This guest post by Richard Russell, with input from Arthur Jones, looks at the way scientific knowledge grows out of philosophical and ultimately religious roots.
At my church, we have been going through Isaiah in this month's sermon series. When we got to chapter 42, I was struck by the call in verse 10 to ‘sing a new song’. This is a phrase I've come across again and again in the Bible (in fact, I've found and listed a handful of these occurrences below) but it was the first time I stopped and pondered: why a new song? Why not an old song? God’s plan for his people was established before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-10). So what is it about the newness of the song that’s important?
Guest blogger Audrey Southgate reflects on lessons drawn from studying a morally problematic figure.
Where does science come from? Historically, the predecessor of what we now call the sciences was natural philosophy, which was, evidently enough, a branch of philosophy. But when we study science at school and university, it's rare to hear much mention of any continuing dependence on philosophy. We seem to study lots of scientific "facts": about the universe, the solar system and the earth, about impacts and reactions, about microbes, plants and animals, and about humans and society. We gradually get introduced to experimental methods as ways of testing hypotheses and perhaps to demonst
It’s a rainy day outside and my mind has wandered to puddles. Puddles are commonplace (in England especially!) without much beauty or substance, but they can do one great thing: they can reflect what’s above them.
I’ve been pondering distinctiveness in academia lately, asking: how does being a Christian affect how I navigate the academy? This has been a convicting exercise but a very helpful one. Below, I’ve jotted down a few ways I think I can reflect God better in academia, and I hope my own thoughts might inspire similar personal reflections in others.
In his recent post ‘Forays into finance’, Richard reflected on the challenges of institutional sin in his new context of the financial sector: an industry governed by forces which seem to tend towards exploitation of others, manifesting sin beyond the personal to the societal level.
But, of course, you don’t need to be in finance to recognise the way human institutions can be a force for evil. This concept of sin is easily recognisable to those in academia, too.
For the last 18 months I've been a research fellow on a project about financial stability that's run by a small consultancy firm. Since I was trained as a biologist and have done nearly all my academic work so far in ecology, and in universities, this has been both a steep learning curve and a great adventure. The story of how I came to make this transition, moving from university into a business environment, will be for another time. Here I want to share some reflections firstly on my move into a new discipline and secondly, briefly, on financial economics itself.
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord. Proverbs 21:31
Inspired by this post from the archives of The Well (InterVarsity’s ministry to women in academia and the professions), I recently took a mini-‘retreat’ in the midst of my current summer season of being at home, preparing for a family wedding and working on my thesis in the midst of planning and errands.