In just a few days, delegates from around the globe will gather at Bishop Grosseteste University for the annual conference of The Science and Religion Forum. Last year, the conference explored the limits of science and asked questions around the role that religion might play at the boundaries of human knowledge of the physical world. It was a conference with a focus on philosophy, but with forays into history, quantum mechanics and transhumanism. After such a heady mix, the delegates were asked what they wanted to next conference to be about, and the response was an overwhelming interest in taking the focus away from the limit places and instead take time to explore the dialogue between science and religion in a far more personal space, the human experience.
This year’s topic is ‘Neuroscience, Mental Wellbeing and Religion’. It is a timely topic, with a great deal of media interest in mental health and a hope that important funding will get through to those in need. The science of how the brain works is amongst the most interesting fields in medicine, and we will ask important questions at the conference about where the data of science, meets the experience of being human particulary in the messiness of mental illhealth. The short papers have attracted a wide range of topics; titles include
In the Beginning: The Role of Story in Relating Mental Wellbeing, Neuroscience, and Religion
Health as creaturely flourishing: questions and challenges from specific mental health conditions
Theological Mindfulness: Traditional Chinese Medicine and Mental Health in the Science and Religion Dialogue
Gaze in Greek Orthodox Tradition and Its Influences in Personhood
The conference is being run in collaboration with The Guild of Health and St Raphael, a charity that works with mental health specialists and church organisations to support the healing ministry of the Christian Faith. It is a group that takes science seriously, and one that is looking to build healthy bridges between faith and practice.
This blog will continue throughout the conference to keep you in touch with the papers and the discussions that follow. Different voices will add to this record, and we will also update you with photos and all the action. Do come back and see what is happening, and comment to join in the conversation!