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Online Lecture - Examining the shortcomings of the principle of non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA) and proposing the "Process of Criteria Testing" (PCT)

June 13, 2022 (Monday)
Seminar and Colloquium
faraday lecture
June 13, 2022 (Monday)
11:00am - 12:00pm (UK time) / 6:00pm - 7:00pm (HK time)

Zoom Meeting Link:

Meeting ID: 925 6137 4858
Passcode: 728852


Defining the relationship between science and religion has never been easy. Science and religion are often portrayed as antagonistic fields by popular media, but such a view is not shared by leading scholars. Ian Barbour, an American theologian and physicist, introduced a fourfold typology to understand the connections between science and religion in the early 1990s. Barbour distinguishes four primary classifications of methodology: conflict, independent, dialogue, and integration. Each of these classification systems has certain strengths and weaknesses, and the best model to describe the dynamic relationship between science and religion has yet to be determined. In any case, selection of a model would influence how one might take on the meaning and values associated with science and religion as well as how one might apply them to develop a worldview meant to uncover the meaning of life.

The present study examines whether the independent model, represented by the NOMA principle, is adequate. The study contends that it is impractical to classify inquiries into certain fixtures of independent magisteria systematically. It is further argued that in the potential scenarios when conflict does arise between science and religion, it is limited to only the description of NOMA and, therefore, be ignored as “false” or “frictional” conflict. It appears that NOMA does not succeed in serving as a conflict resolver and that its claim to promote peace is inconsistent and unsubstantiated.

As a conclusion to this study, I propose a new vetting procedure - "Process of Criteria Testing". An overview of the application of PCT for measuring the functionality and sustainability of various methods of handling the dialogue of science and religion is given.


About the Speaker

Revd Vincent has a strong commitment to academics and charitable endeavors. 
Vincent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science from Texas A&M University and a Master of Divinity degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In addition to his current appointment as a visiting researcher at the Faraday Institute for Science & Religion in University of Cambridge, Vincent is also a PhD candidate at the Department of Religion and Philosophy in Hong Kong Baptist University, where he also serves as a Senate member and a member of various academic committees. Vincent conducts research in the fields of Science and Religion dialogue, with a particular focus on studying the mind and free will through the lens of Personal Idealism and Scientism.
Vincent also co-founded The Society for Science and Religion in Asia (SSRA), an organisation dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary academic dialogue in science and religion in the Asia-Pacific region.
Aside from his academic pursuits, he ministered at a large international church in Hong Kong for several years before assuming the role of associate pastor for a local church. As well as being a director of the Tuen Mun District Christian Churches Union, he is also a non-executive Director of YWAM Gateway (Youth with a Mission) in Hong Kong.
Vincent hopes and desires to continue using his influence to build bridges among Christian communities and academic communities and to facilitate the advancement of both fields.