Science and Faith in the Second City

When did you last hear someone say ‘…of course Science has disproved the existence of God’. It’s a popular view, widely held, but it is not true and as Christians we need to challenge the rather lazy assumptions that lie behind it. The argument goes that once upon a time we turned to God to heal us when we were sick, to provide the right weather for our crops to grow and to fight for us when we were threatened by conflict. Today however, we can solve all these problems with science and so we no longer have a need of God. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the recent covid pandemic when science has been our saviour in providing us with a vaccine, new advances in medical science have saved lives and technology has allowed us to stay in touch with each other. Where was God whilst we were ‘following the science’ some will ask.

You may therefore be interested to learn that in 2022, the project Science and Faith in the Second City will be running in Birmingham in the spring and autumn. The project will provide an excellent opportunity to explore some of the difficult science-faith questions through the eyes of high-profile scientists who are also practising Christians. The aim of the project is to provide a Christian apologetic to demonstrate that the science-faith dilemma is a false choice, by demonstrating that science is not a barrier to the Christian faith, and that science and faith are compatible. The project will be attractive to those with a Christian faith and those to who are less convinced and for all who struggle with the apparent science-faith conflict. The intention is that the project will stimulate discussion across the city and will provide an excellent talking point about the Christian faith.

Science and Faith in the Second City is organised and run by the charity ChaplaincyPlus who are based in central Birmingham and will be led by their director Steve Bavington and Professor Hugh Rollinson, formerly course director at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion in Cambridge. Science and Faith in the Second City is funded by the ‘Scientists in Congregations’ scheme based at the University of Durham. This scheme is part of larger project entitled ‘Equipping Christian leaders in an age of science’ (https://www.eclasproject.org/congregations/) .

Events for 2022.

Tues 24th May:

Why climate change matters. Dr Ruth Valerio (Environmental activist, Tearfund)

12.30-13.30 – St Martins in the Bullring Cafe;

19.30-21.00 – Millennium Point (also live-streamed to the Guild House in Knowle)

 

Wed 15th June:

Who am I? Am I just my brain? Dr Sharon Dirckx (Neuroscientist, Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics)

12.30-13.30 – St Martins in the Bullring Cafe; 19.30-21.00 – Millennium Point

 

Thurs 29th September:

My mental health and spirituality. Rev Prof John Swinton (Registered mental health professional and theologian, University of Aberdeen)

12.30-13.30 and 19.30-21.00 venues tba

 

Wed 12th October:

Making sense of our identity in the 21st century world. Prof Glynn Harrison (Professor of Psychiatry, University of Bristol)

12.30-13.30 and 19.30-21.00 venues tba

 

Wed 16th November:

Do scientists have the right to change our genes? Prof. Keith Fox (Professor of Biochemistry, University of Southampton)

12.30-13.30 and 19.30-21.00 venues tba

 

All evening events will be livestreamed.

In addition to the public lectures there will be two one-day training courses which will run in the Autumn 2022. One will be for church leaders, especially those who do not have a background in science to allow them to engage with contemporary science-faith topics in greater depth. There will also be a course for scientists/ medics/ engineers/ technologists who are Christians to help them think more theologically about the implications of their scientific work.

For further details go to: www.scienceandfaith.co.uk or contact: hugh.rollinson@chaplaincyplus.org.uk

 

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