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Displaying Results for: Metaneuxs Network | Europe

Armenia

Vem Radio Station
Vem Foundation
Gandaszar Theological Center Yerevan

With several core groups of scientists and clergy, this project enhances a regular radio program exploring a broad variety of issues in science-theology including Christian, Muslim and Buddhist perspectives, physics and cosmology; economics and spirituality; and the impact of technological development on religious perceptions. Hosting recognized scientists and clergy of Armenia and the Diaspora community, the society publicizes the conversation further through Internet broadcast, an online forum, and distribution of the Vem Bulletin, a tri-language—Armenian, Russian, English— publication with featured articles on science/religion issues. Vem serves as an “incubator” for the core working groups to meet in teams, based on knowledge and interests, to “advance a deep and professional dialogue between religious and scientific philosophy”. The radio program, launched in 2001, benefits through building a community of members committed to bringing the conversation out into their own professional circles. A vast library of publications is made available to members for review, study and discussion.

Austria

Complementarity of Science and Theology

International Erwin-Schrödinger Institute for Mathematical Physics
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Commission for the History of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Medicine
Vienna

The Complementarity of Science and Theology is a subgroup of the Commission for the History of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Medicine, founded in 1961 at the prestigious Austrian Academy of Science. With a core group representing fields of physics, mathematics, history of science, chemistry, religious instruction, and education, this society explores topics including cosmic origin; chance and necessity; chaos and order; the Anthropic Principle; the concept and meaning of life; and many other subjects at the intersection of science and faith. The outcome of the work and meetings is then presented in free public forum meetings for scientists; students of science, theology, and philosophy; teachers; and above all interested laypersons. In addition to discussing contemporary works in science and theology, the society is also translates works into English to further disseminate the insights of Austrian thinkers in this field.

Research Group on the Soul and the New Naturalistic Challenge

Universität Innsbruck

Comprised of scholars and professional in the fields of philosophy, metaphysics, cognitive science, analytic ontology, theology, psychology, psychiatry, developmental neurobiology, and medicine, the core group aspires to have a major impact on scientists working on the analysis of issues of human life. Through colloquia series, courses, seminars, public lectures and conferences members invite discussion and consideration of subjects such as scientific and religious perspectives on the philosophy of mind and the meaning of personhood, and neurobiological and religious insights into the human person. Activities of the group target students, encouraging thoughtful and thorough exploration of biological and philosophical/ethical questions. Additionally, a reading group for graduate students and young researchers addresses questions of psychology, medicine, and biology from religious perspectives. The group also invites outstanding scientists and researchers to join the discussions and contribute their insights.

Belgium

Center for Psychology and Religion
Université Catholique de Louvain
Louvain-la-Neuve

This initiative aims to encourage a dialogue within Belgian society between religious faiths, society, and science on the place and influence of religious beliefs, traditions, and innovative expressions on people’s values, ideals, moral, and ethical concerns in the face of increased secularization and multiculturalism. Taking advantage of previously accumulated empirical research knowledge and interdisciplinary theoretical work performed at the university’s Centre of Psychology of Religion, the society will organize large public conferences, targeted workshops and seminars, and publications. Core membership includes scholars in psychology, education, religious education, and psychology of religion. Members collaborate weekly through common research activities, business meetings, outreach planning and meetings with representatives of religious, civil, and political organizations and other potential members.

Croatia

Croatia Study Group on Science and Spirituality (SGSS)

Department of Physics
University of Zagreb
Zagreb

A pioneering effort – the first of its kind in Croatia – the core group of this society joins physicists, philosophers, biologists and scientific historians reaching out to local clergy and theologians (Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim) and scientific professionals to promote individual research, group work, and new transdisciplinary associations. Recognizing the “immense need for knowledge, especially among youth in Croatia, for open discussion in previously forbidden fields of religion”, the group invites participation of key leaders in education and religion to promote an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. A library of contemporary books and periodicals is made available to members to foster considerations.

