University of Aberdeen awarded grant for science-engaged theology

The University of Aberdeen is among nine UK theological colleges selected for an award to promote science-engaged theology.

The ‘Science for Seminaries’ programme run by research project Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS) has awarded the University’s Department of Divinity a £60,000 grant to enable it to incorporate science into the curriculum.

As part of the programme the University will refine at least one core module and host wider-reaching activities which model how science engages with theology. Theological teachers and scientific advisors will be invited to retreats and conferences to share their progress and hear from leading thinkers in science-engaged theology.

Science for Seminaries is modelled on a previous successful programme run by AAAS DoSER in North America. The awards run for the 2021-2 academic year.

Professor Tom Greggs, Head of Divinity at the University of Aberdeen said: “We are delighted that the University of Aberdeen is to be a recipient of a science in seminaries award.

“Divinity seeks to be classical and cutting-edge, and this grant will allow for the integration of hard and medical sciences within the curriculum as well as an outreach and knowledge transfer to the surrounding community. This is yet another feather in the cap our world-leading department.”

The University shares the award along with London School of Theology, Nazarene Theological College, Ripon College Cuddesdon, Regents Theological College, Cranmer Hall, St Augustine’s College of Theology, Sarum College and Wycliffe Hall.

Professor Iain Torrance, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen and President Emeritus of Princeton Theological Seminary, added: “The global pandemic has shown the same virus and vastly different kinds of response from different governments and societies. The acceptability of lockdown as a measure draws on notions of wholeness and well-being.

“That is one dimension in the range of the ever-evolving debate between science and belief. Ultimately this proposal is about the practical exploration of the relationship between psychopharmaceutical intervention and spirituality. Nothing could be more contemporary or more crucial.”