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May 19, 2008
Welcome To All New and Continuing CTNS Members.
- Ian G. Barbour Chair Campaign Speeds Up
- "Bumper Crop" of CTNS Students Graduate
- 2008 Charles H. Townes Graduate Student Fellows
- Alternative Voices Respond to "Expelled" Movie
- CTNS Founder Speaks to Students and Public
- New CTNS Books
- Table of Contents, Vol 6, No. 2 (May 2008)
- Member News
- Journal On-Line Access
- CTNS Bulletin On-Line Access
- CTNS-GTU Spring Course on Theodicy Concludes
- Use "GoodSearch" to help CTNS
- Summer Conferences: Berkeley, CA, Oxford, UK and Boulder, CO.
- Abstract and Audio files from Neuroscience Conference
- Essay Contest
This winter and spring, efforts are being made to inspire friends and members of CTNS to help complete the CTNS Ian G. Barbour Chair at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. We are excited and grateful that we are only about $500,000 short of our goal of $2.5 million.
By establishing a permanent in-residence professorship in the area of theology and science at the GTU, CTNS will secure its mission to foster creative mutual interaction between theology and the natural sciences. Over the years, CTNS has continued to establish itself as a leading voice in the field of science and theology. This groundbreaking tradition continues with the Barbour Chair, which will be the only endowed chair in theology and science in the Western United States and one of only a handful of other such chairs in the world.
We encourage you to visit the Chair website where you may submit a gift of support on-line or you may print out a page to fax or mail with your gift toward completing this Chair campaign.
CTNS extends a big "Thank you" to you, the generous supporters for your help in establishing a permanent on-going teaching program in theology and science at the Graduate Theological Union!
2008: A "Bumper Crop" of CTNS Students Receiving Degrees
On May 8, 2008, four Graduate Theological Union doctoral students who have worked with CTNS during their academic doctoral careers participated in commencement exercises held at the Pacific Lutheran School of Theology Chapel. Robert John Russell, committee chair for Christopher Doran, hooded him at commencement. Assistant Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University, Chris's dissertation is titled "Implicit Presuppositions Made Explicit: A Critical Appraisal of the Theology of Intelligent Design as Found in the Work of William Dembski." Professor Ted Peters hooded Whitney Bauman in his advisor, Rosemary Radford Ruether's absence. Whitney's dissertation is titled, "From Creation Ex Nihilo to Terra Nullius: The Colonial Mind and the Colonization of Creation." Bob Russell served on the committees of James Haag and Nathan Hallanger, and Ted Peters as committee chair hooded both. Jamie's thesis is titled, "Emergent Freedom: Process Dynamics in Theological, Philosophical and Scientific Perspective" and Nathan's thesis is titled, "Atoning for Evil: Theodicy and Soteriology in Theology and Science." Of these four CTNS associates, Whitney, James and Nathan were, or are currently employed by CTNS. Whitney, previously served as managing editor of Theology and Science, the role that James Haag now holds. Nathan Hallanger now serves as CTNS program director, following many prior roles and responsibilities at CTNS. Congratulations, graduates!
Also celebrating this month with a Master of Divinity degree from a GTU seminary, the American Baptist Seminary of the West, is Blake L. Horridge. Blake has a background in chemistry and forensic science, and has worked for the past 2 years as research assistant at CTNS. His senior project is "Science in the Sanctuary: Pastoral Responses to Scientific Controversies," which culminated in a one-day seminar hosted by ABSW and CTNS. At ABSW's commencement ceremony, Blake was awarded the Claiborne M. Hill Award for highest academic standing for an M.Div. Student, and the Jessie Day Drexler Award for competence in the Field of Bible and Theology. Congratulations, Blake!
Having employment during student years, and access to CTNS faculty resources, a science and theology student group, conferences, speakers and visiting scholars, offered these students a rich environment in which to pursue and enrich their academic interests.
Faculty and Doctoral Graduates. Left to right; Dr. Ted Peters, Advisor, Nathan Hallanger, Chris Doran, Dr. Robert Russell, Advisor, Whitney Bauman and James Haag. Left to right, Dr. Ted Peters, Blake Horridge and Dr. Robert Russell.
