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Kirk Wegter McNelly

Kirk Wegter McNelly

Kirk Wegter-McNelly is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Manhattan College, Bronx, New York, where he teaches courses focused on the relation between religion and science. He received his doctorate in systematic and philosophical theology from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California, in 2003. He also holds an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey, and a B.A. in physics from Central College, Pella, Iowa. After college Kirk lived for a year in mountainous Western Pennsylvania supervising volunteer groups working on low-income housing rehabilitation projects. Prior to his theological studies, he also spent a year working at the University of Nebraska’s Medical Center in Omaha as part of a research team investigating the etiology of alcoholic liver disease.

In 1992 Kirk joined Princeton Seminary’s Dr. Wentzel van Huyssteen to explore the relation of theological rationality to scientific epistemology; in the spring of 1995 he received the seminary’s first Neidhardt Prize in Theology and Science. In the fall of the same year, Kirk joined Dr. Robert John Russell at the GTU to pursue doctoral studies and became intimately involved in activities of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, a GTU affiliate. He worked closely with the editors of the CTNS/Vatican Observatory Research Series to produce two volumes dealing with divine action, one focused on evolutionary biology and the other on the neurosciences. Most recently, he served as co-editor for the latest volume of the series, Quantum Mechanics: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (CTNS/VO, 2001). He also served as co-editor for a CTNS volume of interviews and essays with scientists entitled, Science and the Spiritual Quest: New Essays by Leading Scientists (Routledge, 2002).

Kirk’s own research focuses on the engagement between Christian theology and contemporary physics. His essay, “Difference in Theology of Nature: The Strategies of Intelligibility and Credibility,” was awarded the New England Center for Faith and Science Exchange’s Publishing Prize in Science and Religion and was subsequently published in Journal of Faith and Science Exchange (vol. 4, 2000). His dissertation, “The World, Entanglement, and God,” offers a reassessment of relationality within creation in light of the latest scientific advances and philosophical reflection on the remarkable phenomenon of quantum entanglement.

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Kirk Wegter McNelly

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