ISCAST Papers

This page is a repository for selected ISCAST papers which have not been published in Christian Perspectives

In order to find particular resources, material produced by different authors or contributions by subject, feel free to use the search engine on the top right of this page. You can search by title, author, key word or date, or use the topic headings on the right. 

Wicked Problems: A Personal and Painful Journey by Richard Gijsbers

Richard Gijsbers BForSc (Melb), DipFor (Cres) is an ISCAST Fellow. 

In the 1970s social planners vented their frustration about complex social problems. Why couldn't we close the gap between indigenous people’s health and that of the rest of us? It was not for lack of trying. Why is protecting nature so difficult? Is the problem with Climate Change really only about “Goodies” vs “Baddies”? Why will we always have the poor with us? Problems like these simply will not go away!

Putting Procrustes to Bed: Newton, Voluntarism and the Development of Science by Robert Brennan

“Foster’s voluntarism hypothesis” is the term often used to name a widely used argument that Foster developed in three papers in the 1930s on the relationship between theology and the development of modern science. It is a complex argument that is not always coherent nor necessarily internally consistent. Nevertheless, this theory is often cited to purportedly explain the influence of Christian theology on the development of modern science. It has often been used as an interpretive tool in relation to Isaac Newton’s understanding of science and the development of science.

The challenge of secularism

Barney Zwartz is ex-Religion Editor for The Age and is now a senior fellow of the Centre for Public Christianity, and media adviser to the Anglican Primate, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier. In this recent Melbourne talk, he argues that the challenge of secularism is the biggest issue facing the church today.

Monotheism as an explanatory key for the rise of science

In this draft paper, ISCAST fellow, Rev. Dr Mark Worthing argues that while there are various views about what cultural and theological context was responsible for the rise of science it is monotheism more generally that is the key explanatory factor.

The article also comes with a Powerpoint presentation (in PDF form), which approximately follows the article but also has more specific comments in the last two slides directed at Christians in science and in academic research.

In December 2017 Mark Worthing presented this material at a University of Divinity research symposium.

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