The Theology Research Network (TRN), a network within the discipline area of Theology, was initiated in 2020 under the leadership of Professor Neil Ormerod. It exists to promote theological research within the Sydney College of Divinity. It draws together scholars from the diverse theological disciplines (systematics/doctrine, patristic, biblical theology, ethics, liturgy) within the SCD, and provides them with a forum and focus for theological research.
The TRN does not have a specific thematic focus but chooses topics of interest for study over a two-year timeframe. All members of the TRN will be invited to contribute from their own distinct perspective to the topic under consideration. While all faculty members within the SCD Theology discipline are specifically invited to participate in the TRN, that same invitation will be extended to all SCD faculty member who might be interested in the chosen topic.
At this stage there is no formal membership for the TRN. As a network it remains an informal and inclusive structure that welcomes diverse participation in our conversations from a variety of perspectives.
Building on the success of our first project, the TRN has initiated a second research project in conjunction with ISCAST (formerly the Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology), to explore the impact of science and technology on our conceptions of being human: “Religiously Human in a Techno-Scientific World: Theological, Missional, and Pastoral Perspectives.” The impact of science and technology on our society has been enormous and this series seeks to explore how this impact is changing our understanding of what it means to human and particular to be religiously human in such context. Some of the issues this could raise:
- Conflict, dialogue, and rapprochement between science and Christian faith
- How to preach the Gospel in a world of scientific scepticism and technological wonders?
- The medicalisation of death and end-of-life pastoral care
- Does original sin still make sense in an evolutionary perspective?
- Faith and science on the gender debate
- Can we pray online? Finding God in Facebook and YouTube.
- Faith perspectives on the climate crisis – can science save us?
- Is there a future for religion: how does science fiction depict the place of religion in the future?
The project will cover a two-year cycle, beginning in the second semester of 2022 and concluding in the first semester of 2024. There will be three seminars in each semester, conducted through Zoom, culminating in a conference some time later in 2024.