New Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion
[Photo: Nigel Bovey, The Salvation Army]
The Faculty of Theology and Religion at Oxford University has announced with great pleasure that Professor Alister McGrath, currently Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education at King’s College London, and head of its Centre for Theology, Religion, and Culture has accepted the Andreas Idreos Professorship in Science and Religion at Oxford and will take up his new post on 1 April 2014.
Alister McGrath began his academic career at Oxford University by taking First Class Honours in Chemistry, followed by a doctorate in molecular biophysics in the laboratories of Professor Sir George Radda FRS. He then took First Class Honours in Theology, and began a detailed study of the relationship between Christianity and the natural sciences. He gained an Oxford DD for his work on historical and systematic theology in 2001, and an Oxford DLitt for his work in science and religion in 2013.
McGrath's main areas of interest concern the interaction of theology and the sciences, with a particular focus on how the working methods and assumptions of the natural sciences can be theologically useful. He has published substantial studies developing an approach to natural theology as an area of theological reflection that opens up important dialogue between theology and the sciences, while at the same time linking it to important cultural conversations about truth, beauty and goodness. On his return to Oxford as Idreos Professor, McGrath expects to continue to develop and defend natural theology, especially in the face of the criticisms directed against it by Karl Barth, while at the same time showing that the dialogue between science and religion can be theologically productive and engaging. He will also continue to explore the challenges raised for Christian faith and theology through Darwinism, and how contemporary philosophies of science can inform constructive theological reflections.
Although McGrath is primarily dedicated to the positive development of historical and theological research, he is also well known for his many contributions to popular publications and debates, and especially for challenging the view that science and religion are mutually incompatible.