Is it possible to grow up taking the Bible seriously and then go on to have a balanced, critical perspective on both religion and science? How do people coming from a very conservative background find friends and allies as they venture out into academia’s intellectually broad range? And most importantly, how can we look at people from different backgrounds more compassionately, and communicate with them better?

As part of Sinai and Synapses’ series “More Light, Less Heat,” Sinai and Synapses Fellow Arvin Gouw and colleague Ted Peters discuss how they have integrated the faith they grew up with into a practice of rigorous intellectual inquiry, without losing sight of everything it means to them.

Arvin Gouw is the vice president for research and development overseeing the BeHEARD (Help Empower & Accelerate Research Discoveries) and RGTF (Rare Genomics Task Force) divisions of Rare Genomics Institute, where he leads crowdfunding efforts for rare disease personalized medicine research, predominantly for children, and develops novel online and mobile platforms to connect patients to medical experts. Arvin is currently a fellow at Stanford and Berkeley studying the role of metabolism in cancer and stem cells, where his work is under the entrepreneurship program of SPARKat Stanford, while leading the entrepreneurship program, BPEP (Berkeley Postdoc Entrepreneur Program) at Berkeley. He is also an affiliate faculty at Harvard, given his interest in the intersection between science, policy and religion regarding genomics ethics. Prior to Stanford, he served as associate pastor in Philadelphia, during which he did his fellowship on science and theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. Arvin received his Ph.D. in pathobiology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, M.Phil in philosophy from University of Pennsylvania, M.A. in theology from the Ecumenical Institute of Theology of St. Mary’s Seminary & University, M.A. in endocrinology and B.A. in molecular biology, both from UC Berkeley.

View Transcript

Ted F. Peters is an author, professor, and pastor. He is Research Professor Emeritus in Systematic Theology and Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS), the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS), and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. He offers a theological analysis of culture, analyzing especially the role of science in culture. He co-edits the journal Theology and Science.

View Transcript