McGrath - Reflections on Science and Religion

Additional Information

Category Lecture
Speakers McGrath, Alister
Year 2017

 See also Oxford University Podcasts




Alister McGrath, University of Oxford.


Filmed on Friday 21st July 2017.


Science and Religion will be the most popular special subject chosen by undergraduate students studying theology at Oxford University in the academic year 2017-18. Nearly 50% of students have selected this topic for special study next year. Oxford University’s Master of Studies in Science and Religion is currently the largest specialist MSt within the Faculty of Theology and Religion. An Ian Ramsey Centre lecture on science and religion given during the academic year 2016-17 attracted an audience of 570, mostly students. So what do these observations suggest? This lecture considers how the broad field of science and theology relates to, and possibly engages, a number of concerns within the academic community, including anxieties about intellectual tunnel vision through excessive specialization in a single narrow field of study; about an apparent emphasis on information and knowledge, without the acquisition of wisdom; and possibly most important, the general failure within the scientific community to engage deep existential questions about meaning, purpose, and value. The lecture will reflect on how such considerations might help scholars, teachers, and organizations who are concerned with the future development of the field of science and religion, especially in engagement with schools, churches, and the broader academic community.