Christianity and the Rise of Science

We are excited to share that the Saint John's University School of Theology and Seminary has received a DoSER Grant. DoSER (Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion) is a program in consultation wtih the Association of Theological Schools. The project helps a diverse group of seminaries integrate science into their core curricula. 

Our program, “Cosmologies and Context:  Science as a Lens for Understanding Faith,” explores how theology and science have been intertwined and hopes to help our students understand the ways science is integral to responsible theology and ministry in our time. Participating faculty will revisit course and program goals to engage students in the interplay between scientific discoveries and the voice of the Judeo‐Christian tradition. We expect the science‐theology emphasis will enlarge the understanding of both the natural world and the faith response to it. For the participating faculty the augmented perspective, as informed and tempered in the classroom, will persist over time and, ultimately, permeate the school. Likewise, there will be a ripple effect as the students radiate the broader perspective, both in their own lives, and to those whom they serve. As teachers in high schools, religious education programs, and undergraduate colleges, our graduates can have a profound, lasting impact.


Our first event took place March 18, 2021 with a Public Talk with Peter Harrison, Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Discussion entitled "Science in the Seminaries: Cosmologies and Context." 

It is often thought that modern science developed largely independently of, or even in opposition to, religion. Historians of science, however, have proposed various ways in which religion played a significant role in the emergence of modern science. This lecture will set out some of the ways in which Christianity contributed positively to the rise of science, taking in ideas about laws of nature, the social legitimacy of science, and the methods and motivications of individual scientistits. 

Peter Harrison is an Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland, Australia. He was previously the Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford. His work deals with the historical relations between science and religion, and more specifically the philosophical, scientific and religious thought of the early modern period. He has written more than 100 articles and book chapters and his six books include The Territories of Science and Religion (2015).

Peter's Public Talk was viewed live via Zoom. Please use this link to view the presentation or watch below.