Science and Religion. The road show


Great evening speaking to a group of people at Glencoe Union Church last night. The pastor is very active in issues surrounding the interactions between Science and Religion (and in particular with the Templeton Fund). He invited me to give my talk on best practices in conversations between scientific and religious thought.

I’m taken by an off-hand comment he made in introducing me. It was that I was the first speaker they had in the series (which has been nearly a year long one at this point) who was trained as both a scientist and a theologian. What the community seemed particularly interested in was the way that I, and others with such background, integrate the two disciplines.

I know a number of people with the same sort of background as I have – though most are much better scientists than I am or was. But when I think about the people I know, most of them are in the Society of Ordained Scientists, and there’s only about 150 or so of us. That’s a small number actually, even though it feels like a lot of us when we’re all together.

Perhaps it’s time for those in the SOSc, and those who have similar sorts of backgrounds, to become much more intentional about speaking publicly about the integrative work they have done in their rule of life. People seem to need to know it can be done. And it’s a proof best done by example it seems.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. Dave Abell says

    I wholeheartedly agree! Integrating science and religion is an ongoing process for me and many others I’ve known over the years. For me, it’s been a continuous personal search since college. I’m using Nick’s Lenten meditations and read his book published last fall, all of which are very illuminating.

    Dave Abell, St. Paul’s Wickford

  2. Jenny Garnto says

    …yes, pls God pls (I pray) open their eyes Lord & cause them to see:
    TY, so much to u & your colleagues (pls, make this info available to the public:
    pls, do not “hide it under a basket”) NK u are such a blessing showing the integration between God & science when for so long peeps have thought that to be polar-opposites when in fact, it is really the very same thing with Our Lord Being “The Scientist of all Scientists”…GB, U!

  3. Susan Ashton says

    People DO need to know that it can be done! This is very important in this day when science and faith are so often seen as polar opposites. You are a shining example – shine on!

  4. David Mook says

    I am a retired Oceanographer (biologist and Geologist) and I have some knowledge of Physics (I worked in Charles Misner’s and Joe Weber’s lab when I was an undergraduate at The University of Maryland). I have always been fascinated with the relationship between science and faith and have endeavored two reconcile the two for a majority of my career. The more I look at God’s creation, the more my faith is strengthened because I am overwhelmed by the awesomeness of all of creation. I am an active Episcoplaean and write a monthly column in the church newsletter on the relationship between science and religion.
    David Mook Ft. Pierce, FL and Charlestown, RI

  5. Thanks to tremendous creative work by scholars who are trained in both science and theology over the past 30 years at least since Ian Barbour published his early works this interdisciplinary field is far along and has great appeal for like minded scholars and interested amateurs. But the implications of this for our times still seem quite remote for the average lay person. Often there is disbelief or skepticism about the possibility. I find people trained in science often see the two fields as non-overlapping and so holding both is almost a bi-polar exercise. But the potential ramifications of bringing the two together I believe could be a powerful Christian witness to the core of an Incarnational faith. So, the people trained in both areas have a powerful place to stand today to influence change in a good way and steer us in new creative ways of being and acting in the world in all fields.

    I really have liked reading the daily meditations for Lent. An approach like this could go a long way. Thanks very much for making that available to us all. A daily meditation posted online available to everyone at no cost could be very effective as well. With so much material available, this seems a viable possibility.

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