STAR was started within Fuller Seminary, as a department that develops projects with scholars and experts, having to do with the integration of faith and the sciences. But we have since attempted to evolve the way we talk about such issues, so that we say that phrase “faith and science” as little as possible.
That phrase often carries baggage with it. If I say “faith and science,” it already sounds like I’m going to talk about a problem, a conflict. STAR doesn’t want to even add an ounce of kindle to that flame. And if we continue to spend a lot of time hashing out some of those moments in history–or those current cultural rough patches–where battles and knots between these domains were/are amplified, then we risk allowing the low points to define the dialogue. We’ve emphasized another strategy: highlighting the places where the sciences and theologizing can cooperate for mutual benefit.
“Truth cannot contradict truth,” Pope St. John Paul II once said. We needn’t fear that truths about the natural world and truths about the spiritual world will be in conflict–that’s impossible. It’s one world, full of truths to be discovered, whether physical, metaphysical, or theological. We find this to be comforting at STAR, which is why the focus of our mission is help people bring these lenses of understanding the world into unity for the sake of their own flourishing, and constructive social conversations.
Now we know that sometimes, truth can take some time to uncover, and even then, we do not all agree. Many of the excellent thinkers we work with do not all agree on answers to some of the deep questions we ask ourselves about what is true and beautiful. But we find that we can get along as we explore the plurality of options around understanding the world. We also find ourselves agreeing that God created the universe with purpose and intention, and that God continues to work in our midst as humanity delves deeper in our understanding of reality.
We needn’t fear that truths about the natural world and truths about the spiritual world will be in conflict–that’s impossible. It’s one world, full of truths to be discovered, whether physical, metaphysical, or theological.
Since our inception, STAR has focused on trying to accomplish this goal in three areas: 1) training and supporting Christian ministers in cultivating a science-informed theology and practice; 2) equipping and supporting scientists in advancing theologically informed science; 3) and conducting and supporting new scholarship at the intersection of the sciences and Christian faith. There have been 7 primary projects over the last few years that we worked to accomplish these goals through, but we’ll explain those to you elsewhere.
Thanks for stopping by!