kind enough to ask us to write a few words about our new book, On Faith and Science, published last month by Yale University Press. Both of us, Michael Ruse and Ed Larson, were founding members or fellows of ISSR and have greatly enjoyed our relationship with the organization over the years. We are honored by your consideration of our latest joint effort. Rather than describe the book ourselves, though, I wanted to share with you one review of it that was contributed by a reader to the website of Amazon.com. We think the reader got it about right, and will defer to him. Neither of us know the reviewer, whose identifies himself as Perry Marshall. “It was refreshing to read a book

By |2017-09-30T16:20:36+01:00September 30th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Genes, Determinism and God, by Denis Alexander

“For good nurture and education implant good constitutions, and these good constitutions taking root in a good education improve more and more, and this improvement affects the breed in man as in other animals” wrote Plato in his Dialogues. And, ever since, the discussion as to what may be learnt and what may be innate has meandered on, often becoming embroiled in passionate debates laced with opposing ideological positions.   In the 19th century the discussion began to be more informed by new scientific findings, but far from resolving the question, positions if anything became more polarized. “Of all the vulgar modes of escaping from the consideration of the social and moral influences on the human mind”, wrote John Stuart Mill in 1848, “the most vulgar is that

By |2017-07-27T15:04:50+01:00July 27th, 2017|Categories: Blog|
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