The International Society for Science and Religion presents...

Science and Religion 2017

17-20 November 2017 in Boston

On Friday through Monday, 17-20 November 2017, the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) will host a series of public events and high-level research colloquies on new challenges in science and religion.  All events will be held in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center or adjoining hotels.  They are offered in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR).  All ISSR-sponsored events are free and open to the public.  There is no need to register in advance or to register for AAR in order to attend the ISSR events.

The ISSR Program features four events:
  • Friday, 10:30 am to 1:00 pm in Sheraton Boston-Republic A.  Attending to Symbiosis: Theology and teh Connectedness of nature.  Featuring Andrew Davison, Daniel Castillo, Adam Pryor, Katherine Sonderegger, and Wesley Wildman.  Beginning with a survey of state of contemporary scientific knowledge, this panel will address the relative lack of theological attention to these developments, and consider their significance for a theological understanding of nature, not least in the form of their consequences for systematic theology and theological ethics.  Details.   

    Friday, 2:30 to 5:00 pm in Sheraton Boston-Republic B.  CRISPR/Cas and Human Germline Gene Editing: Possibilities and Perspectives.  Featuring Richard O. Hynes (MIT), Laurie Zoloth (University of Chicago Divinity School), Ron Cole-Turner (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary), and John H. Evans (UCSD).   This mini-conference addresses the possibility of human germline gene editing from the perspectives of religion, bioethics, and public engagement. New genome-editing techniques, including CRISPR/Cas, enable precise changes to the genome. These alterations may include gene editing in particular patients (so-called “somatic cell gene therapy”) or in future children, which then changes the descendants of those children (“germline modification”). The journal Science declared CRISPR/Cas as the 2015 Science Breakthrough of the Year, and commentators regularly call this technology a "revolution" because it could in principle allow for germline enhancements to humans that have long been regarded as controversial by theologians and ethicists.   Details.   

  • Saturday, 4:00-5:30  Fairmont Copley Place-State Suite A (Lower Lobby Level).  "Human Enhancement: Biological Frameworks and Cyborg Theologies."  Two authors, Harris Wiseman (The Myth of the Moral Brain, 2016) and Scott Midson (Cyborg Theology: Humans, Technology and God, 2017) will engage critique Jennifer Thweatt on the important new questions arising from their work and what it suggests for other scholars in the field of human enhancement, transhumanism, and religion.   Details.

  • RECEPTION:  Saturday, 7:00 to 10:00 pm.   Fairmont Copley Place-St. James Room.  The must-attend science and religion event of the year, jointly sponsored by ISSR, Zygon Center for Religion and Science, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion, and the Institute for Religion in an Age of Science.  Details.

All events are listed as "Additional Meetings" in the AAR program.  For inquiries, please contact Ron Cole-Turner at  

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