St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Relations - Partner Projects
Religion & Science Roundtable
Allen C. Dotson, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics and Physics
We invite faculty, students, community members, and members of area faith community to a moderated, balanced and constructive dialogue on issues of science and religion.
The goal of our gatherings during the academic year will be to nurture an enduring intellectual and theological conversation that encourages all participants, and the institutions represented, to continue to seek a well-informed sense of understanding of the world. Our group pursues a mutually sympathetic knowledge of different perspectives on a variety of issues where science and religion intersect. The focus of our activities -- in keeping with the Science, Technology, and Religion Conferences held on our campus -- will be toward dialog rather than debate. We are concerned with reaching a better, general understanding of issues, rather than any specific consensus. Our local society meets over dinner on a regular basis.
The kinds of questions we would like to explore include, but are not limited to, the following: How do the aims and purposes of science and religion relate to each other? How do science and religion compare, and how do they contrast, in terms of their goals, their methods, their ideas and perspectives? What challenges exist for the goal of improving understanding across the line that separates the one from the other? What questions arise from within the discourse of one that address the other, which the other can respond meaningfully to? What kinds of thoughtful responses can be offered by each to the other? How can scientific and religious interests engage each other in ways that promise to enrich the legacy of both?
Beginning with Ian Barbour's book When Science Meets Religion, the group will work to provide a safe place for intellectual dialogue on the issues of science and religion which the group is most concerned with and interested in.
The Religion and Science Roundtables are now funded through the John Calvin McNair Lecture on Science and Theology at St. Andrews. The McNair Lecture was established by the 1857 will of John Calvin McNair who asked that "the object of which lecture(s) shall be to show the mutual bearing of Science and Theology upon each other...."
Allen C. Dotson, PhD- Prof. of Mathematics & Physics, Chair, Project Director
Pamela Case, PhD- Jefferson-Pilot Assoc. Prof. of Psychology
Lawrence E. Schulz, PhD- Distinguished Professor of Politics (PCUSA Elder)