Denmark

Process, Person and Society: From Conflict to Interagency SophiaEuropa

Department of Philosophy and Communication
Aarhus University
Aarhus

Members participating in the society are theologians, philosophers specializing in ontology, science, political philosophy, anthropology and evolutionary biology. The main purpose of the project is to explore the potential benefits of a ‘process view’ in the understanding of self and agentive domains and options from an individual and socio-political perspective. The project is motivated by the observation that humans are used to conceiving of ourselves and our agentive environment in terms of static conditions, while experience suggests the application of categories for dynamic phenomena: developments, actions, activities, growth, emergence, decline, etc. Core members pursue the collection of ontological and cross-disciplinary research on process-oriented descriptions of agentive domains and apply them to devise a classification of constructive and antagonistic interactions, in connection with a process-based understanding of personhood and ethical judgment. The main question investigated will focus on concrete practical applications of change management, in consideration of the types of organizational processes that generate conflicts and which are apt to minimize, resolve, or transform them. The main focus of the project is to consider the meaning of concepts of person, self and community from multidisciplinary perspectives, using process thought as the catalyst. Intended to bolster dialogue about cultural and religious diversity in the larger Danish community, the initiative promotes specifically coordinated activities with interdisciplinary outreach program of the projects Culture Junction: Religion as a Way of Life and the Process Research Network at Aarhus.

Copenhagen Network for Science and Religion: Forum For Existence and Science

University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen

The Copenhagen Network combines the collaborative efforts of three interacting groups: The Copenhagen Research Priority on Religion in the 21st Century, the Center for Philosophy of Nature and Science Studies at Niels Bohr Institute, and the Forum for Science and Existence, Faculty of Theology. Steering committee members come from departments of systematic theology, theoretical biology, student pastors from the Technical University and Faculty of Health Sciences. The group is building an infrastructure including a website, email list and a supported library of texts in science and faith; hosting international symposia, public seminars, research conferences and continuous lecture and discussion programs; coordinating research in science and religion at the University; and establishing a teaching program in science/religion and faith/health. Topics explored include religion and knowledge, interdisciplinary theories of religion, theories of science and philosophy of nature, roles of religion in informing scientific thought and inquiry, psychology and theology, and broad views of historical and contemporary issues in science and faith.

University of Aarhus
Aarhus

This group, numbering over 200 individuals, has existed since 1980. A series of 8 public lectures per year are offered, focusing on broadly significant topics, with interest to the scholar as well as the public. Independent study groups involve students and professionals from Aarhus University, University Hospital, area high schools, and members of the public, exploring specifically chosen topics with more depth once per month. Considerations include matters such as evolution, consciousness and religion; generosity; historical and contemporary perspectives of religion with regard to natural science; modern physics and cosmology; brain research; health care; and evolutionary biology. A program involving both scientists and theologians presenting views for discussion is offered for presentation to local high schools, student pastors and scientists and any interested groups. Each year culminates in an annual Symposium, with emphasis on a chosen international figure, including panel discussions and presentations of study groups.

Estonia

Collegium of Science and Religion at the University of Tartu

University of Tartu
Tartu

The Collegium was founded in February 2002, to “take up a tradition which was forgotten during half a century of imposed atheism”. A public forum, the Collegium acts as a catalyst for science and faith dialogue at the University of Tartu and nationally in academic, educational, and ecclesial circles. Members organize public lectures, conferences, collegial meals, and seminars throughout Estonia in cooperation with various faculties. Topics explored include nature, culture and religious understanding; advancing; technology and accelerated change in light of religious beliefs; Estonian folkloric beliefs in relation to contemporary cosmologies; medicine, health and religion; origins and ends; and the role of science and faith in the search for meaning. An annual two-day Spring School of Science and Religion each April invites over on hundred students and ten lecturers for an intense program to consider a specific topic in the science-faith dialogue each year. The Collegium also hosts a high school essay competition for students ages 10-18, aimed at “encouraging students to work-out their worldview regarding science and religion.” In addition to regular activities of the society members organize twelve-week, for credit, “pan-university” courses advertised widely and open to the general public. Videotapes of lectures and discussions are also produced, for broad distribution to national educational institutions. Ongoing outreach to implement interinstitutional partnerships, including the Council of Churches in Estonia, brings new perspectives into the considerations fostered.

