Arizona State University to study spirituality in an age of technoscience
Photo by Rohan Makhecha

Researchers at Arizona State University plan to explore how we make sense of the relationship between humanity’s radical technoscientific advances and the search for spirituality.

The project, “Beyond Secularization: A New Approach to Religion, Science and Technology,” is backed by a $1.7 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust.

The Center for the Study Religion and Conflict will handle the research as part of an interdisciplinary initiative to explore whether religious ideas shape scientific research directions. The group aims to reveal new models for understanding ideas of progress as well.

The center has partnered with Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, director of Jewish studies, in offering a faculty seminar that has been ongoing for 15 years. Projects have grown out of the seminar including lecture series, international research conferences and numerous publications.

“Our basic conviction is that to understand the interplay between religion, science and technology, we need to pose new questions and engage new methods,” said Tirosh-Samuelson in a Q&A published by the ASU. “The artificial dichotomy between “science” and “religion” is no longer valid and even talking about a “dialogue” between religion and science is insufficient.”

“Beyond Secularization” builds on a small pilot project that produced more than 20 articles, including the January cover story in Sojourners magazine, “You Will Be Like God: The false promise of the tech utopia” by Gaymon Bennett, associate professor of religion, science and technology at Arizona State University.


Susan Barreto


Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.

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