We are a team of young Finnish scholars with a high-impact plan to change the Finnish public discussion of science and religion. In the popular view the relationship is seen either as one of conflict or of complete separation. For example, a 2010 study reported that 43% of Finns believe that there is a conflict between "a scientific worldview" and religion. This is to the detriment of both science and religion and stifles possibilities for creative interdisciplinary discussion of big questions of interest both to us and Templeton.
Our project is based on the belief that there is a positive relationship between science and theistic belief. The purpose of the project is to influence the Finnish discussion on science and religion by giving voice to those scientists, philosophers and theologians who see creative dialogue between science and religion as possible. We believe that increased knowledge of research on science and religion will lead Finns to increasingly see science and religion as complementary, rather than contradictory forces.
The project is composed of three main parts: (1) The translation of three key works on science and religion into Finnish. These will be Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion (Ronald Numbers, ed, 2009), Scientism - Science, ethics and religion (Mikael Stenmark, 2001) and Science and Religion: A New Introduction (Alister McGrath, 2010). (2) The arrangements of events (together with international and domestic partners) to promote academic dialogue between science, philosophy and theology and ensure that the translated books have maximum impact. (3) A publicity campaign to promote and sustain popular and academic Finnish conversation about science and religion. The focal point of the campaign will be the Areiopagi website and magazine.