Biology in a Christian University

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Alister McGrath is the Andreas Idreos Professor in Science and Religion at the University of Oxford. This excerpt has been selected by the Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science (, which is edited by the Advanced School for Interdisciplinary Research, operating at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, and directed by Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti. In “Biology in a Christian University” McGrath writes:

The complexity and importance of discussions about biological evolution, human identity and human beliefs is of such importance that it is essential to establish an informed forum within which they can be discussed and explored. Modern biology is beginning to rediscover the notion of teleology, and explore its possible implications. Might evolution be much more directed as a process than might hitherto have been realized? Might we begin to speak of islands of stability (Conway Morris) in biological space? This important discussion requires a community which is both biologically and theologically informed – a relative rarity in today’s world. Yet the vision is worth pursuing, not least on account of the intellectual enrichment that it offers. If such an intellectual community does not presently exist, then it must most certainly be invented.

Click here for McGrath’s essay, from

Click here for a published version of McGrath’s essay, from the 2012 book Christianity and the Disciplines: The Transformation of the University (preview courtesy of Google Books).