Photos from the March 15th J. K. Russell Research Conference, the Charles H. Townes Student Awards and the May 7 & 8 CTNS-GTU graduates may be linked from the CTNS News Page. Click here to access.
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The 2008 Charles H. Townes Graduate Student Fellows
At the end of the 2008 CTNS J. K. Russell Research Fellowship Conference, Program Director Nathan Hallanger presented the 2008 Student Fellowship awards to GTU doctoral students, Braden Molhoek and Oliver Putz.
Braden Molhoek (L), Charles Townes, Robert Russell and
In 2004 CTNS established a fund to provide support to doctoral students in theology and science at the Graduate Theological Union. In 2006 the CTNS Board of Directors voted unanimously to rename the Graduate Student Fellowship in honor of Charles H. Townes, a distinguished scientist and a longtime member of the CTNS Board of Directors. It is extremely rare for even the most distinguished scientist to accomplish something that changes the course of civilization. Yet that is exactly what Townes has done with his participation in the discovery of the maser and the laser. From CD-players and bar-code scanners to cataract and cancer surgery and dentistry without anesthetics and countless other advances, the laser has forever changed the entire landscape of our world.
Dr. Townes has been a champion of the intellectual validity and ethical voice of religion to an often skeptical and even dismissive scientific community. He has been unremittingly outspoken in his conviction that science and religion are convergent rather than in conflict or in isolated realms. In particular, he holds that science should not be co-opted into the service of atheism and materialism but instead celebrated as a lasting partner with religion in service to the wider culture. He has consistently voiced his conviction on an international stage. As a recipient of the Nobel Prize in physics with over two dozen honorary degrees and membership in many learned societies, he represents the world of theological education to the highest levels of the academy and intellectual culture. He has given energy, vision, and financial support to institutions seeking to bring science and religion into responsible and respectful dialogue, and he has addressed international audiences with the message that science can be a partner with religion in the quest for the ultimate meaning of life.
The purpose of this Fellowship is to publicly recognize and offer modest financial support to doctoral students who have demonstrated the clear ability to do highly promising research on issues related to theology and science. The selection is based on academic excellence, and students in the GTU doctoral program whose research focuses on theology and science are eligible to apply. With the Fellowship carrying his name, Charles Townes's pioneering leadership in scientific research and his internationally recognized voice for the creative interaction between science and religion will inspire its recipients. To read the entire award presentation, visit www.ctns.org/news_033108.html
In this edition of the CTNS E-News, you are invited to read Braden Molhoek's paper below which was presented in his application for this year's fellowship.
Human Nature and Genetic Enhancement
Advanced Readings in Bioethics
Professor Mendiola and Professor Gula
In contemporary bioethics, religion is often excluded from any meaningful contribution. The justification for this is that unlike other methods, religious ethics is founded on faith, and therefore should not "be allowed into the marketplace of ideas in a tolerant, pluralistic society." Such an understanding of tolerance, however, is problematic. Religious tolerance in America is directed by the Constitution, which provides the twin safeties of "permitting ‘free exercise' and prohibiting ‘establishment.'" Daniel Sulmasy describes two problems with religious tolerance in America. The first is balancing between free exercise and prohibiting establishment because the latter can be understood as a restriction of the first. Likewise, efforts to exercise religion freely can be interpreted as attempting to establish a particular understanding. The second problem is defining what qualifies as religion. Sulmasy constructs a working definition of what should qualify as religion or religious that is broad but not completely inclusive. His definition is that "[r]religions and religious-like systems are those that set forth life's ultimate meaning and purpose in and through beliefs about human nature, the meaning of good and evil, the meaning of suffering, the nature of human freedom, the relationship of body and spirit, and the proper relation between individual human beings and their communities." This description is important because Sulmasy connects it to an understanding of ethics.
