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Mark Harris

Senior Lecturer in Science and Religion, University of Edinburgh

As a physicist working in a theological environment at the University of Edinburgh, Mark is interested in the complex ways that science and religion relate to each other, and especially in foundational questions about the nature of reality, and the status of naturalism. Active in physics for many years, he is known (with Steve Bramwell of University College London) as the discoverer of ‘spin ice’, a counter-intuitive model that has revolutionised research in magnetism.

Midway through his scientific career Mark discovered theology, a moment of awakening not unlike that provided by his first chemistry set at the age of ten! After ordination as an Anglican priest, and spells in university chaplaincy at Oxford, and cathedral ministry in Edinburgh, he now combines his academic interests in physics and theology by running the Science and Religion programme of study and research at Edinburgh.

Mark's research interests include naturalism and the study of realism in the physical sciences and theology, and the ways in which the science has critically affected modern views of the Bible, especially in thinking on miracles and divine action. Currently he is working on a book project about the ways that historical debates in geology have had a huge (but little-known) influence on the contemporary interpretation of miracle accounts.


  • Philosophy, Science and Religion for Everyone (Routledge 2017)

  • The Nature of Creation: Examining the Bible and Science (Acumen Press, 2013; Routledge, 2014).

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