- Assistant Professor of Theology
- (617) 353-3033
- B.A. Central College
M.Div. Princeton Theological Seminary
PhD. Graduate Theological Union
Kirk Wegter-McNelly is a constructive theologian whose primary interest lies in rethinking various aspects of the Western Christian intellectual heritage in light of contemporary science. He takes theology to be an inherently interdisciplinary enterprise and sees in science a valuable conversation partner. His interest in the sciences is motivated by three distinct concerns: keeping theologians’ feet to the empirical fire as they seek to name a God who creates, sustains, and saves this world – the one we know through scientific investigation; nudging contemporary American culture beyond its infatuation with scientism, a perspective that undergirds both the facile rejection of religion as meaningless superstition and the misguided perception that science can guarantee the certainty of religious claims; and exploring the scholarly benefits of engaging simultaneously in scientific and theological research. Wegter-McNelly, whose outlook owes much to the Reformed tradition, is also interested in how cultural and social developments have given rise historically to doctrinal innovation – his interest lies not in preserving a confessional orthodoxy but in better understanding how such developments have reshaped perceptions of the theological task. Currently, he is investigating the cosmological significance of gravitational-wave physics with Raymond Chiao and developing a theological interpretation of quantum entanglement. Wegter-McNelly is Assistant Professor of Theology at Boston University. He is the author of The Entangled God: Divine Relationality and Quantum Physics (Routledge, 2011) and co-editor of Quantum Mechanics: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences/Vatican Observatory, 2001) and Science and the Spiritual Quest: New Essays by Leading Scientists (Routledge, 2002).
The Entangled God: Divine Relationality and Quantum Physics. London: Routledge, 2011.
Science and the Spiritual Quest: New Essays by Leading Scientists (Fourth co-editor with W. Mark Richardson, Robert J. Russell, and Philip Clayton). London: Routledge, 2002.
Quantum Mechanics: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (Third co-editor with Robert J. Russell, Philip Clayton, and John Polkinghorne). Castel Gandolfo/Berkeley, California: Vatican Observatory/Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, 2001.
Chapters in Books
“Does God Need Room to Act? Theo-Physical In/Compatibilism in Noninterventionist Theories of Objectively Special Divine Action.” In Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action: Twenty Years of Challenge and Progress. Edited by Robert J. Russell, Nancey Murphy, William R. Stoeger. Castel Gandolfo, Italy/Berkeley, California: Vatican Observatory/Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, 2008.
“Natural Evil in a Divinely Entangled World.” In Physics and Cosmology: Scientific Perspectives on the Problem of Evil. Nancey Murphy, Robert John Russell and William R. Stoeger, eds. Castel Gandolfo, Italy/Berkeley, California: Vatican Observatory/Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, 2007.
“Fundamental Physics and Religion.” In The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science. Edited by Philip Clayton and Zachary Simpson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
“Atoms May Be Small, But They’re Everywhere: Robert Russell’s Theological Engagement with the Quantum Revolution.” In God’s Action in Nature’s World: Essays in Honour of Robert John Russell. Edited by Ted Peters and Nathan Hallanger. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2006.
“Science” (Second Author with Robert J. Russell). In The Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology. Edited by Gareth Jones. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.
“Preface.” In Science and the Spiritual Quest: New Essays by Leading Scientists. Edited by W. Mark Richardson, Robert J. Russell, Philip Clayton, and Kirk Wegter-McNelly. New York: Routledge, 2002.
“Science and Theology: Mutual Interaction” and “Natural Law and Divine Action” (Second Author with Robert J. Russell). Chapters 1 and 3 in Bridging Science and Religion. Edited by Ted Peters and Gaymon Bennett. London: SCM Canterbury Press, 2002. Also translated into Bahassa, Chinese, German, Portugese, and Spanish.
“Do Mirrors for Gravitational Waves Exist?” (Second author with R.Y. Chiao and S.J. Minter). Physica E, 42 (2010): 234-255.
“Charge Separation within Superconductors in the Presence of Tidal Gravitational Fields” (Second author with R.Y. Chiao and S.J. Minter). AIP Conference Proceedings: International Conference on Numerical Analysis and Applied Mathematics, 1168.2 (2009): 1084-86.
“Is Conflict the Only Way?” SciTech+ The Journal of the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith, 17.4 (2008): 3-5.
“Must We Choose Between Science and Religion?” The Role of Religion in the Longer-Range Future. Pardee Center Conference Series (2006): 29-31.
“In the Eye of the Storm: Thoughts on Evil in the Aftermath of the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season.” Focus: Alumni/ae Journal of the Boston University School of Theology. Fall 2006: 29-41.
“Response to Tune on Hume, Quantum Theory, and Resurrection.” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 43.4 (Winter 2004): 352–4.
“Response to Archbishop Zycinski’s ‘Beyond Necessity and Design: God’s Immanence in the Process of Evolution’.”CTNS Bulletin 22.1 (2002): 21–3.
“The Merton Thesis: The Influence of Puritanism on the Development of Science.” CTNS Bulletin 21.4 (2001): 22–9.
“Difference in Theology of Nature: The Strategies of Intelligibility and Credibility.” Journal of Faith and Science Exchange 4 (2000): 241–63.
“ ‘He Descended into Hell’: A Liberation Response to the Use of Kenosis in On the Moral Nature of the Universe.”CTNS Bulletin 18.4 (1999): 10–14.
“Quantum Physics,” “Quantum Theory,” “Chance: in Physics,” and “Chance: Contingency and Necessity.” In Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart: Handwörterbuch für Theologie und Religionswissenschaft. 4th edition. Edited by Hans Dieter Betz, Don S. Browning, Bernd Janowski, and Eberhard Jüngel. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, under contract.
“Physics and Religion.” In Encyclopedia of Religion. 2nd edition. Lindsay Jones, Editor in Chief. New York: Macmillan, forthcoming.
“Science and Religion” (Second Author with Robert J. Russell). In Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. Edited by J. Wentzel van Huyssteen. New York: Macmillan, 2003.
Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness by Victor J. Stenger. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (in press).
Quantum Physics and Theology: An Unexpected Kinship by John Polkinghorne. Harvard Divinity Bulletin: 35.2/3 (Spring/Summer, 2007): 91–4.
How to Relate Science and Religion: A Multidimensional Model by Mikael Stenmark. Theology and Science: 4.3 (November, 2006): 231–4.
Modern Physics and Ancient Faith by Stephen M. Barr. Journal of Religion 84.2 (April, 2004): 302–3.
God and the Universe by Arthur Gibson. Journal of Religion 82.3 (July, 2002): 483–4.
The Foundations of Dialogue in Science and Religion and Science and Religion: An Introduction by Alister McGrath (Second Author with Fred Sanders). CTNS Bulletin 19.2 (Spring, 1999): 17–21.
Belief in God in an Age of Science by John Polkinghorne. Princeton Theological Seminary Bulletin 20.3 (1999): 319–20.
Theology in an Evolutionary World by Karl Schmitz-Moormann. Princeton Theological Seminary Bulletin 20.2 (1999): 225–26.
Serious Talk by John Polkinghorne. Theology Today 53.1 (1996): 140.