SCIENCE AND FAITH: SEASON 2 EPISODE 7- Faith and Reason: can a scientist believe?

Written by on 24/10/2021

Radio Maria England Science and Faith

Season 2 Episode 7:

Faith and Reason: can a scientist believe?


Broadcasts: Mon 11am and 10pm, Wed 00.30am, Thurs 8pm and Sat 5pm

Throughout series 1 and 2 we have looked at many different areas where science and religion may seem to contradict each other, e.g creation and evolution, cosmology, neuroscience of religious beliefs, miracles… In episode 7 of this series, we will be looking at something more fundamental: What is faith?, What is reason? How do they relate? Are science and religion fundamentally at odds with each other?  We will also take a closer look at the rise of new atheism within scientific circles and how we can explain our faith in an increasingly rationalistic culture. In order to discuss these topics, and many more, we have invited two speakers: Fr Andrew Pinsent, physicist and Catholic priest, and Prof Stephen Bullivant, Professor of Theology and the Sociology of Religion. 

Is there a space for faith-based claims in a rational mind?

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Prof Stephen Bullivant

Fr Andrew Pinsent


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Fr Andrew Pinsent

Fr Andrew Pinsent is a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton and is Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Oxford. Formerly a particle physicist on the DELPHI experiment at CERN, he has a doctorate in physics, degrees in philosophy and theology, and a second doctorate in philosophy. A major theme of his research is second-person (I-Thou) relatedness in science, philosophy, and theology. His publications include work in virtue ethics, neurotheology, science and religion, the philosophy of the person, insight, divine action, and the nature of evil. At Oxford, he has been Principal Investigator for more than $7M of research grants for projects involving scholars in more than forty countries. He is a regular contributor to public engagement with science and faith issues.

Prof Stephen Bullivant

Stephen Bullivant is Professor of Theology and the Sociology of Religion, and Director of the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society. He holds doctorates in Theology (Oxford, 2009) and Sociology (Warwick, 2019). He joined St Mary’s in 2009, having previously held posts at Heythrop College, London, and Wolfson College, Oxford. Professor Bullivant has also held Visiting fellowship at the Institute for Social Change (University of Manchester), Blackfriars Hall (University of Oxford), and the Institute for Advanced Studies (University College London).

Prof Bullivant has published ten books, including: Mass Exodus: Catholic Disaffiliation in Britain and America since Vatican II (OUP, 2019), Why Catholics Leave, What They Miss, and How They Might Return (Paulist, 2019; with C. Knowles, H. Vaughan-Spruce, and B. Durcan), The Oxford Dictionary of Atheism (OUP, 2016; with L. Lee), and The Trinity: How Not to Be a Heretic (Paulist, 2015). He is currently co-editing a two-volume Cambridge History of Atheism (CUP, forthcoming) with Michael Ruse, with whom he previously co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Atheism (OUP, 2013).

Prof Bullivant’s research has received funding from, among others, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the John Templeton Foundation, the British Academy, Porticus UK, the St Barnabas Society, the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission, the Apostleship of the Sea, and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

His ongoing studies of contemporary religion in Europe and America are frequently featured by major media outlets, including NBC, Fox News, BBC, Sky News, Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Financial Times, Economist, Spectator, Der Spiegel, La Croix, Il Foglio, and Grazia. Television and radio credits include EWTN, Vatican Radio, Radio 4, Radio 5 Live, Radio 3, and LBC. Prof. Bullivant is consulting editor and writes regularly for the Catholic Herald, as he also has for the Guardian, New Scientist, the Spectator, First Things, America, and the Tablet.


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