Current Competition

ESSSAT Prizes 2020, Press Release (21.03.2020)

The European Society for the Study of Science and Theology (ESSSAT) is pleased to announce that the ESSSAT Research Prize 2020 has been awarded to Dr Indrek Peedu, for his PhD thesis “Positioning the Scholar: Issues of Epistemology and Methodology in the Evolutionary Study of Religion”, submitted 2019 at the University of Tartu (Estonia).


Indrek Peedu is currently a specialist in the Theory of Religious Studies at the School of Theology and Religious Studies within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Tartu. His thesis skillfully identifies and explores some of the main weakness that can afflict scientific approaches to the study of religion, in terms of their epistemological construction: to what extent can a scholar of religion remain a neutral, scientific observer or to what extent is he or she an inevitable part of the cultural and religious context of the field of research itself as well? The argument is both penetrating and concise in its attention to the cognitive, ecological, and biocultural research programs under study, and judicious in its commitment to letting the perspectives discussed speak to one another, while also pointing to blind spots. The jury appreciated the clarity of exposition, the soundness of the argument, and the rich erudition and knowledge displayed by the author. The prize consists of €2500, and the conference fee for the next European Conference on Science and Theology will be covered. This is to be held in Madrid, Spain, but is presently postponed to Spring 2021, where the prizes will be presented to the winners.


The ESSSAT Student Prize 2020 has been awarded to Duvan Hernán López Meneses, a PhD student in Sustainability at the Polytechnic University of Cataluña (UPC), for his essay “Los riesgos climáticos y el sentido humano: Claves frente a los conflictos ambientales desde el pensamiento de Teilhard de Chardin” (Climate risks and the human meaning: Key insights facing environmental conflicts from the thought of Teilhard de Chardin). In his essay, López offers a consistently insightful and engaging discussion and analysis of natural disasters such as climate change, in relation to themes of human responsibility, considering, for instance, risk assessment theories and certain twentieth century theological developments, especially from the work of Teilhard de Chardin. The jury found this piece most relevant and original in its development and conclusions. The ESSSAT Student Prize 2020 consists of €1500, and again the conference fee for the next ESSSAT Conference will be covered, to be held in Spain in Spring 2021.


ESSSAT, the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology, usually organizes a conference every other year. The 2020 prizes are sponsored by the Center of Theological Inquiry (Princeton, NJ, USA), with support of the John Templeton foundation. They will be presented at the Eighteenth European Conference on Science and Theology, which will be held in Madrid, Spain, postponed to Spring 2021. The theme of the conference is “Creative pluralism? Images and models in science and religion”. Participants and contributors include scientists, theologians, scholars of religion, philosophers, and historians, with scholars from a range of religious and non-religious persuasions. Almost all European countries are represented, alongside other continents.


Additional Information:;

ESSSAT Prizes, Dr. Andreas Losch responsible:

On Indrek Peedu and his work contact:

To contact Duvan Hernán López Meneses: