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Regional conference on science and religion

Christian and Scientific Association of Kenya (CSAK), an Association that fosters dialogue between science and religion that is hosted by Mount Kenya University (MKU) has organized a two-day regional conference themed Interaction of Science and Religion in Africa: Current and Future Perspectives”. The conference will be held at the Sweet lake Resort, Naivasha from Wednesday August 29, 2018 to Thursday August 30, 2018.

The Conference is to be attended by high key scholars in the field of Science and Religion. The Chief Guest is Professor Mwenda Ntarangwi, the Commission Secretary and Chief Executive Officer for Commission of University Education (CUE), Kenya. Notable speakers at the Conference include Professor Andrew Briggs, Head of Nanomaterials Department at the University of Oxford; Professor Oyewale Tomori, past President of the Nigerian Academy of Science; and Professor Joseph D. Galgalo, a Cambridge University-trained theologian and Vice-Chancellor, St. Paul’s University, Kenya. During the Conference, a famous play by a renowned actor Andrew Harrison titled “Mr. Darwin’s Tree” will be showcased.

Overview of Christian and Scientific Association of Kenya (CSAK)

Christian and Scientific Association of Kenya (CSAK) is a professional, non-sectarian, non-political Association geared towards facilitating synergetic interaction between science and Christian Faith. It is jointly funded by The Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. (TWCF Inc.) and Mount Kenya University. It brings together practitioners of science and Christian Faith with the aim of exploring how interaction between the two in the African context can best synergize each other. Since its establishment two and a half years ago, the Association has realized tremendous growth in membership that spreads across the nation drawn from 35 universities and several research institutions.

The Project Leader of CSAK is Prof. Francis W. Muregi of Mount Kenya University. Other CSAK leaders including Prof. Bernard Boyo of Daystar University, Prof. Eunice Kamaara of Moi university and Prof. Michael Ntabo Mabururu of Rongo University, among others.

Prof. Muregi says that the genesis of the Association was due to the controversies that have been experienced in the country in the recent past on conflicting opinions between the policy makers and religious actors. For instance, within the past few years the country has experienced heated debates on diverse subjects such as on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and immunization campaigns for Polio and Tetanus vaccines. A section of the Church has opposed  immunization of children alleging it is a form unconsented birth control which leaves many Kenyans ambivalent on whether to embrace immunization drives or not. Prof. Muregi avers that it high time universities guided the masses on such matters of public interest, making the latter active players and not spectators. “Universities must demolish the silos that hinder interdisciplinary interactions” he asserts. He fails to understand why fields like social sciences, philosophy and theology cannot be housed in the same space with biomedical specialties. This is the only way we shall begin to address in a holistic manner the social challenges of our people, he argues.

The Association emphasizes capacity building of tis members and holds annual national workshops and trainings, public debates, and national essay competitions on interaction between science and religion in the African context. In 2016, 150 CSAK members receive advanced local training on the dialogue between science and religion by the renowned Faraday Institute for Science and Religion of Cambridge University, UK. In the last two years, 6 CSAK members have also been trained at same Institute. Currently, Prof. Muregi and Prof. Boyo are participating in a two-year Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO) Programme as a part of selected global scholars in the area of science and religion.

Christian and Scientific Association of Kenya draws its membership from universities and research institutions in Kenya. Membership is open to university scholars, postgraduate students, clergy and researchers with an interest in the area of intersection of science and religion.

To learn more about the Association, please visit their website on www.kcsa.or.ke.

 

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