‘Questioning science with good faith’
With a new grant, MTSO further engages science
Methodist Theological School in Ohio has received a $75,000 grant from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program for a new project, “Questioning Science with Good Faith: Shifting the Engagement of Science in Seminaries.” AAAS’s partnership with the Association of Theological Schools provides resources to integrate science into coursework and campus-wide events. The grant is funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
“Questioning Science with Good Faith: Shifting the Engagement of Science in Seminaries” will enhance the Master of Divinity program by further integrating science into church history and theological studies curricula. It will also contribute to the public discourse on intersection of science and religion in areas such as remote learning, food justice and countering science disinformation online.
The project will be led by MTSO’s Elonda Clay, director of the library; Tejai Beulah, assistant professor of history, ethics and Black church and African diaspora studies; and Elaine Nogueira-Godsey, assistant professor of theology, ecology and race. Under their direction, students and faculty will have the opportunity to participate in an advanced research workshop series on science and religion offered through MTSO’s Dickhaut Library. Additionally, course-specific research guides will be available on the library’s website.
“For me, MTSO is the perfect place to engaging in conversations linking science and theological thinking,” Clay said. “We already engage in environmental science, agricultural science and food science. Now we will have the opportunity to incorporate today’s science – especially during the current pandemic – into the working knowledge of religious leaders.”
Taking discussions on the intersection of science and religion beyond individual courses, this fall MTSO will present a digital program series called “Science, Religion and Social Change in an Increasingly Virtual World.” Streamed live and archived for viewing after the event, the series will engage scientists and scholars in conversations about their work at the science-religion nexus and how post-pandemic trends might reshape the future of seminary formation and science-religion dialogues. It will cover five topics:
- Science, religion and the switch to remote teaching and learning.
- Science, religion and racial justice.
- Science, religion, mental wellbeing and the move to telehealth.
- Science, religion and countering science disinformation online.
- Science, religion and food justice.