First there was physics. Then there was writing. Now, Karl Giberson, director of Gordon’s Science and Religion Forum and adjunct professor, is merging the two not only with his numerous publications, but by teaching a special workshop for the 2012 spring semester on science and religion writing. Giberson’s recent book The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age (Harvard University Press) was reviewed January 6 in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Assist News Service (ANS) recently cited him for his place on Religion Dispatches’ Top 10 List of Peacemakers in the Science and Religion Wars in 2011. (ANS’ feature was about Sir John Polkinghorne, about whom Giberson also co-authored a biography called Quantum Leap: How John Polkinghorne Found God in Science and Religion.)
When Giberson isn’t writing books, speaking (he will give the 2012 Crum Lecture at Gordon March 6) or teaching, he writes regularly for The Huffington Post and Books and Culture magazine. For his workshop at Gordon this spring, Giberson will have students write and research on issues related to Adam, which is the theme of his next book, Saving Adam: The First Human and The Rest of Us (Beacon). Here’s what Giberson said about both:
“Saving Adam is a cultural history of the first man. Although the story is familiar it has a fascinating history. Adam was a minor character in the Old Testament, who all but disappears after being expelled from Eden. He becomes a central part of Christian theology when St. Paul links him to Christ—the Second Adam. Throughout the history of the West, the story of Adam and Eve has been a central reference point for understanding who we are and how we are supposed to live. But starting with the great age of exploration and subsequent advances in science, Christians have begun to reconsider the history of the first man.
“I presented my students in the workshop with options for their own writing projects and they all chose to work with me on various aspects of this book project. I have biblical studies students looking at how the story has been interpreted by the Church fathers, science majors looking at the genetic evidence, and a Pike scholar looking at gender issues in the story. Some of their work might appear in Books and Culture because the editor has agreed to consider them for publication, and the students will organize a conference at the end of the semester to present their works as well as the work of other scholars.”