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Calling for Presentations
12th ISCAST Conference on Science and Christianity
10–12 July 2020, Queen’s College, Melbourne
Download this call for papers as a PDF here.
Planet Earth and its inhabitants face a paradoxical future. Increasing threats to the creation sit alongside the extraordinary possibilities that science and technology offer: species extinction and climate change alongside gene editing and dreams of humanity 2.0. In the face of anxiety and bewilderment, Jesus Christ offers hope.
What does it mean to be a Christian in the 21st century? What does it mean to be faithful to Christ in a time of “eco-anxiety” when patterns of consumption seem unsustainable and damaging to the creation? What does it mean to be a Christian in a time when many people look forward optimistically to “the singularity” and the transhuman possibilities of overcoming the limitations of the human body? What does it mean to live in a time of climate change and CRISPR, of animal extinction and AI?
Under the overall theme of “A Hopeful Future?” this important Australian conference will take up these urgent global challenges. How do we think and live faithfully in such a world, and what sort of hope does Christian theology offer?
We hope you will join us at COSAC 2020 and we invite proposals for presentations that will help all people engage with these themes in a spirit of Christian hope.
ISCAST’s Conference on Science and Christianity
For over 20 years, COSAC has provided a venue for stimulating discussion on a range of issues relating science and faith. The first COSAC was held at Moore College in 1997 with keynote speaker Bob Russell, Founder and Director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in the USA. Other notable COSAC speakers include Sam Berry, Owen Gingerich, George Ellis, Alister McGrath (pictured), Simon Conway Morris, Nancey Murphy, David Wilkinson, Bob White and Jennifer Wiseman.
Call for presentations
We currently have over 40 presentation proposals, but we are happy to consider further proposals until the program is finalised mid-March.
All proposals that relate to the themes of the conference will be considered. However, the following possibilities might prompt your thinking:
- ethical, medical, and theological reflections on the possible futures raised by genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, transhumanism
- responding as Christians (theologically, ethically, practically) to climate change and the challenge of a sustainable future
- scientific briefings on possible futures opened up by 21st-century science and technology
- philosophical and apologetic issues that relate to science/technology/the future including distinctive Christian offerings to the public conversation
- theological reflections on “a hopeful future” in the light of a younger generation – Christian and otherwise – that finds itself suffering “eco-anxiety” amongst other concerns
- extra-terrestrial futures for humanity: the Moon? Mars? Beyond?
- theological and anthropological questions about the nature of the human being and the importance of the human body in the light of the transhumanist quest
Submitting your proposal
Presentations should be limited to 15–20 minutes and will be followed by a time for discussion. Submissions will require a descriptive, engaging title, an abstract (up to 200 words), biographical details (up to 100 words) and a photo. At a later date, successful applicants will be encouraged to include a video abstract. Submissions should be sent by email to ChrisMulherin@ISCAST.org with “COSAC 2020 proposed presentation” in the subject line.
We would love to hear what you can add to the discussion.
If you have further questions about presentations or would like to chat about a possible presentation, please contact ISCAST Executive Director Chris Mulherin at ChrisMulherin@ISCAST.org or on 0431 330 380.