The reason that any of this has relevance for ethics, and particular significance regarding the role of religion and religious ethics in public discourse, is because ethical methods in general are based on understandings of the concepts Sulmasy uses in his definition of religion. Sulmasy summarizes this by saying "that every normative ethics (ethos) requires an underlying myth (mythos)." In other words, every ethical system is dependent upon some understanding of the very list of things that Sulmasy identifies above as constitutive of religion or religious-like systems. Even if a system's understanding is not expressed in religious language, it can still be considered religious in a sense because "[n]one of this comes from logic. It is the stuff of mythology." Since this is the case, the exclusion of religious ethics or even religious language in public discourse is unfounded. In fact, it is a violation of the "principle of religious tolerance" because it "'establishes' one set of moral mythologies and unduly limits the ‘free expression' of the other set." Religious ethics and language cannot be refused a place at the public table simply because it sounds more religious than other approaches. It has been shown that all ethics are based on assumptions that may not be expressed in explicitly religious vocabulary; however, they are still based on the same kinds of assumptions as approaches that are distinctively religious.
An understanding of human nature that is explicitly religious provides a more complete anthropology than nonreligious understandings and the differences between the two perspectives change the way genetic enhancement is examined. After a briefly explanation of what genetic enhancement is, three understandings of human nature that are not explicitly religious will be examined. Then a Christian perspective of human nature will be synthesized from various sources. This perspective will be compared and contrasted with the nonreligious understandings, emphasizing the differences. Finally, these differences will be applied to the issue of genetic enhancement.
Genetic enhancement is difficult to define, for several reasons. A broad definition of enhancement "is the directed use of biotechnical power to alter, by direct intervention, not disease processes but the ‘normal' workings of the human body and psyche, to augment or improve their native capacities and performances." The first distinction made then, is between enhancement and therapy. Therapy restores health or functioning to a normal level, whereas enhancement improves upon the standard or normal function or ability. This distinction however, is tenuous at best, since "all successful therapies are enhancing, even if not all enhancements enhance by being therapeutic." Although enhancement and therapy are related closely, they can be separated for this discussion. Examining disease and health is a possible way to reevaluate the relationship between therapy and enhancement, but because space is limited and the focus of this paper is on enhancement and not disease, this question must be set aside.
There is a second distinction commonly made in genetic enhancement, between somatic and germ-line enhancement. Somatic enhancement is "changing the genetic make-up of cells in the body, but not of those cells that will pass the genetic change to future generations." The focus of somatic enhancement is on the individual, and even if the individual were to reproduce, the changes would not be passed on to the child. Germ-line therapy, on the other hand, would pass changes on to the next generation because it affects "the cells found in the ovaries of a female and the testes of a male that give rise, respectively, to eggs and to sperm." There are several ways in which somatic cells and germ-line cells could be modified genetically. One example of somatic enhancement "is the use of growth hormone on boys of average or low-average height to make them taller, enhance their status, or make them more desirable as athletes." Adding or modifying genes can be an example of either somatic or germ-line enhancement, depending on where the modification takes place. A specific example of genetic somatic enhancement also involves human growth hormone. Instead of just giving children HGH, genetic enhancement would use gene therapy to introduce the gene that codes for an above average expression of HGH into their bodies. To make this situation an example of germ-line genetic enhancement, the gene for HGH would be introduced into the germ-line cells. This would not create changes in that particular individual, but the change would be passed on to their offspring.
Modifying humans genetically, however, is not yet possible, for technological and legal reasons. In other words, "[t]he science of enhancement, if it comes at all, will only come later." Saying this does not invalidate an analysis of genetic enhancement. Instead of trying to catch up with the pace of scientific and technological advances, the possibility of genetic enhancement offers ethics an opportunity to explore the issues without a specific timeline or deadline. Enhancement is also important because the question of what it means to be human is central to both somatic and germ-line enhancement. Analytically, this makes genetic enhancement an ideal issue for comparing understandings which claim to have no religious foundation (although they rely on some mythological assumptions of human nature) with distinctively religious approaches.
