Theologian Celia Deane-Drummond to Lead Study on Evolution and Human Nature

Author: Kate Garry

Celia Deane-Drummond

University of Notre Dame theologian Celia Deane-Drummond has been chosen to lead a research team of theologians and scientists in residence at Princeton University for the 2012-13 academic year, to address questions of nature and nurture raised by the biological evolution of human beings.

Deane-Drummond, along with Dominic Johnson of the University of Edinburgh, will serve as senior research fellows for the Center of Theological Inquiry to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue for its “Inquiry on Evolution and Human Nature.” CTI will assemble of team of 12 other scholars in the fields of evolutionary biology, psychology, anthropology, religious studies, and philosophy of science.

With Deane-Drummond and Johnson leading the inquiry team, the project has at its helm two interdisciplinary scholars whose expertise span biology, theology, and political science. Each holds two doctorates—Deane-Drummond in theology and plant physiology, and Johnson in evolutionary biology and political science

“Theological understandings need to face the challenge of science, but also within those theological traditions there is a wisdom that has relevance to how science is developing,” says Deane-Drummond, whose research seeks to bridge the gap between her two disciplines with publications including Genetics and Christian Ethics, Ecotheology, and Christ and Evolution.

“It’s not just a one-way process of theology trying to come to terms with the explosion in scientific and biological knowledge,” she says. “It’s also what theological perspective might have to say to the way the science is developing.”

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