Winners, Oxford University Essay Prize, Central and Eastern Europe

We are delighted to announce that Daniel Kodaj (Department of Philosophy, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary) has been awarded the 2019 Oxford University Prize for Eastern European Perspectives on Science, Theology and Humane Philosophy, for his paper 'The Metaphysical Poverty of Naturalism'. Dr Kodaj will deliver the winning paper at a special event to take place at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford on Thursday the 13th of June. Attendance is free, but please register at the enclosed link to secure a place.

Second-place prizes were awarded to Sera Schwarz (Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany) for her paper 'In Defence of Not Being Able to do Otherwise: Freedom, Deliberation, and the Limits of Self-transformation', Marek Dobrzeniecki (The Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Warsaw, Collegium Janneum, Poland) for his paper 'The Hidden God and the Second Person Perspective' and Janko Nešić (independent researcher, Serbia) for his paper 'Pre-Reflective Self-Awareness and the Nature of the Self'.

The prize was judged by Stephen Priest (University of Oxford), Raymond Tallis (University of Manchester), and Nicholas Waghorn (University of Oxford).

Submissions for the Oxford University Prize for Eastern European Perspectives on Science, Theology and Humane Philosophy were invited from students and early career researchers at institutions in eligible Central and Eastern European countries.* The first prize was $1200; prizes of $300 were awarded to each of the runners-up.

Suggested topics at the interface of science, theology, and humane philosophy included:

  • Differences between scientific and non-scientific modes of enquiry;
  • The relations of brains, minds and human persons;
  • The role of religion in the historical development of science;
  • The place of values in the natural world;
  • Free will and scientific determinism and/or divine foreknowledge;
  • Empirical psychology and the second person perspective;
  • Philosophical/theological understandings of totalitarianism;
  • Phenomenological approaches to religion;
  • Science-engaged theology and theologically-engaged science;
  • Understanding notions of God, good and evil in a scientific age. 

*Eligible countries were: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, former East Germany, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

This prize is part of the John Templeton Foundation project, Science, Theology and Humane Philosophy: Central and Eastern European Perspectives organised by the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford.