To reconsider the large question — is the natural normative? — from both scientific and religious perspectives at once, and to examine the social, medical and political implications of our current inability to reach a single answer, the Center for the Study of Science and Religion (CSSR) was founded in the summer of 1999 with support from the Office of the Executive Vice Provost of Columbia University. It is an interdisciplinary, inter-school, collaborative forum for the examination of issues lying at the boundary of the scientific and religious ways of comprehending the world and our place in it.

For these questions to be revisited in a useful way, questioners must be willing to accept the burden of sharing both objective knowledge ands subjective experience with each other. This is the work of the CSSR, an enterprise that may be undertaken regardless of the state of convergence of any particular science with any particular religion.