The project will start with an empirical survey studying the knowledge, attitudes and expectations concerning the relationship between science and religion among the primary audience of the project. The purpose of the survey is fourfold: (1) to provide the project with a reliable foundation for the detailed realization of different activities of the project, (2) to put the question of the dialogue between science and religion higher on the agenda, (3) to provide the project with knowledge of the expectations among the primary audience and (4) to be a foundation for future short-term indicator of the progress of the project.
A survey in the form of a web-based questionnaire will be distributed to ministers in the Lutheran Church of Sweden, religious leaders within the Uniting Church of Sweden (the largest free denomination in Sweden) and imams within Muslim communities of Sweden. Towards the end of the questionnaire, the respondents will be asked for their interest to participate in a telephone-interview. Based on the response to this question 150 respondents will be contacted.
For the purpose of providing a reliable baseline assessment a report (Baseline Assessment Report, BAR) will be produced by the project leader (in collaboration with other persons engaged in the project).
The survey will be finalized during spring 2015 and the BAR in the beginning of 2016 and provide an important background to the final evaluation of project.
The Diocese of Gothenburg
The diocese of Gothenburg will organize a local program in order to inspire and educate religious leaders to act as “science and religion promoters” in their local environments. The local program includes homiletic training, dialogue groups and educational activities.
The aim of the Project is to inspire and educate religious leaders in the Church of Sweden and leaders of other world religions in the science and religion dialogue. At the end of the project, the participants should: gone through a learning process strengthening their ability to reflect upon homiletic and educational issues within the Church in relation to a modern scientific world-view, gained knowledge on different ways to relate science and religion, be trained to involve themselves in dialogues relating to science and actively seek dialogue with scientists they meet as leaders in the Church of Sweden
The activities are conducted from fall 2015.
The Diocese of Lund
The diocese of Lund will organize a regional program in order to inspire and educate religious leaders to act as “science and religion promoters” in their local environments. The local program includes homiletic training, dialogue groups and educational activities.
The aim of the Project is to inspire and educate religious leaders in the Church of Sweden in the science and religion dialogue. At the end of the project, the participants should: gone through a learning process strengthening their ability to reflect upon homiletic and educational issues within the church in relation to a modern scientific world-view, gained knowledge on different ways to relate science and religion, be trained to involve themselves in dialogues relating to science and actively seek dialogue with scientists they meet as Leaders in the Church of Sweden.
The activities are conducted from fall 2015.
Other Dioceses in Sweden
Contacts have begun to be developed with other dioceses within the Church of Sweden and these contacts will be gradually developed. There are 13 dioceses within the Church of Sweden and we consider it realistic to involve at least five. A limited number of religious leaders will be asked to become ”science and religion promoters” in their local environment. We will arrange so that they can meet on a number of occasions to further discuss issues in science and religion and to discuss how to communicate these issues to the congregation, the media and the schools in the local area.
One day seminars will be held in the dioceses that are linked to the project, from fall 2015 and throughout the whole project period; one seminar per year in each of the dioceses involved. These will be led by those who are project managers or promoters in the dioceses. The purpose of the seminars is to stimulate interest in the issues and extended courses providing models for the relationship of religion and science and other tools for conversation and dialogue, and give some training on how to conduct a dialogue about the most interesting issues.
The content could include models for the relation between science and religion; tools for stimulating and discussing these issues; interesting questions where science and religion meet and where science could challenge religion and vice versa.
Agora for Biosystems
The Agora for Biosystems and the Sigtuna Foundation will organize a local program in order to inspire and educate religious leaders in the Stockholm-Mälar region, who could act as “science and religion promoters” in their local environments. This program is also aimed at media and the general public, as a secondary target group, and includes workshops, seminars, dialogue groups and educational activities. The activities in this program will link to the already existing science-religion dialogue within the Templeton project, HumaNatE.
One theme that will be included in some of the activities is science as practiced by scientists and science as perceived by the public, as well as religion as practiced in particular communities and religion as perceived by the public.
The activities are conducted from spring 2015.
Ibn Rushd Education Organization
A one day-seminar and 10-week course in cooperation with Ibn Rushd, a Muslim education association mainly directed to imams and other Muslim leaders in Sweden.
The activities are conducted during fall 2015 and spring 2016.
Stockholm School of Theology (THS)
THS will contribute with the following: (1) A course for pastors and priests where they are trained to analyze their own services in the light of findings from cognitive science of religion (CSR) in combination with theological reflection on “what kind of church” they want to promote. The goal is that the participants should be better equipped to see how evolutionary thinking and CSR may contribute to church formation. The course aims to integrate practical and systematic theology with CSR. (2) A symposium on science and the theology of creation. The goal of the workshop is to educate church leaders to bring scientific research into their theological reflection on church practices.
The activities are conducted from fall 2015.
Uniting Church in Sweden (UCS)
The program will be coordinated by a Project Manager and include seminars, formal formation, one in depth sharing and learning conference as well as establishing a network.
The aim of our project is
– to equip pastors and other staff in the wider UCS organization with knowledge on issues concerning science and theology so that they can have a fruitful dialogue regarding those issues with people in and outside the church (e.g. students, scientists, schools and others in the scientific fields).
– to create a network in which theologians and religious leaders within the UCS and scientists can meet to discuss issues related to both fields and stimulate research.
At the end of the project the Uniting Church can look back at a period of active participation in media on this topic, possibly together with Church of Sweden and other related organizations/churches, participants have gained knowledge on different ways to relate science and religion, staff feel capable of involving in dialogues relating to science and theology, and a network is formed for learning and sharing as well as awareness raising within and outside the church
The activities are conducted during 2016 and 2017.
Material for education and discussion will be developed in cooperation with Verbum Publishers (in Stockholm), a leading publishing company for theological literature.
The aim is to develop an interactive book on the encounter between faith and science; the meeting between theology and natural science. The points with interactive books are several: the books develops over time and can be updated regularly; complex processes and abstract ideas can be illustrated with more than words, such as film and animations; new media platforms can reach new groups of readers. This project is about to develop a new interactive book, by bringing some of the old printed texts together, complimenting with new texts and illustrating parts of the texts with films and animations.
The material will be published fall 2015.
An academic online course on the topic of religion and science (7.5 academic credits) will be offered at two occasions by the Department of Theology at Uppsala University, which already has extensive experience of both online courses, and courses with a similar content.
The length of the course is equivalent to half time studies during half a semester and includes virtual seminars and a take-home exam. The instructors will be teachers from the Department of Theology.
The course will be organized spring 2016 and spring 2017.
Presentations will be arranged at other public events, such as ”Almedalsveckan” in Visby, a major national event with seminars, debates and cultural arrangements with high media visibility; the Science Festival in Gothenburg; the Theology Festival in Uppsala (February 2017) which is a major national event organized every second year and contains a rich plethora of seminars, lectures, panel discussions and also great opportunities to meet on an informal basis.
More information on all these activities will gradually be published on this site.