IRAS cultivates a community of informed and respectful inquiry and dialogue at the intersections of science with religion, spirituality and philosophy in service of global, societal and personal well-being.
IRAS is a society of natural scientists, social scientists, philosophers, religion scholars, theologians and others who seek to provide a forum for discussing issues of relevance to religion in an age of science.
In its Constitution, the IRAS purpose is stated as follows: "The Institute on Religion in an Age of Science is established
Further Historical Statements of IRAS Self-Understanding:
"IRAS is an independent society of natural scientists, social scientists, philosophers, religion scholars, theologians, and others who seek to understand and reformulate the theory and practice of religion in the light of contemporary scientific knowledge." (from Statement of Sponsoring Organizations in Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 1977-present)
Campion Statement: A Statement of Self-Understanding on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of IRAS
“We at IRAS take the natural world seriously as a primary source of meaning. Our quest is informed and guided by the deepening and evolving understandings fostered by scientific inquiry.
“From here, our quests for meaning take us in divergent directions. For some, the natural world and its emergent manifestations in human experience and creativity are the focus of exploration. Some go on to encounter and celebrate the sacred in such explorations. For some, understandings of the natural world are interwoven with understandings inherent in various religious traditions, generating additional paths of exploration and encounter. As a result, we articulate our emerging orientations with many voices that are harmonious in that we share a common sense of place and gratitude.
“We acknowledge as well a shared set of values and concerns pertaining to peace, justice, dignity, cultural and ecological diversity and planetary sustainability. Although we may differ and hence debate as to how these concerns are here addressed, we are committed to participating in their resolution.”
(This statement originated in discussions of the IRAS Council at its 2002 winter meeting at the Campion Center in Weston, Massachusetts, was adopted at the 2003 winter Council meeting and revised at the 2003 summer Council meeting.)
Copyright 2013 by The Institute on Religion in an Age of Science