Mirjam Schilling


Alister McGrath



Research Area: 

Science and Religion


I am a research scientist with an interest in viruses and innate immune responses and completed my PhD in Virology at the University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2016. I then continued to work as a Postdoc at the University of Oxford, still studying how viruses interact with our immune system. In parallel, I started studying theology part-time at undergraduate level in 2012 and my DPhil in science and religion in 2019. In my DPhil I am exploring how what we know about viruses can influence theological discussions. The aim of the project is to analyse the consequences of virological key findings for our theological doctrines such as good and evil, chaos and order, human identity, as well as to inform the ongoing discussions about suffering, theodicy and the fall.






Select Publications:


Schilling M. Warum erschuf Gott die Viren? Mit einer Virologin auf Entdeckungsreise. 2021. SCM Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7751-6114-5


Schilling M. Pandemics and the climate crisis – understanding their connection, and what it means for human identity. ABC Religion & Ethics. 2022 January 11; https://www.abc.net.au/religion/the-connection-between-pandemics-and-the...

Schilling M. A Virocentric Perspective On Evil. Zygon®, 56: 19-33. 2021 March 01. https://doi.org/10.1111/zygo.12669

Schilling M, Gamble J, Gamble N. Fear not, sneer not: A healthy Christian response to COVID-19. ABC Religion & Ethics. 2020 March 17; https://www.abc.net.au/religion/coronavirus-a-healthy-christian-response...

Book Reviews

Schilling M. Review of ‘Can we believe in people – Human significance in an interconnected world’ by Stephen R.L. Clark in Science and Christian Belief. 2021; Volume 33(2); pages 154-154

Academic Interests: 

Science and Religion, Systematic theology, Modern Theology

Academic Related Activities: 

CiS, Oliver Barclay Lecture in 2021

Faraday Institute, Cambridge (“From Biology to Theology: How viruses challenge our perspective on good and evil”) in 2021

Christians in Academia Conference (“Viruses as part of God’s creation?”) in 2020

The Principal’s Hour, Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, 2018 and 2021

The Graduate Christian Forum, Oxford, 2020

Facebook Live Video with Oxford Sparks (“What is a virus?”)

Interviews, e.g. for the Pro Medienmagazin in 2020 and 2021, the AndersLEBEN-Magazin 2021, ERF Medien e.V. (Talkwerk, Das Gespräch) 2021, bigFM 2021, radioM 2021 or the Hope Channel 2021)


Arthur Peacocke Fellowship (Science and Religion), Exeter College, University of Oxford


Gesellschaft für Virologie (GfV), British Society for Immunology (BSI), Christians in Science (CiS), European Society for the Study of Science and Theology (ESSSAT)