Society, Religion and Technology Project
The SRT Project has covered a wide variety of topocs in its 40 year history; these have ranged from stem cells to synthetic biology, and from economics to environmental issues.
SRT Week of Prayer
The second week in June sees the inaugural Week of Prayer for the work of the Society, Religion and Technology (SRT) Project. So what’s it all about, and how can you be involved?
Energy and Fuel Poverty Issues
The term “fuel poverty” is relatively new, but it relates to issues that have afflicted Scotland for many generations.
Successive governments have worked to a target of eliminating Fuel Poverty by November 2016. In spite of this ambition, Fuel Poverty in 2015 affected 845,000 homes in Scotland – equivalent to more than one third of all households.
Transplantation:Opting-in or opting-out for organ donation
The Church of Scotland, along with many other faith groups, encourages organ and tissue donation, an action with strong symbolic Christian resonance.
Scotland has the UKs highest percentage of residentsregistered on the Organ Donor Register(ODR). The number of deceased organ donors in Scotland in 2013/14 was the highest ever- up nearly 60% from 2010/11. However, as demand for organs exceeds supply, there is a need to increase donations.
Striving Together: celebrating competitiveness in sport
Sport in its many forms is enjoyed at many levels by many people in Scotland. Competitiveness in sport can draw out the best in people, but can also give rise to unworthy behaviour. So how can we enjoy sport, loving our neighbours and treating others as we would want to be treated, and still give expression to the competitive spirit?
Families and the church in the 21st Century: the meaning of kinship bonds
The changing influence of both adoption and fertility medicine on ideas of family, parenthood and kinship mean that the ways and contexts in which children are conceived and raised are evolving in new directions. The church needs to be sensitive and respond to these new developments. Family relationships within Scottish society have changed profoundly over the past few decades.
Food is a Gift from God
Food is more than just fuel. It is a gift and a blessing upon which we all depend. Yet many of us shop in supermarkets for our food and never give a second thought about where it comes from or how it is produced. What we eat and how it is grown should mean much more to us than this.
A Credit Union: A common bond for a common good
A credit union is a financial services co-operative. It starts with a collective of like minded people, providing ethical, practical solutions with the objective of sharing wealth among its members and access to low cost affordable credit which might otherwise be unobtainable to some people.
10 ways your church can get involved with Credit Unions
Members of many parish churches are already credit union members. This is hardly surprising since there are over 100 credit unions (CUs) in Scotlandwith a total membership of 250,000.
All CUs offer their members a convenient way to save and borrow. They are owned and run by their members, and funds are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Money Matters: Christian reflections on consumerism
Life today can often seem very bewildering: the busyness and confusion that happens in daily life, the rapidly changing world of technology, the latest celebrity gossip. None of these things are necessarily bad, however as Christians we are called to be salt and light in the world, to make a difference where we can, and to remember that the focus of our attention should not be on ourselves or this world, but in loving God and treating others as we would wish to be treated.
Neurobiology: Free will and moral responsibility
Do we have free will, or are we just puppets, controlled by our brains? Some recent advances in neuroscience, while giving unprecedented access to our brains, are being used to support the idea that our behaviour is determined by our unconscious and that ultimately we don’t make the decisions that we think we do - it’s all down to our brain telling us what to do.
The Internet: In Whose Image?
The Internet is now an unremarkable part of our lives. It has entered our working spaces, our schools and our living rooms, even our hands in the form of
smartphones, subtly modifying the way we do business, find information, learn, shop and entertain ourselves.
Mental Health Issues
What makes a church a good one to belong to if you are struggling with your mental health? Is it the fact they have a Counsellor on staff or have an annual Depression Awareness Day? Or is it that they are aware enough to care, small enough to notice and moving slowly enough to actually deliver?
End of Life Issues: A Christian Perspective
Much recent UK media coverage has surrounded decisions by individuals to seek assisted death, or to refuse medical treatment when a terminal condition is diagnosed. Making decisions about the end of life has ethical, religious and pastoral implications that affect not just the individual sufferer but carers and family members alike.
What is the right relationship between humanity and nature? Does God give us authority to unpick and reconstruct nature in the fundamental way which is at the core of synthetic biology? How far is far enough, and to what extent should our God- given ability to be creative be hemmed in by moral and ethical considerations?
Human Cloning: Ethical Issues
In 1997 Dolly the cloned sheep caught the world’s imagination and caused a media sensation. Despite hoaxes and speculations, no one has yet
cloned a human being. Aside from the hype, what are the real issues? Why would it be wrong to clone human beings?
Cloned Embryo Research: Ethical Issues
The creation of the first cloned human embryos was announced by Korean scientists in early 2004- though these claims were later shown to be false. Research using cloned human embryos is formally legal in the UK but remains ethically controversial.
Embryonic and Adult Stem Cells: Ethical Dilemmas
Dolly the cloned sheep has become an icon for biotechnology, representing both the hopes and the fears about where embryology and genetics might lead. To most people’s relief, fears of cloned humans have not yet materialised, despite a number of attempts.
The Church of Scotland is concerned that climate change poses a serious and immediate threat to people everywhere, particularly to the poor of the earth;
and that climate change represents a failure in our stewardship of God’s creation. We accept the need to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases urgently to avoid dangerous and irreversible climate change; and to promote a more equitable and sustainable use of energy.
For 30 years the Church of Scotland has consistently condemned the existence and threat of nuclear weapons as sinful and an offence to God’s created order. With other Churches in Scotland, the United Kingdom and around the world we have campaigned for disarmament and urged the countries that possess nuclear weapons to abide by their international treaty obligations and work together for a world free of nuclear weapons.