Reading of Anglo-Saxon texts in the dialogue between science and religion

Crédits ECTS 5
Volume horaire total 26
Volume horaire CM 26



Inter-disciplinary and inter-faculty course proposed by the Chair in Science and Religion and supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation


Oral examination of 20 minutes in English, preparation of a text covered in class.

Objectives and competencies to be acquired:

The goal of this English-language class is to inform students about the importance of a mastery of the English language in the context of research in theology. This course is an initiation, using a multi-topical approach of the dialogue and science and religion that aims at representing the "big questions," and it puts forward a thematic coverage which looks at divine action in the world.


Theology of creation. English read, with spoken English recommended.

Pedagogical means and approach:

There are two means of providing course work for every lesson. The first is a topical text written by a major actor of the science & religion dialogue, or a philosopher of science that aims at integrating that dimension. Topics can also be prepared with the help of the pertinent section in the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science, or the Cambridge Companion to Science and Religion, as backup reading. A video in English language will also be given ahead of time for each lesson and will be used as preparatory material. The course will consist in a introductory discussion on the text, and a synthetic coverage of its main points. The typology of postures in the science & religion dialogue that we owe to Ian Barbour, and which will be covered in the first lesson, will guide us throughout to structure our understanding.

Contents/course plan:

1. A model of the science-religion interaction (Ian Barbour)
2. How we think of the beginning (Keith Ward)
3. What is our Cultural Cosmology (William Stœger)
4. What we Think About the End of All Things (John Polkinghorne)
5. Astronomy, the demotion of humanity, and the "three humiliations" (Friedrich Weinert)
6. The quest for unity and the Einsteinian universe (Paul Halpern)
7. The significance of the quantum universe (John Polkinghorne)
8. Models of God's relationship to the World (Arthur Peacocke)
9. A non-designed universe ? (Taner Edis)
10. Ethics – Guest Lecturer, Prof. Ewa Agnieszka Lekka-Kowalik (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin)
11. Creation and consciousness (Fraser Watts)
12. Religious traditions and science: Islam (Abdus Salam)
13. The vocation of the Scientist (Max Weber)


BARBOUR Ian G., When Science Meets Religion: Enemies, Strangers, or Partners?, HarperOne, 2000, 205 p.
Philip CLAYTON, Zachary SIMPSON (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006.
Peter HARRISON (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Science and Religion, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010