Introducing Our New Student and Early Career Member

The CSCA warmly welcomes our recently appointed New Student and Early Career Member, Daniel Rudisill!

Rev. Dan Rudisill hails from Pennsylvania, and came with his wife Hannah to Canada so he could work towards his PhD in Philosophy at the Institute of Christian Studies in Toronto. Dan received his M.A.R. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in Systematic Theology & Ethics. He has a deep interest in the history of science and the so-called “science-religion debate,” which has guided his work from his undergraduate days at Messiah College through to his current doctoral research, which is focused on the philosophical and theological intersection between ontology and the Reformational concept of Creation Order. Dan is currently the Dean of Word & Spirit Revival Training Centre, housed at Promise of Life Church in Mississauga, Ontario where he and his wife now reside.

Through his position as the Student and Early Career Representative, Dan hopes to make the CSCA a regular part of student life at the college campuses located near CSCA Local Chapters. By fostering discussions with students, he believes that the science-religion discussion will be enlivened on these campuses and that students with questions about how science ought to relate to their religious beliefs will find in the Local Chapters a safe space to ask these questions and discuss them with other students and members of the Chapters.

We are excited to have Dan as part of the team!

Call for Papers: Sustainable Development and Human Flourishing

The Christian Journal for Global Health has issued a call for papers on Sustainable Development and Human Flourishing for the 30th annual Christian Connections for International Health conference (June 17-19, 2016 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, USA).

Sustainable Development and Human Flourishing

The public sector is increasingly recognizing the key role of religious health assets in sustaining progress in development.  Community health workers are increasingly recognized as a vital element in health service equity and education.  Christian churches and faith-based organizations are in a unique position to participate in conversations at the local, regional and international level on what constitutes human health and well-being, to mobilize health-promoting assets in the least-reached areas; and to integrate health service as part of the gospel.  In order to retain credibility for this work and message, Christians are called to use contextual language, to measure, evaluate and report outcomes, and to practice faithful presence throughout the world. (Source)

In addition to general submissions, they are calling “for papers from authors seeking to participate in conversations about heath, human flourishing, development, community health evangelism, social justice, and global health access to share their insights, reflections and research” (Source).

Potential topics of interest to CSCA folks might include:

  • A Christian definition of health using global health terminology.
  • Community development in low and middle income countries.
  • Networking and cooperation between faith-based organizations and the public sector.
  • How the gospel relates to physical, emotional and social health in community.
  • Outcomes of interventions for health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Community health evangelism/education and the call for mobilizing community health workers.
  • Effective Christian participation in centers of global health thought.
  • How measurement and evaluation in FBOs enforces donor development and influence.
  • Developing effective health programs in creative-access countries.
  • The value, theology and risk of goal-setting and evaluation.

The deadline for initial submissions for Volume 3, Issue 1 is 31 March, 2016.

Official Announcement Page

 

Bringing Science to Church

Dr. Arnold Sikkema (CSCA President) was recently interviewed by Pastor Todd Gallahar of Burnett Fellowship Church in Maple Ridge, BC for a sermon on thinking about science.

How should church-goers think about science?

As C. S. Lewis put it, “anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about” (Mere Christianity, bk. IV, chap. 2). It’s no secret that there is a widespread perception of antagonism between church and the Bible, on one hand, and scientific progress, on the other. Prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins argue that science rules out religion, and the church has its own voices that view science with a measure of suspicion, suggesting that the Bible simply trumps science. But neither position sufficiently appreciates that since neither science nor Christianity is very simple, neither can their interaction be so. The challenge for pastors is to communicate about science in Christianity in a way that is both responsible toward these complex realities and accessible to church-goers.

Pastor Todd Gallahar of Burnett Fellowship Church in Maple Ridge, BC recently invited CSCA’s Dr. Arnold Sikkema — both a Christian and a physicist — to do a short video presentation to be included in his sermon on thinking about science. Sikkema makes the following helpful points for churchgoers, among others:

  • Neither the Bible nor science tells us everything about everything.
  • We should pray for and encourage Christians in the sciences.
  • Christians in the sciences can participate in the Christ’s ministry of reconciliation by helping to redeem creation, putting it “back to rights.”
  • The Bible cannot necessarily be used as scientific data to prove or disprove scientific theories, and Jesus’ miracles and Resurrection cannot be disproved by science.
  • Scientists are not trying to disprove the Bible; they are trying to understand the world.
  • Every good scientist actually tries to disprove currently-held theories.

