The Church of England is set to invest £700,000 in a new program that aims to promote greater engagement between Christian leaders and the scientific community.
The creation of the initiative, which will be part of a three-year Durham University program, was announced during British Science Week, a 10-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and math that concludes on March 22.
The program will offer trainee priests and others access to resources on contemporary science, and will also research attitudes toward science from church leaders. Durham University professor Rev. David Wilkinson spoke out about the divide between faith and science during a recent interview with The Christian Post.
“Our personal motivation was to ask: how do we give confidence to Christian leaders in a world where there are many questions which impact theology,” Wilkinson told CP on Friday.
“Our hunch, brought out by an initial pilot project, was that many Christian leaders at a senior level leading churches would often see science as a threat, and not see it as an opportunity to engage people with their interest in the really big questions: [such as], where the universe comes from, what does it mean to be human, are we unique, are we alone, and what’s the future for technology.”
The program is aimed at giving confidence and resources to clergy that will allow them to engage with these questions at a respectable level, according to Wilkinson.
Within the program research will be conducted analyzing the attitudes toward science amongst 1,000 church leaders in the U.K. There will also be a series of conferences for leaders — such as bishops and others — that will focus around questions such as origins of existence, cosmology, neuroscience, and the complexity of how God works in the world. The leaders will be exposed to leading scientists in these fields, including Christians and non-Christians.
SOURCE: VINCENT FUNARO