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Science, Philosophy, and Belief

Science, Philosophy and Belief

A three-year initiative involving scholars from North America, Europe and China for sustained inquiry and conversation on the topic of science, philosohpy and belief. With the support of the John Templeton Foundation, this initiative achieved the goals below.

step 1 2008 Seminar at Calvin College

  • Seminar gave 22 Chinese participants the very best the West has to offer on the topic of science, philosophy and theistic belief from a broadly Christian perspective.
  • Seminar leaders: Kelly James Clark, Ph.D. and Del Ratzsch, Ph.D. of Calvin College; and Michael J. Murray, Ph.D. of Franklin & Marshall College
  • Seminar lectures by:
    • John Polkinghorne
    • Alvin Plantinga
    • Richard Swinburne
    • Owen Gingerich

step 2 Alvin Plantinga2009 Conference at Peking University, China

  • June 16-19, 2009, Peking University
  • 120 participants
  • Evening keynote sessions featured lectures by:
    • Alvin Plantinga (University of Notre Dame)
    • William Philips (Nobel Laureate Physicist of University of Maryland)
  • Chinese student papers


step 2

Publication by Peking University Press

  • A collection of papers from the 2009 conference will likely be published by Peking University Press.
  • Editors: Xu Xiangdong and Kelly James Clark


Support for Western Professors to Lead Courses in China

  • 17 SCP scholars were recruited and lectured in 9 Chinese universities from 2007-2009


Visiting Fellowships for Chinese Postgraduates

  • Science, Philosophy and Belief Winter Retreat 2009Selected Chinese postgraduate students studied at one of four North American intitutions: Baylor University, University of Notre Dame, Calvin College, or Hope College
  • Chinese students found U.S. upper-level undergraduate courses more challenging than doctoral level courses in China.
  • 4 visiting students gained entry and funding to U.S. university Ph.D. programs at Cornell University, St. Louis University, Baylor University, and Indiana University.
  • 5 visiting students were placed in Chinese professorships after the completion of their doctorate degrees, subsequent to this fellowship.

step 6 Postdoctoral Fellowships for Chinese Junior Professors

  • 3 Chinese professors per year were granted fellowships to study at: Baylor University, University of Notre Dame, and Calvin College
  • Book publications resulting from these fellowships include:
    • Xu Xiangdong, Making Sense of Free Will, Peking University Press, 2008.
    • Xu Xiangdong, trans. Bernard Williams, Truth and Truthfulness. Shanghai Translation Publishing Company, 2009.
    • Xu Xiangdong, trans. Tom Rockmore, Kant and Idealism. Shanghai Translation Publishing Company, 2009.
    • Xu Xiangdong, trans. Tom Rockmore, In Kant’s Wake. Peking University Press, 2009.
    • Xu Yingjin, trans. Mind, an introduction (written by John Searle). Shanghai People's Press, 2008.
    • Chen Gang, The Hierarchical Structure of the World: A Non-Reductive Theory. Huazhong University of Science and Technology Press, 2008.
  • Essay publications:
    • Hao Changchi: "Science and Religion: Confrontation or Dialogue?" (Science Times, B3, 03/20/2008); "Theocracy and Democracy" (forthcoming), Modern Philosophy; "Utility and Law: The Power Machinism–A Comparative Study of Bentham and Han Fei Zi" (forthcoming), Ethical Studies; "Love of Wisdom and Wisdom of Love "(forthcoming), edited anthology published by Wuhan University Press, 2009.
    • Xu Yingjin: "The Logic of the Chinese Room Argument Revisited", Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2008, Vol. 1, pp 93-107; “A Critique of Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism,” International Journal of Philosophy of Religion, forthcoming.
    • Chen Gang: “On Hume’s Problem: From A Hierarchical Point of View”, Philosophical Research, December 2008, Beijing; “Aristotle’s Theory of Soul”, Philosophical Trend, September 2008, Beijing.
    • Xu Xiangdong: “Free Choice and Indeterminism: Refutation of Two Libertarian Proposals”, Plurality: A Journal of Philosophy, No. 3 (2009), pp. 65-82.

Book Distribution Program

  • The Theological Books Network (TBN) distributed a total of 9,395 books to Chinese scholars and libraries.
    • 8,250 books were distributed to libraries at Fudan, Peking, Wuban and Tsinghua
    • 1,145 books were distributed to Chinese scholars


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