Pastor Gallahar does a great job of communicating these things to his congregation: “If God created nature,” Gallahar reasons, “then science should point to the existence of God.” So it’s not that the Bible or nature communicates falsehood, but that we have fallen interpretations of both — good theology and good science will not conflict because revelation and creation both come from the same God.

Of course, there is always room for further reflection on these matters, and those of us digging deep into theology and the philosophy of science may wish to ask how science may point to God:

  • Some might say that it is not so much science itself that points to God (science does not have any methods or tools to conclude anything one way or the other about things outside of nature); rather, it is philosophical and personal reflection upon the findings of science that may point (or not) to God.
  • Others of us, advocating Intelligent Design, for example, will say that science does have the tools to point (or not) to God — with scientific authority.

Much more could be said on this, but Gallahar wisely sticks to those things most needful for his congregation regarding the larger discussion of Christianity and science.

Go Hear Pastor Todd’s Sermon

 

 

Science and Religion Conference Scholarships

As a part of our Local Chapters Project, the CSCA is delighted to offer fifteen student scholarships over three years (five per year) in order to help encourage the next generation of thinkers in science and religion!

CSCA_Scholarships-2017_FB-2Science and Religion Conference Scholarships

We are offering five scholarships each year from 2016 to 2018 of up to $1600 to help Canadian students attend conferences dealing with science and religion. The money for each scholarship will go toward paying the flights, conference fees, and lodging for a major science-and-religion event of the student’s choosing (not limited to conferences in Canada). Prospective winners might choose conferences with ASA, CSCA, CiS, Faraday Institute, Ian Ramsey Centre, ESSSAT, or the Science and Religion Forum (or any other conference dealing with science and religion). We see these scholarships as an investment in the future of science and religion in Canada.

Application is open to any Canadian post-secondary student who is a member of the CSCA (basic student membership is free). Applicants will submit a proposal to be evaluated by the CSCA Executive Council.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 31, 2017
(For conferences taking place in 2017)

Criteria will include:

  • the suitability of the proposed conference
  • the preparedness of the student for attending the conference
  • whether the student will be speaking at the conference
  • the reasons the student gives for their desire to attend the conference

Students with winning entries, once selected, will

  • register for and attend the conference,
  • write and submit a short piece reflecting on the conference, or perhaps a specific part of it, emphasizing how they personally benefited in terms of their understanding of science-faith compatibility (500 – 1000 words, to potentially appear in our newsletter, etc.),
  • submit one one or more photos documenting their attendance at the conference (e.g. at the front entrance, with a major speaker, etc.–this photo should be suitable for publication in our newsletter and/or website), and
  • submit receipts for all expenses, which will be reimbursed with the scholarship funds after the report and photos are received (students must pay for everything in advance).
  • All expense receipts, reports, photos will be due two weeks after the conference ends.

Exceptional pieces may be selected to appear in the CSCA newsletter and/or on our website! (The student’s last name can be removed upon request, but we will publicize winner’s names and schools.)

APPLICATION FORM

Help us get the word out by printing and sharing our poster:CSCA-Scholarships_Poster_Thumbnail

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can non-Canadians apply?
  • Can non-science students apply?
  • Do we have to pay for the conference and everything up-front?
  • What are some conferences I could use this scholarship for?
  • What if I am accepted for a scholarship but then cannot attend the conference? (e.g. missed flight)
  • I would like to apply to attend a conference taking place shortly after I technically finish my program as a student. Can I still apply?
  • What if the conference I want to apply for is taking place before May 31?
Both of these groups of students may apply (provided they are members of the CSCA): (1) Canadian citizens who are students–even if they are students at an institution outside of Canada. (2) Non-Canadian citizens who are studying at a Canadian institution.
Of course! Part of a fruitful science-and-religion discussion is to take seriously input from people in fields other than science–particularly (but not limited to) seminary students.
Yes, students pay for everything up-front and are reimbursed afterwards (see details in above post).
Prospective students are encouraged to research this on their own, as there are quite a few options out there. There are more general conferences, such as the ASA/CSCA annual meeting, and there are conferences that focus more on specific fields and themes. We’ve left this somewhat open-ended to allow for a variety of possibilities. See our links to various calls for abstracts for ideas.
The CSCA is unable to reimburse any funds for money spent on flights (etc.) if the student does not actually attend the conference and comply with the other expectations listed above.
When in doubt, apply! Awards are up to the discretion of the Executive Council.
No problem! We realize that some conferences take place before our deadline and may award scholarships for earlier conferences at our own discretion. There’s no harm in applying.

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Questions? Ask Mark,
our Project Development Officer
pdo@csca.ca