We tend to think astrobiology as the search for alien life, but I consider it something quite different.
Adam Pryor is Associate Professor of Religion and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs in Lindsborg, KS. A scholar of science and religion, having taken his Ph.D. at the Graduate Theological Union working under Robert Russell at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Dr. Pryor’s primary research concerns issues related to emergence theory, the origins of life, and reconceptualizations of embodiment. Working principally within Christian theology, his previous monographs include The God Who Lives: Examining the Emergence of Life and the Doctrine of God (Pickwick Publishing) and Body of Christ Incarnate for You: Conceptualizing God’s Desire for the Flesh (Lexington Books). His most recent book--Living with Tiny Aliens--was begun when he was a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry’s research program on the societal implications of astrobiology and considers how astrobiology effects Christian understandings of the imago Dei, driving us toward a vision of human being concomitant to work being done in environmental humanities. Dr. Pryor is concerned with how scientific concepts and problems can serve as a table around which interfaith dialogue can take place. Scientific research pushes us to ask personal, existential questions of deep religious significance, whether this is intended or not. As a fellow he is interested in more deeply considering how these existential questions provide vantage points on one’s own religious or non-religious ways of understanding the world as a meaningful whole that can then be catalysts for building relationships across religious differences.
What is the interplay between the things that make us human and the things that make us superhuman?
If humans aren’t self-contained units, what’s our responsibility to the other elements that we’re connected to?
How does play help us understand the rules of the game for both science and religion? How can they help us better understand and create more joy in the work that we do?
How much of science is a pursuit of truth for its own sake? And what happens when it leads to unanticipated consequences?
How might thinking in a “Godly time-frame” help us take more urgent action about issues affecting us right now?
What does it mean to find something in a place we just don’t expect to find it?
Big Stories, like the ones forged by religion, could be a powerful motivator for climate action. How might we use this way of thinking to spur action while staying scientific?
Do young adults “outgrow” religion? The Sinai and Synapses Fellows’ personal stories add nuance to this claim.
Is science driving emerging adults from religion? Our Sinai and Synapses Fellows discuss.