Name: Taede Anne Smedes
Website: main website is http://www.tasmedes.nl
Date and place of birth: 03 July 1973, Drachten, the Netherlands
My vision concerning research and education:
My passions circle around two fields of gravity: doing research (learning) and sharing that research through communication (teaching).
My vision is that I not only want to share with others the knowledge that I gained through research, but I would also like to share in the knowledge and vision of others. I also aim at inspiring people, helping others in discovering their potentialities and in developing their own vision.
Education and qualifications:
1999 – March 18, 2004: PhD studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Groningen University.
Supervisors: Prof.dr. L.J. van den Brom (professor of Systematic Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Groningen University) (promotor); prof.dr. H.W. Broer (professor in Nonlinear Mathematics, faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Groningen University) (promotor); dr. A.F. Sanders (associate professor in Philosophy of Religion, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Groningen University) (co-promotor).
September 2001 – December 2001: Exchange student, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton NJ., U.S.A.
1992 – 24 December, 1998: Master’s (‘doctoraal’) in Theology, Groningen University, the Netherlands.
Major in Philosophy of Religion. Subsidiaries: Systematic Theology and Psychology of Religion.
Title of thesis: “Tussen Orde en Chaos. Een studie over orde en chaos, wereldbeelden en God” (“Between Order and Chaos. A study on order and chaos, worldviews and God”).
1985 – 1992: Secondary school, Drachten, the Netherlands.
Leaving Certificate subjects: Dutch, English, German, French, History, Geography, Economics.
January 2009 – Present: Postdoc at the Faculty for Religious Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
September 2006 – December 2008: Postdoc at the Faculty of Theology, Catholic University Louvain (K.U. Leuven), Belgium.
February 2004 – June 2006: Postdoc at the Faculty of Theology, Leiden University, for the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO, Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) for project: Renewal of Theology Through the Sciences? Regional and Disciplinary Variation in ‘Theology and Science’ (for programme ‘Cultural Change and the Foundations of the Humanities’). Click HERE to read the project description (NWO-website).
October 2002 – 2006: (with dr. W.B. Drees) Constructing a blended Learning course on “Religion and science in the European context” as part of the project ‘Afstandsonderwijs in de vorm van blended learning’ (‘Education at a distance in the form of blended learning’), Department of Theology, Leiden University.
2004 – 2010: Scientific Programme Officer of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology (ESSSAT), responsible for the workshop programmes of the international conferences.
February 2003 – August 2003: Part-time administrative and secretarial job at Bioclear b.v. in Groningen; investigation of link between soil management, sustainable technology, and theology.
February 2001 – April 2001: Assistant for the HOVO (Hoger Onderwijs Voor Ouderen – ‘Advanced Education For Seniors’). (Organizational tasks, arranging lecturers, discussion leader.)
December 2000 – March 2001: Lectures in Systematic Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Groningen University.
September – November 2000: Lectures in the History of Philosophy, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Groningen University.
1997 – 1999: Student Assistant to prof. dr. L.J. van den Brom, professor in Systematic Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Groningen University.
1996 – 1997: Student Assistant to dr. A.F. Sanders, associate professor in Philosophy of Religion, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Groningen University.
De Nederlandse Vereniging voor Godsdienstwijsbegeerte (NVGW)
Brief summary of research of the last five years:
During my doctorate research at Groningen University, I investigated the possibilities of speaking meaningfully about divine action in the context of the contemporary scientific worldview. I analyzed the theological models of John Polkinghorne and Arthur Peacocke, who use chaos theory and self-organization as frameworks for dealing with divine action. I concluded that both the problem of divine action and attempts to speak about divine action in scientific terms rest on a category mistake due to taking the natural sciences as normative for theological reflection. I questioned this scientism and argued that the concept of divine action is not a scientific issue but needs to be addressed within the linguistic framework of theology.
In my NWO-funded research at Leiden University, I studied the regional and disciplinary variation in the interaction of theology and science. I investigated whether the regional variation in ‘theology and science’ and the lack of interaction between theology and ‘theology and science’ is a reflection of underlying views on the nature and situation of theology, religion, and science. I focused particularly on the Anglo-Saxon discussions (te US and UK) and those on the European continent (especially Germany and the Netherlands). It turned out that at least one explanation of the differences between discussions in the US and Europe is the way the Enlightenment has worked out in the different areas, and thus the way science has been received and the different ways theology and the philosophy of science have developed.
In Leuven I continued that line of research by focusing especially on debates concerning evolutionary theory and Christian religion. Especially since in Europe there were emerging debates about “Intelligent Design” and a renewed interest in creationism, so it was logical to look into the history of creationism and ID in an American evangelical setting, their theological and philosophical basis, and compare those movements to European theological contexts which were more steeped in Continental (especially German) thought.
In Nijmegen I continue that line of research, but I also started to pursue another line of research: the Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR) and the relation with a religious (especially Christian) anthropology and epistemology. This line of research will be developed more thoroughly throughout 2012.
Chaos, Complexity, and God: Divine Action and Scientism (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters Publishers, 2004).
God en de Menselijke Maat: Gods Handelen en het Natuurwetenschappelijke Wereldbeeld (Zoetermeer, the Netherlands: Meinema 2006).
God én Darwin: Geloof kan niet om evolutie heen (Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Nieuw Amsterdam 2009)
A list of all publications can be found via http://tasmedes.nl/publications/.
Awards & Scholarships:
Invitation to attend the seminar on Cognitive Science of Religion and Christianity, led by prof.dr. Justin Barrett, 2010 (with follow-up seminars in 2012 and 2013).
Invitation to attend the Venice Summer School of Religion and Science, 2009.
ESSSAT Student Award 2002, European Society for the Study of Science and Theology (ESSSAT), for the article ‘Is Our Universe Deterministic? Some Philosophical and Theological Remarks on Models of Divine Action.’
Two times invited as ‘younger scholar’ to the Conference of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR), Boston, USA, 18-22 August 2004, and again to the Conference in Cambridge, UK, 8-13 July 2006.
September – December 2001: Scholarship for study at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Typing skills: Typing certificate (Associatie voor Stenografie, Machineschrijven en Kantoorpraktijk.)
Computer skills: MS Office (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint).
Languages: Frisian and Dutch (mother tongues), English (fluent), German (fluent), French (working knowledge).
Composing, producing, and listening to (electronic) music. I have also preached regularly on Sundays in the Dutch Reformed Church for a couple of years.