Waterloo Campus Ministry and the CSCA present a public lecture by Rev Professor Stephen N. Williams (Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological College).
“Scientific Reason and Religious Faith”
Location: MC 4020 (Math and Computer 4020), University of Waterloo
Abstract: In both academic and popular circles, it is widely believed that science and religion differ in that science trades in the commodity of reason and religion trades in the commodity of faith. Religious faith is at best a matter of opinion and, at worst, irrational nonsense. In this lecture, it will be argued that this is a misconception both of scientific reason and of religious faith. On the one hand, the ability and scope of reason is more restricted than many people take it to be. On the other hand, religious faith, at least in the case of Christianity, is not something either inferior or contrary to reason. After laying out some basic principles, we shall turn to Christian belief in creation as a crucial test case.
Professor Stephen Williams was born and received his early education in Wales. He holds MA degrees in Modern History from Oxford University and Theology from Cambridge University and, after a year studying Practical Theology in Aberystwyth, Wales, he was elected Henry Fellow at Yale University (1976-7). He subsequently pursued doctoral studies at the Department of Religious Studies, Yale University (PhD 1981). In 1980, he was appointed Professor of Theology at United Theological College, Aberystwyth. From 1991 until 1994, he was based in Oxford at the Whitefield Institute for theological research, during which time he also tutored in Philosophy of Religion for Oxford University. He took up his present position in 1994.
Stephen Williams has published in different areas in theology, ethics and intellectual history. His books include Revelation and Reconcilliation: A Window on Modernity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), The Shadow of the Antichrist: Nietzsche’s Critique of Christianity (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006) and the Kantzer lectures, The Election of Grace: a Riddle Without a Resolution? (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015). (Source)