Inspired by café culture, Church Scientific is a creative place for scientific thinkers motivated by Christian faith to explore all kinds of ideas that influence their work and develop fresh perspectives. A preliminary series of workshops helps these researchers to engage with stimulating ideas from the history, philosophy and theology of science. This prepares them to share novel ideas with a friendly audience in church-based café evenings. These café evenings in turn foster further development of the ideas through discussion around tables. The whole project culminates in a day conference where participants reveal where they’ve got to in their thinking and what they envisage for their next steps.
No questions are too simple or too profound, and no-one stands in a position of authority to say which ideas are legitimate or valuable. The emphasis throughout Church Scientific is that progress in the sciences can come from unexpected sources, and thinking inspired by Christian faith may be an important source now, just as it has been historically.
Where does Church Scientific come from?
Church Scientific is funded as part of the English “Scientists in Congregations” initiative from a project at St John’s College Durham. Run by Dr Richard Gunton and Rev. David Humphries with the support of a steering group, its aim is to help Christian students and researchers in the sciences to explore how their faith might undergird and enrich their work. Funding is gratefully acknowledged from the Scientists in Congregations project at St John’s College Durham, Blenheim Baptist Church and Wetherby Baptist Church, and support from Faith-in-Scholarship.
Who can be part of Church Scientific?
Anyone who’s fascinated by the sciences and sympathetic to Christian faith can get involved. If you’re a science student or researcher of any age, you may like to join the workshops and find out whether you want to go on and give a café talk. If you’re a local church member who’s reflected a lot on science and faith, you may like to sign up as a mentor. If you like to make things happen, you could apply to join the café set-up team or the conference organisation team. And if you’re just curious – come along to our next open event.