France

Project Nouveau Regard-New Outlook Project

L’Abbaye de Wisques (Saint Paul de Wisques Abbey) and Université Interdisciplinaire de Paris (Interdisciplinary University of Paris)
Paris

Established in 1997, this program brings together scientists, artists, philosophers, theologians, and Benedictine nuns from the Abbey of Notre Dame, and Benedictine monks from Wisques Abbey to explore their converging and contrasting perspectives. This society is based on a core of twenty individuals who meet regularly to explore issues such as free will, the mind-body problem (the nature of consciousness), the evolution of life, the origin of the universe, and the notion of creation. Meetings include discussions and debates exploring various themes, study groups with working sessions, seminars—open to the public-at-large for participation—and a public evening event for presentation to a large audience.

Germany

University of Giessen
Evangelische Studentinnen-und Studentengemeinde
Giessen

In existence since 2000, this program expanded its offerings to the academic and spiritual community. Initially, there were two working discussion groups consisting of a group of professors and a group of doctoral and post-doc students at the university, which are now augmented by inviting members of other area universities to meetings. High-level lecturers are invited for some of the presentations sharing their expertise on issues such as physics and philosophy; mathematics; globalization; stem cell questions and ethic issues in biotechnology; and neuroscience. Public lectures and seminars are presented, with good attendance from the academic community, but the program has now expanded to involve weekend seminars and larger offerings. One such plan includes utilizing the venue of the Interactive Museum of Mathematics in Giessen to present lectures and an exhibition exploring science, mathematics, and religion. The expansion of a resource library, including contemporary texts on the many subjects related to religion and science, as well as an Internet forum for continued discussion and exploration also enhances and enlivens the discussion. Once per semester, a publication outlining events and current issues is also produced.

Akademie der Diozese Rottenburg-Stuttgart
Stuttgart

This forum, founded in February 2001, deals with the fundamental questions that arise when engaging in dialogue “from the boundary area of natural sciences and theology”. A network of scientists and academics involved in interdisciplinary research gather to exchange ideas and discuss the expanding landscape of topics that emerge. Such subjects as scientific and spiritual dimensions of cloning; knowledge, wisdom and faith; science and religion in contemporary public education; and questions of free will vs. determinism; are considered during group discussions. These conversations are augmented with guest speakers, focusing on specific themes, twice yearly. A website complements the forum discussions as a supplement for networking and idea exchange. The broader public is invited to academy conferences and symposia as the dialogue continues to grow. Members offer their expertise and understanding through presenting lectures at area institutions and offering public events to bring new voices into considerations.

Research Group in Science, Philosophy and Religion

Institute for Philosophy and Religion
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Frankfurt

This group has established an active society in the setting of a research center for science and religion. The core dialogue and planning group meets monthly, combining philosophers and theologians from Protestant and Catholic faculties, physicists, biologists, chemists, medical doctors, with philosophers of science for broad exploration and innovation in the field of religion and science. At the academic level, members of the group offer a combination of courses, seminars and a Masters Degree Program for graduate students, with a concentration in science and religion. An ongoing series of lectures and an annual conference, featuring internationally recognized philosophers, scientists, and theologians, brings together a wide array of academics with potential future partners and collaborators on projects within the science-faith dialogue. The group also oversees the publication of the proceedings of the annual conference for distribution. A partnership with the local Rabanus Maurus Academy, which holds workshops, conferences, classes and other events for the general public, presents a unique opportunity for outreach. Outreach efforts seek joint research project ventures with other area associations, academies, and society groups, to allow for greater exposure and advancement of the value of science and religion in Germany. Topics explored cover a wide spectrum of historic and contemporary themes in science and religion such as evolution, concepts of self-organization, synergy, chaos theories, sociobiology, brain research and philosophy of mind, and current genetic research.

Science-Human Being-Religion

Evangelische Akademie Arnoldshain
Schmitten, Hessen

This society brings together theologians, clergy, medical practitioners, mathematicians, ethicists, and scientists for a study/steering group to inform and direct activities and outreach efforts. They explore a range of metaphysical and worldview questions arising from the dialogue between science and religion. Striving to foster the dialogue between different disciplines in pursuit of new knowledge and wisdom and inquires as to its consequences for views of life, the group organizes high-level conferences including spiritually stimulating services.

Köln

As part of a nonprofit organization in existence since 2001, this society brings together members to organize weekend seminars and lectures to promote public discourse with academics and researchers in the fields of science and theology in cooperation with educational institutions, parishes, and other religious organizations. The “Natural Science and Theology” group is associated with the Society of Catholic Men and Women, and its core membership boasts over 30 individuals from a wide array of disciplinary perspectives and academic advisors from institutions throughout Germany. Specific topical material provides a context for discussion in areas of scientific and religious perception, evolution and modern worldviews, and the work of Teilhard de Chardin. The group is also continuing its outreach efforts to promote cooperative ventures with other area institutions now embarking on considerations of science and faith, including a program for parents to inform them about scientific advances in light of faith. A website and publications complement the work of the group and support further outreach to the wider community. Matching funds are provided by Naturwissenschaft und Glaube e.V. through membership donation and cooperative efforts with partnering institutions.

Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal
Duisburg

This interdisciplinary group, in existence for many years, brings fifteen distinguished scientists, theologians, and clergy together to “explore fundamental issues in the current science and theology debate from the perspective of the history of German thought.” Topics include concepts of “critical realism” in comparison with insights of the philosophy of body, basic questions of the theology of creation in relation to time and space/word and light, God’s action through continuous creation, the mind/brain debate, and ethical issues in an age of technology. The society seeks new members including young scholars and potential leaders through designing and hosting public outreach events, advanced university seminars, conferences, and publications. Frequent meetings of the core discussion group for research and planning of events ensure effective outreach and success in inviting new scholars from the natural and human science to enhance group diversity and encourage leadership in the field.

Dialogue Nature & Spirit / Dialog Nature & Geist

Katholische Akademie Hamburg
Hamburg

This society emerged from the Natural Sciences Working Group at the Protestant Academy of Hamburg, founded in 1992 to explore scientific, theological, and ethical aspects of the perception of nature, and is now hosted by the Catholic Academy of Hamburg. Current members bring perspectives from a collaboration of institutions including an Ecological Academy of the Protestant church, and the Society for Responsibility in Science, as well as academics and professionals from the Catholic Academy, the University of Hamburg, and surrounding institutions. Members represent the fields of theology, philosophy, chemistry, medicine, and engineering. The group holds monthly meetings for readings and discussion, host public meetings and lectures, organize weekend lecture series, and host an annual meeting. The society invites broad participation and plans to bring in a number of expert lecturers to extend the current dialogue. Aiming at a balanced mix of scientists, theologians, philosophers, and interested laypersons, this effort also strives to invite active and retired individuals from church and secular professional organizations to advance cooperative reflection. An additional component of the group’s work includes bringing students into the society, to mentor their work and to encourage theses in the field of science and religion. Subjects for review include issues such as public understanding and popularization of scientific models and their relation to religion, theology and philosophy (e.g. quantum theory, relativity theory, thermodynamics, entropy, chaos, evolution); theories of dialogue; ethics of technology; bio-philosophy, evolutionary epistemology, sociobiology, and cultural evolution; paradigm shift in biology and physics; cosmology, history and the future of the universe; and neuroscience and the brain in relation to human free will.