"Nonreligious" Understandings of Human Nature
Human nature is very complex, and no one understanding of it is accepted universally. In order to see what Christianity offers that is different from other understandings, at least some attention initially must be given to the latter. Three examples of understandings that are not explicitly religious will be discussed. First of all, Joseph Fletcher's understanding of human nature will be examined because it establishes a threshold. He describes several things that humans are not and provides a list of requirements needed to be included as part of humanity. The President's Council on Bioethics examined the issue of genetic enhancement and in their analysis they highlight aspects of human nature that Fletcher does not. The council expands the physical aspect of human nature beyond the mind. While their anthropology is not the only one to highlight the fact that humans change over time, they explore the potential impact different life stages have for an understanding of human nature. The other important aspect of the council's anthropology is their discussion of the soul. Genetic determinism is the final nonreligious understanding of human nature to be examined. Although genetic determinism is a fallacy, it is probably the most popular of these three understandings. Including and disproving this anthropology challenges the reliance on purely physical understandings of human nature as well as the potential success of genetic enhancement.... To read the complete paper, visit www.ctns.org/molhoek_paper_.htm
Respected Voices Offer an Alternative to Ben Stein's movie, Expelled
Recently, CTNS issued a press release that counters many of the claims made in Ben Stein's movie, Expelled. For more than 26 years, CTNS has been on the forefront of the academic and religious cultures providing genuine and respectful open dialogue. To read the press release, visit the CTNS website News section.
Just published with hyperlinks and many resources, is a detailed essay by Westmont Professor of Biology, Jeffrey Schloss, titled "Seeking an Open Inquiry: The Expelled Controversy: Overcoming or Raising Walls of Division?" Visit the CTNS website News sections to link to the complete essay.
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CTNS Founder & Director Speaks to Diverse Groups
During the early part of 2008, Dr. Robert John Russell spoke to diverse groups of college students, graduate students, faculty, pastors and lay people in three different open forums.
Dr. Russell spoke to students and faculty on March 24, 2008 at Wheaton College, Illinois On "Fruitful Interactions between Scientific Cosmology and Creation Theology" as the Inaugural McIntyre Lecture in History and Philosophy of Science. This lecture and student interaction was a prelude to the Science Symposium: "String Theory and the Multiverse: Philosophical and Theological Implications" which was sponsored by the Physics Department. A few days later, on March 27, Bob spoke to students, faculty and public at the University of Notre Dame on the topic "Does ‘The God Who Acts' Really Act?". This event was hosted by the Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science. On April 9th Bob spoke at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Orinda, California on "God's Action in the World and Quantum Mechanics," which was open to San Francisco Bay Area members and friends.
Founder and Director of CTNS, Dr. Russell is also the Ian G. Barbour Professor of Theology and Science in-Residence at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), Berkeley.
New CTNS Books in Theology and Science
Cosmology from Alpha to OmegaIan Barbour, in the book's Foreword says that Russell's "contributions to the dialogue between science and religion… are extraordinary and enduring." Dr. Russell is so versed in contemporary science as to offer original insights with credibility for both fields. Among Dr. Russell's many important publications are six influential volumes that he edited for the joint Vatican Observatory series on scientific and theological perspectives on divine action.
Readers of the CTNS E-news already know the significance of Dr. Robert Russell's life-work in science and theology, founding CTNS, teaching and writing for over 25 years. Now readers may delve into the depths of his work by reading Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: the Creative Mutual Interaction of Theology and Science, published by Fortress Press in their theology and the sciences series.
Russell takes theology and science beyond mere dialogue into genuinely new relations: "creative mutual interaction" in these chapters. The theological topics range from God, creation, suffering in nature, and the theological significance of life in the universe to an eschatology involving the transformation of the universe into the new creation based on the bodily Resurrection of Jesus. Scientific topics include the Big Bang, inflation and quantum cosmologies, relativity, quantum mechanics, molecular and evolutionary biology, exobiology, and the modern mathematics of infinity. (Augsburg Fortress Press, 2008) ISBN: 9780800662738To help CTNS, please order with Amazon through our portal: http://www.ctns.org/CAO.html
First Volume in New Collaborative Series on Problem of Natural Evil
The Vatican Observatory / CTNS collaboration has produced a new volume, Physics and Cosmology: Scientific Perspectives on the Problem of Natural Evil. This volume is edited by Nancey Murphy, Robert John Russell and William Stoeger, S.J.
These essays resulted from the seventh international research conference co-sponsored by the Vatican Observatory and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. Previous conferences focused on the problem of divine action. This is the first in a series on the problem of natural evil—on reconciling suffering caused by natural processes with God's goodness. Section headings and a sampling of authors include: "Historical Definitions, and Typologies" (representative chapters by Niels Christian Hvidt; Terrence W. Tilley; Wesley J. Wildman; and Christopher Southgate and Andrew Robinson), "Scientific and Philosophical Responses" (William R. Stoeger, S.J., Robert John Russell, Nancey Murphy, Thomas Tracy, Philip Clayton and Steven Knapp), "Responses: The God-World Relation" (Kirk Wegter-McNelly, Denis Edwards) and "Changing the Terms of the Debate," (Brad J. Kallenberg, and Don Howard). (Vatican Observatory – CTNS, 2007), distributed in the USA by the University of Notre Dame Press (www3.undpress.nd.edu/) ISBN: 978-88-209-7959-1.
To view on-line chapter summaries from the first five volumes of the CTNS-Vatican Observatory collaboration, visit www.ctns.org/books.html.
The Evolution of Evil
Edited by Gaymon Bennett, Martinez J. Hewlett, Ted Peters and Robert John Russell. Now available.
This collection of essays attempt to clarify the problem of evil as shaped by evolutionary biology, examining its scientific, historical, philosophical, and theological elements, and offering a new approach to a Christian theodicy. Section titles include "Evolution and Evil, Framing the Problem" (with essays by Ted Peters, Christopher Southgate, Michael Ruse, James Haag, and Robert John Russell); "Evolution and God: Theodicy" (with essays by Joshua Moritz, John Haught, Patricia Williams, William A. Dembski and Peter M. J. Hess); "Evolution and the Human: Anthropodicy" (with essays by Martinez J. Hewlett, Gaymon Bennett, Nathan Hallanger, Derek Nelson, René Girard and George Murphy). (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG., 2008), ISBN 978-3-525-56979-5. Distributed by Eisenbrauns.
For more information, visit the Eisenbrauns website: www.eisenbrauns.com
Forthcoming: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action: Twenty Years of Challenge and Progress
Edited by Robert John Russell, Nancey Murphy and William Stoeger, S.J.
(CTNS-Vatican Observatory - Vatican City State). ISBN: 978-88-209-7961-4.
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Theology and Science News
Featured here is the Table of Contents of the current edition of Theology and Science, Volume 6 Number 2 / May 2008.
If you not yet a CTNS member, you may join anytime in 2008 until November 15 to receive all four issues of Volume 6. Visit the CTNS website for details and to sign up: www.ctns.org/membership.html or call CTNS between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, Pacific Time (510) 848-8152.
Robert John Russell, "Launching the Ian G. Barbour Lectureship in Religion and Modernity"
Nathan J. Hallanger, "CTNS Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series Update"
Francisco Ayala's Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion: Critiques & Response
Michael Zimmerman, "Ayala's Gift to Science and Religion"
Susan Blackmore, "Searching for Meaning in a Pointless World"
Joshua M. Moritz, "Science and Religion: A Fundamental Face-Off or Is There A Tertium Quid?"
Michael J. Behe, "Can a Scientific Theory Ameliorate a Theological Difficulty?"
Walter R. Hearn, "An Easy Solution"
William A. Dembski, "Ayala's Potemkin Village"
Michael Ruse, "An Evolutionist Thinks About Religion"
John F. Haught, "In Praise of Imperfection"
Francisco J. Ayala, "Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion: Commentaries and Responses"
Wesley J. Wildman, "The Import of Physical Cosmology for Philosophical Cosmology"
Rodney D. Holder, "Modern Science and the Interpretation of Genesis: Can We Learn from Dietrich Bonhoeffer?"
Lawrence W. Fagg, "Dialogue in Our Cosmic Aloneness"
Jack Maze and Cyril V. Finnegan, "Does Darwin's Theory Deserve Theological Support, and Does Evolution need Darwin's Theory?"
Members may access the journal on-line. For instructions for on-line access to the Theology and Science articles see “Member News” below.
Scholars wishing to submit articles for consideration to Theology and Science may contact the Managing Editor, James Haag, Ph.D., by emailing email@example.com or by writing to Theology and Science, CTNS, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley, CA 94709, USA.
