Reiss - Science and Religion: Public and and School Education

Additional Information

Category Lecture
Speakers Reiss, Michael
Year 2017

 See also Oxford University Podcasts



Michael Reiss, University of London.


Filmed on Thursday 20th July 2017.


As is widely acknowledged, the tremendous growth in the life sciences over the last hundred years or more has had major implications for religion and for theology. However, the implications of this growth in the life sciences for public and school education have been less widely considered. In this talk I examine the implications of Darwinian biology, evolutionary psychology and contemporary theories about sexuality for public and school education. I argue that schools have particular duties in regards to their students (balance, impartiality, the development of knowledge and critical faculties) which gives them fewer opportunities to advance a particular line than is the case for public education – e.g. museums, writings and TV/internet broadcasting. At the same time, school education should contribute to the flourishing both of individuals and of society, human and non-human. I will conclude by discussing what schools should teach about religion and draw on educational data from a study on ‘The New Biology’ funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation.