Scientists and Faith: Resources

See also:

The relationship between science and Christian faith has been a growing area of discussion in recent decades. More and more research has explored the personal faith journeys of people in the sciences, particularly focusing on how they see their faith and their vocation as scientists coming together in positive ways. Some wonderful resources include:

Video Clips:

Test of Faith, a multimedia resource from the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion (Cambridge University) provides many short video interview clips with Christians in the sciences: Stories – From Christians who are also Scientists

St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, a Church of England congregation in London, has produced some excellent short videos with scientists in their congregation talking about their integration of science with their Christian faith: Science a Personal View


Many of the weekly blogs on Science and Belief focus on the spiritual biographies or journeys of leading scientists.  Written and edited by Ruth Bancewicz, Senior Research Associate at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion


Bancewicz, Ruth. God in the Lab: How Science Enhances Faith. Oxford: Monarch. 2015.  Biologist and Senior Research Associate at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Bancewicz shares her personal story – and the stories of leading scientists she has interviewed – as they integrate their faith into their vocations as scientists.   The book is intriguingly organized around themes of creativity, imagination, beauty, wonder, and awe as it explores how real scientists find spiritual meaning, purpose, and worship through their work.

Bancewicz, Ruth. Test of Faith: Spiritual Journeys with Scientists. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. 2010.  Ten respected scientists  discuss what led them to become scientists, the Christian spiritual journeys, and how the integrate their science and faith.  Contributors include Alister McGrath, Francis Collins, and John Polkinghorne.

Berry, R.J. True Scientists, True Faith Oxford: Lion Hudson.  2015.  Twenty leading scientists talk about how they integrate their science and Christian faith, particularly in their areas of scientific expertise.  Contributors include John Houghton, Ghillean Prance, and Bob White.  There is some overlap of contributors with Bancewicz’s book (McGrath, Collins and a couple of others), but the chapters are fresh and offer new insight.

Collins, F. The Language of God:  A Scientist PResnets Evidence for Belief. New York: Simon and Shuster.  2006.  Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health  in Bethesda, Maryland, noted for his discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project, shares his personal insight with doubt and faith.  He shares about the many revelations of the wonder of God’s creation.  An encouraging read for Christians, it also a stimulating apologetic book for those struggling with or rejecting faith.

Frankenberry, N.K. The Faith of Scientists: In Their Own Words. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2008.   In this anthology of writings by twenty-one scientists, from the dawn of the Scientific Revolution to the present day:  Galileo, Johannes Kepler, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein, to modern-day scientists like Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, Jane Goodall, Freeman Dyson, Stephen Hawking, Edward O. Wilson, and Ursula Goodenough.   Nancy Frankenberry provides insight into these scientists’ faith, views about God, and the place religion holds (or doesn’t) in their lives. The various case studies reveal that the faith of scientists can take many different forms, whether religious or secular, supernatural or naturalistic, conventional or unorthodox.

Haarsma, D. and Hoezee, S. Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church. Grand Rapids: Center for Excellence in Preaching. 2012.

Howard Ecklund, Elaine, Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think.  New York:  Oxford University Press. 2010.   Sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund  surveyed nearly 1,700 and interviewed 275 elite scientists from top U.S. research universities on their views on religion.  Perhaps surprisingly, nearly 50 percent of them are religious.  Many others are “spiritual entrepreneurs,” seeking creative ways to work with the tensions between science and faith outside the constraints of traditional religion.  And a number of scientists are searching for “boundary pioneers” to cross the picket lines separating science and religion.  Only a small minority are actively hostile to religion.

McHargue, Mike.  Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science. Convergent. 2016.  Mike McHargue is host of the popular podcasts, The Liturgists Podcast and Ask Science Mike..  In this book, McHargue tells the story of how his Evangelical faith dissolved into atheism as he studied the Bible, a crisis that threatened his identity, his friendships, and marriage. Years later, he was led back to God, not through the Bible but through his study of science.   HE talks about how the latest in neuroscience, physics, and biology help him understand God, faith, and himself.   A fascinating “alternative story” of one person’s search for God, experience with the sciences, and connection between them.

Richardson, M. and Slack, G. (Editors). Faith in Science: Scientists Search for Truth. London: Routledge. 2001.  Through conversations with some of the world’s most distinguished scientists (including two Nobel Laureates), Faith in Science invites us to explore the connections between scientific and religious approaches to truth. Subjects range from the existence and nature of God to the role of spirituality in modern science. The result is a clear account of how two major cultural forces can work together to offer unique insights into questions of existence.