If you are interested in writing a book review or submitting books for review, contact Nathan Hallanger, Book Review Editor, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-649-2481 Monday-Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm PDT.
Please send editorial comments or suggestions to: email@example.com. Information for authors or reviewers may be found at www.ctns.org/theology_science.html or call the CTNS Publications office at 510-848-8152 between the hours of 9:30 am to 1:00 pm PT, Monday-Thursday.
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CTNS Member News
Members' On-line Journal Access
On-line access to Theology & Science
As a current member* of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, you are entitled to access the on-line version of Theology and Science free of charge.
Theology and Science on-line is now being hosted by InformaWorld, (www.informaworld.com), "a one-stop site hosting journals, eBooks, abstract databases and reference works published by Taylor & Francis, Routledge, Psychology Press and Informa Healthcare."
If you have not yet made the transition to InformaWorld, it is easy to register. Simply write to firstname.lastname@example.org, tell them you are a CTNS "society" member and ask for your username and password.
*Note: Allow 5 weeks after joining CTNS or renewing your membership, to receive your login information from InformaWorld.
Please note: CTNS will no longer be able to supply missing usernames and passwords. Please contact InformaWorld if you experience any login problems.
If you are unsure if your CTNS membership is current, or have other questions, you may contact CTNS Membership Coordinator, Melissa Moritz at email@example.com.
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CTNS Members Access On-Line Articles from The CTNS Bulletin
If you are a new CTNS Member, you may not have received the username and password to access Volumes 10-22 of The CTNS Bulletin articles via PDF files on the website. The CTNS Bulletin is the predecessor to Theology and Science.
To view the CTNS Bulletin on-line:
Click here to access the CTNS Bulletin.
You may search by author, article title, or volume year. (Note that the password will be changed in January 2009 and will be sent to current 2009 CTNS members then).
Note: This is a separate on-line access system from the current CTNS journal, Theology and Science which is hosted at Informaworld.com.
GTU Spring Semester Course Concludes
GTU Spring Semester 2008 Course, "Evolution, Evil and Eschatology" taught by Ted Peters, CTNS/PLTS, Robert John Russell, CTNS, Gaymon Bennett, CTNS/ PLTS and Martinez Hewlett, CTNS/DSPT concluded on May 15
This advanced seminar focused on one of the key issues at the frontier of "Theology and Science" today: the relation between biological evolution and theological reflection. Specifically, the problem of natural evil as a phenomenon in the pre-human world was examined in light of natural theodicy and in light of the Christian hope for eschatological New Creation.
"Goodsearch" Search Engine Raises Money for CTNS
Have you heard about GoodSearch? If not, it's basically a search engine powered by Yahoo which allows you to raise money for the nonprofit organization of your choice. You may enter "CTNS" into the "Who do you Goodsearch for?" box, then do a word search as your would with any search engine. Check it out at: www.goodsearch.com, as you enter CTNS into the box, you will be earning money for CTNS! If enough friends use this engine, we could build up a nice fund to help support the center!
"There's no reason not to. You search… They give." So next time you do a search, try using GoodSearch to help add to the CTNS fund!
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Announcements here are included as a courtesy to other science and religion associates.
Conferences hosted around the world
Berkeley, California Conference
Third International Theological Aesthetics Conference, May 29 - June 1 in Berkeley, California
The Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley invites you to Beauty: The Color of Truth, Third International Conference in Theological Aesthetics May 29 – June 1, 2008, Berkeley, CA.
Theology is rapidly becoming interdisciplinary, and the method to explore such interdisciplinarity appears to be the new field of theological aesthetics. The third international conference on theological aesthetics aims to explore this new interdisiciplinarity in theology via the perspective of the beautiful. Towards this goal, scholars from all over the world are gathering to present aesthetic insights into the many intersections that contemporary theology has encountered in the arts, the natural sciences, the pursuit of social justice, interfaith dialogue, even, the nature of theological aesthetics itself. This exploration of the beautiful will also be a celebration of the beautiful with performances and art exhibits in the marvelous setting of the San Francisco Bay Area. Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. Robert John Russell is one of the speakers.
For information, email, call or visit the website: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: (510) 549-5000,Website: www.jstb.edu/events/beautytruth.html
Oxford, UK Conferences / RFP
Conference: Beyond Paley: Renewing the Vision for Natural Theology: Interdisciplinary Conference on the Theme of Natural Theology - University of Oxford, June 23-25, 2008.
Conference topics to be covered by the keynote speakers include: The historical origins of modern natural theology; Natural theology and the quest for beauty in the nineteenth century; The current state of the philosophical debate over natural theology; The impact of Darwinism on natural theology since Paley; Can evolution provide a basis of a natural theology?; The psychology of perception and natural theology; Anthropic phenomena and natural theology. How "natural" is natural theology? Insights from the cognitive science of religion; Approaches to natural theology in the Christian Bible; Natural theology and the arts; The theological foundations of natural theology
The conference programme includes a public lecture which, while being part of the conference itself, is open to the community. Professor Keith Ward, FBA, will give a public lecture, "The Future of Natural Theology" in honour of Dr Arthur Peacocke (1924-2006), an Oxford academic who made a distinguished contribution to the dialogue between science and religion; 8.00 p.m., Tuesday 24 June. Visit the website for information: http://www.naturaltheology.org/
"God, Nature and Design, Historical and Contemporary Perspectives," The Ian Ramsey Center Conference, July 10 – 12, 2008 at St. Anne's College, Oxford, UK. Email the Conference Director, Professor Peter Harrison: email@example.com
For information, visit http://users.ox.ac.uk/~theo0038/Conferenceinfo/General.html.
Cognitive Science of Religion and Theology Request for Proposals: Oxford, UK
The University of Oxford's Ian Ramsey Centre and the Centre for Anthropology and Mind are accepting applications for research proposals in the area of Cognitive Science of Religion and Theology (£800,000 to award in total). Applications are invited from scholars of any nationality post-Masters level or equivalent and beyond. We seek proposals for focused, one- or two-year projects that address either the evidential needs of the cognitive science of religion or explore the philosophical and theological implications of assumptions and findings in the field. An initial round of awards will be made in summer 2008. We anticipate awarding approximately 15 grants in this first round (including all four two-year grants in summer 2008) between June 2008 and May 2009. For further information please visit the Cognition, Religion and Theology project page of the Ian Ramsey Centre website (http://users.ox.ac.uk/~theo0038/index.html) or the website of the University of Oxford's Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology http://www.icea.ox.ac.uk/research/cam/projects/crt/. Application details are available May 1, or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Boulder, Colorado Conference
The Mars Society Convention: August 14-17, 2008, Boulder, Colorado. Specific programs related to our constituents are the sessions on "Religion and Space Exploration" What impact will space exploration have on religion (if any)? What would the theological implications be of finding life on another planet? What has been the history of religion and space studies? We will be discussing these topics and many more aspects of this profound topic. For more information, visit: www.marssociety.org or call (617)909-4425 or email: email@example.com
Neuroscience Conference Files Now Available
GTU/UCB Cognitive Science Conference from January 16-18, 2008: Mp3 Lectures Now Available
This conference brought together scholars from theology, religious studies, psychology, neuroscience, and many other disciplines to discuss the interaction of religion and cognitive science. Building upon ongoing collaborative dialogues between GTU and UCB faculty and students, this gathering includes focused discussions of mind-body philosophy, psychosocial dynamics, contemplative practice, and caregiving in pastoral and clinical settings, along with critically-informed methodological approaches to new research. Abstracts and mp3 audio files from the conference are now available on line:
£1000 Student Essay Prize Announced
The Darwin Correspondence Project will award a prize of £1000 for the best student essay on a specific topic in the field of science and religion. The prize essay will be published on the Darwin Correspondence Project's website. Deadline is June 1, 2008, submitted via email to Dr. Paul White: firstname.lastname@example.org For more information, visit /www.darwinproject.ac.uk/
If you would no longer like to receive the CTNS quarterly E-News, you may unsubscribe at: www.ctns.org/involve_unsubscribe.html
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We'd like to hear from You.
We would appreciate your comments about this E-News via email or via written letter.
Bonnie Johnston, Editor
2400 Ridge Rd.
Berkeley, CA 94709 USA
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