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Convener

 

Charles L. Harper, Jr., D.Phil. is Senior Vice President of the John Templeton Foundation, where he has served since 1996. His primary responsibilities are in the areas of strategic planning, program design and development, vision casting, philanthropic networks development, and talent scouting. Initially trained in engineering at Princeton (B.S.E. 1980), he obtained his D.Phil. in planetary science from the University of Oxford for a thesis on the nature of time in cosmology (1988). He also holds the Diploma in Theology from Oxford (1988) and a Certificate of Special Studies in Management and Administration from Harvard University (1997).

 

Participants

 

Wolfgang Achtner has studied theology in Mainz, Göttingen and Heidelberg and mathematics by correspondence at the FernUniversitaet Hagen. He spent about a year in FEST in Heidelberg (1986), a think tank of the Protestant Church in Germany. His doctoral dissertation (University of Heidelberg, 1991) was about a reframed natural theology in the work of T.F. Torrance. Together with Stefan Kunz (theologian) and Thomas Walter (physicist, IT), he wrote an interdisciplinary book on time (WBG 1998, Dimensions of Time, Eerdmans/USA 2002). In 1999-2000 he spent a sabbatical at the Princeton Theological Seminary, exploring the history of the concept of “law of nature” and its role in the science theology dialogue. His recent second thesis (Habilitation at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, 2006) explores the shifts in theology, philosophy, epistemology and anthropology in late medieval time that paved the way to the emergence of modern science (during research sabbatical 2003-2006 at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University). He has published numerous articles about the science-theology dialogue and founded five working groups on science-religion in Germany. Since 2000 he has been campus minister at the University of Giessen and instructor (Privatdozent, PD) at this University and at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt in science and theology. In addition he lectures on ethics in economics at the University of Applied Sciences in Giessen-Friedberg.

Website: http://www.uni-giessen.de/fb04/theologie/ev

 

 

Anthony Aguirre is Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He received his Ph.D. in Physics in 2000 from Harvard University, having written his thesis on Intergalactic Dust and Metals in Cosmology. He previously received an M.A. in Astronomy also from Harvard University. His research interests include theoretical astrophysics and cosmology, the intergalactic medium and galaxy formation, theories of gravitation, inflation and cosmological boundary conditions. He has published articles in refereed journals such as the Astrophysical Journal, Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Physical Review and the International Journal of Modern Physics. In addition, Aguirre has served as a peer reviewer for Nature, and Physical Review among other journals and as conference organizer for the “Nearly Normal Galaxies” conference at UCSC in 2005.

Website: http://scipp.ucsc.edu/~aguirre/

 

  Marco Bersanelli is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Milan, where he does research in cosmology. He is particularly active in observations of the cosmic microwave background, the relic radiation from the early universe. After graduating from the University of Milan (1986), Professor Bersanelli worked as a Visiting Scholar at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California, and then at the Istituto di Fisica Cosmica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Milan, as Senior Scientist. He participated in a number of experiments in cosmology, including two expeditions to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. Professor Bersanelli is Instrument Scientist and a member of the Science Team of the Planck Surveyor space mission, the European Space Agency project studying the early universe. He has given many public seminars, coordinated public exhibits, and published essays exploring the links between science and religion and is author of Solo lo stupore conosce (Milan: Rizzoli, 2003) about the human adventure of scientific research. Since 1995 Professor Bersanelli has been President of Euresis, a scientific and cultural association promoting cultural debate and interdisciplinary dialog on frontier topics in crucial areas of scientific research.

 

  David Bentley Hart is an Orthodox theologian trained at the University of Cambridge and the University of Virginia. He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Duke Divinity School, and Loyola College in Baltimore, and will be taking up the Randall Chair in Christian Culture at Providence College in Providence, RI this coming fall.
He has written articles on theology, aesthetics and culture for various periodicals such as Pro Ecclesia, The Scottish Journal of Theology, First Things, and The New Criterion. His books include, The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami (Eerdmans, 2005), and The Beauty of the Inifinite: the Aesthetics of Christian Truth (Eerdmans, 2003).

 

  Michael Heller is professor of philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Cracow, Poland and an adjunct member of the Vatican Observatory staff. He also serves as a lecturer in the philosophy of science and logic at the Theological Institute in Tarnow. A Roman Catholic priest, Dr. Heller was ordained in 1959. He graduated from the University of Lublin where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 1965 and a Ph.D. in cosmology in 1966. After beginning his teaching career at Tarnow, he joined the faculty of the Pontifical Academy of Theology in 1972 and was appointed to a full professorship in 1985. The recipient of an honorary degree from the Technical University in Cracow, he has been a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and a visiting scientist at Belgium’s Liège University, Oxford University, Leicester University, Ruhr University in Germany, The Catholic University of America, and the University of Arizona among others. Dr. Heller is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. His current research is concerned with the singularity problem in relativistic cosmology and the use of noncommutative geometry in seeking the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics. He has published nearly 200 scientific papers not only in general relativity and relativistic cosmology but also in philosophy and the history of science and science and theology and is the author of more than 20 books.
   

