The Catholic Institute of Sydney has received a grant to fund a course focusing on the ongoing dialogue between science and religion.
The grant is one of 100 awards given to colleges and universities
worldwide in the annual Science and Religion Course Award Competition by the Centre for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS).
Fellow professors, Rev Dr Gerald Gleeson and Janiene Wilson received the
award for their course, Science, Human Behaviour and Christian Ethics, at the Catholic Institute.
Dr Gleeson said the new course unit would explore the relevance of the behavioural sciences, particularly
psychology, to Catholic moral teaching on topics such as conscience and moral development.
“The Catholic tradition emphasises the objectivity of morality, that human beings share a common human nature and
that the principles of good human living apply to all of us,” he said. “We also recognise that people are individuals with their own experiences, perceptions and insights, at different stages of moral development
and influenced by conscious and unconscious motivations.
“The behavioural sciences can shed light on the subjective factors relevant to moral evaluation. This course will be genuinely interdisciplinary,
enabling moral theology to critique the behavioural sciences, and the behavioural sciences to nuance the claims of moral theology.”
The course unit will be offered at Masters level, but will also be open to
qualified undergraduates at other member institutions of the Sydney College of Divinity and affiliated universities. The unit will first be offered in Semester 1, 2002.