Anglican Communion Office to offer July webinar on science and faith

Posted Jun 4, 2024

[Anglican Communion News Service] What does it mean for churches to think courageously about science? It’s a question that members of the Anglican Communion Science Commission (ACSC) will discuss in a webinar about science and faith July 3-4.

The webinar, entitled “Thinking Courageously about Science and Faith,” will address ways in which faith and science communities can be in dialogue and work together in response to issues impacting people and planet, including climate crisis, health needs and the rising influence of artificial intelligence.

Organized by the Anglican Communion Office, the webinar will provide the opportunity to learn more about the Lambeth Call on Science and Faith, as well as the work and vision of the Anglican Communion Science Commission, both of which were launched at the Lambeth Conference in 2022.

Since the Lambeth Conference, the ACSC has been working to take forward the Lambeth Call, identify representatives from each Province of the Communion to take part on the commission and to secure funding to support its work and vision in the years ahead.

The Rt. Rev. Steven Croft, bishop of Oxford, is a co-chair of the Anglican Communion Science Commission and will be one of the webinar speakers. Croft is a prolific voice on matters of science, faith and ethical debate. He is a member of the House of Lords in the U.K. Parliament and has served on Select Committees on A.I. and on the Environment and Climate Change.

He said, “I am excited that the Anglican Communion Office will be hosting this very important webinar. It is indeed vital that the Church thinks courageously about science and faith. We have a crucial role to play in educating our congregations about the positive and constructive use of science and technology for peace and justice. My hope is that the more empowered churches become, the more they will collaborate with the scientific community responding to human need, bringing the ethical voice of faith to scientific discovery.”

Other speakers will include Kwamena Sagoe (the other co-chair of the Science Commission), Andrew Briggs (director of the Science Commission project), the Rt. Rev. Emily Onyango (assistant bishop of Bondo, Kenya) and Heather Payne, M.D. (chief medical adviser to the Welsh government).

The Rev. Stephen Spencer from the Anglican Communion Office supports the work of the ACSC and said, “Church mission in our contemporary age needs to be informed about the fast-paced nature of change in science and technology and its implications for our world. This webinar will be a great opportunity to hear some powerful voices discuss the vital relationship between science and faith and how to engage one with the other.”

July’s webinar will be an important feature in a wider program of work undertaken by the ACSC. Since its launch in 2022, the ACSC has been holding a series of consultations around world, to gather insights from churches across the communion on key priorities for the commission. This is being facilitated by the Anglican Thought Leadership Around Science project.

The first consultation took place in Auckland, New Zealand, to map out the kind of approach the Science Commission is taking in 2022.

Last August, Anglican bishops, scientists and theological educators met in Limuru, Kenya, to explore the theme “Science and Faith for Enriching Human Life.” Participants shared the many ways in which their churches regularly play an important role as ‘science communicators’ in community life – for example in relation to matters of pandemic response, climate crisis and other issues.

Later this year, a further consultation is planned to take place at Virginia Theological Seminary near Washington, D.C.

The Anglican Communion Office also will be running a series of bishops’ conversations on specific topics, to equip them to explore science and faith in their dioceses and regions, from the end of July to the end of September.

July’s webinar is being run as part of the “Add Your Voice to the Call” series, facilitated by the Anglican Communion Office, as part of Phase 3 of the Lambeth Conference. Each webinar is accompanied by supporting articles, films and resources, which are made available on the websites and social media channels for the Lambeth Conference and ACO.

Registration for the webinar is available here.