McCormick Receives Grant as Part of the Science for Seminaries Initiative

05-31-2018

AAAS' Science for Seminaries project fosters understanding and integration of science and technology in religious communities and contexts.

McCormick Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that it has been selected to receive a $75,000 grant from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) through its Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program and in consultation with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

McCormick Interim President David Crawford said, "We are delighted and grateful to be part of this extraordinary initiative. At a time when some seek to divide science and theology, this initiative allows us to explore and engage new ways of understanding how each informs the other. I am especially grateful to our Project Co-Directors, Professor Anna Case-Winters, Professor of Theology, and Dr. Reggie Williams, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, both for their work in preparing our proposal and for the exciting work ahead.”

Dr. Case-Winters notes: “Our work with students is particularly promising. They come from growing Christian communities some of whom suspect there is an inevitable conflict between science and faith. We will strive to help them integrate scientific understandings with the life of faith. All of the big theological questions can, in fact, be deepened and illumined by engagement with science. We believe that for religious leaders today, capacity for thoughtful interaction with science is not optional – it is essential.”

As part of the project, Dr. Williams will redesign his course, Introduction to Christian Ethics, to include insights from biology such as the discovery in the human genome project that there is no biological basis for division of the human family into races. Race is a social construct. The Introduction to Theology course, taught by Dr. Case-Winters and Dr. Robert Cathey, will also be redesigned so that theological themes engage relevant science. For example, how do we think about God as Creator in light of what we know of the origin and evolution of the cosmos? In addition, in the spring of 2019, McCormick will host a science themed event, “The Evolution of the Cosmos,” featuring renowned astronomers and astrophysicists in conversation with theologians and biblical scholars.

About McCormick Theological Seminary
A seminary in the city, McCormick is known around the world for its work in urban ministry, and for its cross-cultural, ecumenical models of theological education. McCormick is located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, adjacent to the University of Chicago. One of 12 schools related to the Presbyterian Church (USA), and one of 11 members of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools, McCormick is a progressive leader in the Reformed tradition. Accredited by both ATS and the Higher Learning Commission, it seeks a more just and compassionate world through rigorous academic study, practical experience, spiritual formation and an active, engaged community.

About AAAS
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science (www.sciencemag.org) family of journals. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The nonprofit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.