 


 

Edward Nelson received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1955 and currently is professor of Mathematics at Princeton University. He received an honorary doctorate from Université Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg) in 1991 and in 1995 received the American Mathematical Society Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to research. His research interests center on mathematical logic, foundations of mathematics, bounded arithmetic, and automatic proof verification. His publications include: Predicative Arithmetic, Quantum Fluctuations, Tensor Analysis, Topics in Dynamics I: Flows and Radically Elementary Probability Theory as well as numerous articles on mathematics.

Website: http://www.math.princeton.edu/~nelson/

 

 

Graham Oppy is Professor and Associate Dean of Research in the School of Philosophy and Bioethics at Monash University. His research interests include philosophy of religion and metaphysics. Oppy has received several grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC), including Discovery grants in 1993, 2002, 2005 and an ARC linkage grant in 2002. He serves on the Editorial Boards of several journals including JP, Philo, Sophia, Religious Studies, and Philosophy Compass and has written Ontological Arguments and Belief in God (CUP 1995), Arguing about Gods (CUP 2006) and Philosophical Perspectives on Infinity (CUP 2006), as well as numerous solo and joint articles for referred journals.

Website: http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/phil/department/Oppy/index.html

   

 

 

 

Robert J. Russell is Founder and Director of CTNS and Professor of Theology and Science in Residence at the Graduate Theological Union. He is a leading researcher and spokesperson for the growing international body of theologians and scientists committed to a positive dialogue and creative mutual interaction between these fields. Dr. Russell has authored numerous articles and has co-edited a five volume CTNS/Vatican Observatory series on science and divine action. He recently co-edited Resurrection: Theological and Scientific Assessments, ( Eerdmans, 2002) and edited Fifty Years in Science and Religion: Ian G. Barbour and His Legacy (Ashgate, 2004). Dr. Russell serves as co-editor of Theology and Science, and is the Principal Investigator for STARS: Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series.

Website: http://www.ctns.org/about_founder.html

 

 

Denys Turner is Horace Tracy Pitkin Professor of Historical Theology at Yale University, USA. Previous to this appointment, he was a professor at the Universities of Cambridge and Birmingham, and Lecturer at the University of Bristol, and University College, Dublin. He has taught on a wide range of subjects, including contemporary philosophy of religion, metaphysics, ethics, political and social theory, medieval philosophy and theology, and the history of medieval mysticism. Turner’s early work focused on the relationship between Christianity and political and social theory, focusing particularly on the relationship between Christianity and Marxism. His more recent work has focused on the traditions of Western Christian mysticism, particularly on doctrines of religious language and of selfhood and on the links between the classical traditions of spirituality and mysticism and the social and political commitments of Christianity. His books on this topic include, Eros and Allegory (Cistercian 1995), The Darkness of God (Cambridge University Press), and Faith, Reason, and the Existence of God (Cambridge University Press 2004).

 

 

W. Hugh Woodin is a professor in the Mathematics Department at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1984 under Robert M. Solovay. His dissertation title was Discontinuous Homomorphisms of C(Omega) and Set Theory. Woodin’s research interests include set theory, large cardinals and mathematical logic. He was co-recipient of the 1988 Carol Karp Prize by the Association of Symbolic Logic and a member of the organizing committee for “Computation Prospects of Infinity” (20 June – 15 August 2005).

Website: http://math.berkeley.edu/~woodin/


Online Participants

Enrico Bombieri is the IBM von Neumann Professor of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Harvey Friedman is The Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics, Computer Science, Philosophy and Music at Ohio State University.

Arthur Jaffe is Landon T. Clay Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Science, Harvard University.
Website: http://www.arthurjaffe.com

Mark Johnston is Walter Cerf Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University.
Website: Bibliography: http://humanities.uchicago.edu/faculty/mgreen/Colloquia0304/Johnston.shtml

Carlo Rovelli is a senior member at the Institute Universitaire de France and Professor at the Universite de la Mediterranee et Centre de Physique Theorique de Luiny, CNRS, Marseille, France.
Website: http://www.cpt.univ-mrs.fr/~rovelli/rovelli.html


 

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