Call for Paper Proposals

The second annual Student Symposium on Science and Spirituality will be held Friday, April 16, 2010 at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (Chicago, Illinois).  The Student Symposium is a one-day conference designed to provide an interdisciplinary, ecumenical, and inter-religious forum for graduate, professional, and ministry students and postgraduates to engage in rigorous and collaborative conversations in religion and science.  This year, the symposium is organized around the following questions:

  • What makes us human?
  • Is there such a thing as human nature?
  • How do our ideas about human nature relate to God, the sacred, or the world?

Graduate and professional students from all university disciplines, as well as seminary and divinity school students, are invited to submit paper proposals that address any aspect of the thematic questions above or the larger religion and science dialogue. Recent postgraduates who have earned a graduate degree within the last two years are also welcome to submit proposals.  For this year’s symposium, we are especially interested in papers addressing scientific, philosophical, and theological insights on the nature of human personhood
and its relationship to human community, the natural world, and God or the sacred.   Fields of study particularly suited to contribute to the discussion include natural and social sciences (such as evolutionary biology, genetics, ecology, neuroscience, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, psychology, anthropology, and sociology) as well as studies of religion (such as theology, religious studies, philosophy, and ethics).

Cash prizes of $250, $150, and $100 will be awarded to the top three student papers as judged by a faculty committee.  Symposium proceedings will be available at the Zygon Center’s website, and winning papers will be published and disseminated to leaders in the religion and science community.


  • Paper proposals due January 22, 2010: Proposals should be no more than 500 words (two pages, double-spaced).  Proposals must include a title, a statement of the problem or research question, a clear thesis, keywords, and a broad summary of the argument.  A preliminary bibliography is welcomed but not required.
  • Presenters invited by February 5, 2010: A faculty committee will review proposals and select those to be invited as full papers for presentation.  All authors will be notified of the review results.
  • Final papers due by March 19,  2010: Invited  papers  should  be  no  more  than  3,000  words (approximately 12 pages, double-spaced); papers exceeding this limit will not be accepted.


Please send paper proposals, final papers, and any other correspondence to:

For more information on the Hyde Park Science and Religion Society and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science, and for answers to frequently asked questions on the Student Symposium, please visit  The Student Symposium is supported in part by a generous grant from the Metanexus Institute; for more information see