Aachen Science and Religion Network

Episcopal Academy of the Diocese of Aachen
Chair for Systematic Theology, Faculty of Philosophy
University of Aachen
Aachen 

Founded in 2002, this group combines membership representing five institutions, including both academic and religious-based organizations. The primary aim of the core membership is to make interdisciplinary themes accessible to the broader public by planning and hosting educational public events throughout the area. The society holds quarterly meetings to discuss contemporary works in science and faith, share experiences, develop new projects, and explore outreach potentials for development of membership. The natural emergence of interdisciplinary research teams through the efforts of the society aims at publication and future event planning to explore the new insights. The group regularly leads public seminars and workshops for secondary school teachers, academics in higher education, students, religious leaders, and laity. Themes for exploration include evolution and creation; historical and contemporary issues in science and faith; chance and necessity; interreligious and interdisciplinary perspectives in science and faith; neurotheology; brain, spirit and soul; transdisciplinary perspectives on spirituality and health; faith and science among natural scientists; and science, engineering, and theology.

Whitehead Research Group Augsburg

Chair of Philosophy and Philosophy of Science
Institute of Interdisciplinary Informatics
University of Augsburg
Augsburg

Founded in 2004, this society brings together philosophers, theologians, and scientists to consider the applications of process philosophy to “build a system of cosmology to encompass all kinds of human experiences, scientific, social and religious.” Since this is a relatively new field in Germany, the group tests the usefulness and stability of process thought as a bridge between science and religion, and they hope to foster a wider understanding of the implications of their work through open lectures, talks, and publication of the results of their research. Topics ranging from matter, information and open systems; evolution, creation and process; mind and complex systems; artificial life and artificial intelligence; pastoral counseling; and postmodernism are the focus of their work. Through a series of bi-monthly meetings for roundtable discussion of specific topics or to review selected readings and collaborative work, the group prepares lectures and publication of results for wide dissemination.

Wittenberg Bioethics Colloquium

Evangelische Akademie Sachsen-Anhalt
Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Wittenberg

The aim of this society is to discuss bioethical issues from multidisciplinary perspectives with a special emphasis on science and religion. A team of experts in the sciences and humanities from the Protestant Academy of Saxony-Anhalt, the Center for Medicine, Ethics and Law, and Martin-Luther-University-Halle-Wittenberg join together to work on collaborative projects, with the aim of producing unique works for presentation through free public seminar and discussion forums, public conferences, and publications. Mainly concerned with the life sciences of biology, genetics, neuroscience, and medicine, the society explores contemporary research and questions of ethics through the lens of Christian faith. Inviting participation from members of academic and professional communities in the human sciences, philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, economics, politics, NGOs, and pastoral care for expert input, the society works to establish comprehensive networks for dissemination from a distinctive Eastern German context.

Animal Consciousness, Philosophy of Mind, and Process Theology (ACPMPT)

Institute for Philosophical Foundations of Theology (IPFT)
Department of Catholic Theology
Universität Münster
Münster

A collaboration between three academic departments and one ecclesiastical institute, this society strives to establish a working platform for the interdisciplinary research focusing on the topic of the human-animal-relationship. Core membership brings together academics in philosophy of mind and nature, behavioral biology, and theology to articulate the concepts at hand and plan for meetings. The society maintains that the complex and paradoxical relationship between humans and animals has been a neglected issue in recent works in theology and science – particularly in relation to the to the theology and science of creation. This leads to a need for thorough and rigorous exploration of the differences in concepts and research methodologies in the study of consciousness in animals and human beings. Additionally, there exists a profound need for the development of a working concept of animal consciousness on the basis of theories in the philosophy of mind, and behavioral biology. Further, broad theological reflection is called for regarding these new concepts and the possibility of a God-animal-relation and the question of religious consciousness within animal existence. The first phase of the society’s activities involve dialogues leading to an international conference on “animal consciousness,” with publication of the proceedings and the development of a network of scholarly interest in the subject to follow. The second phase is dedicated to the establishment of a permanent forum of discussion and dialogue with members, accompanied by mentoring of individual research and inspiration for graduate and doctoral theses. Matching funds are under application for grants from the Volkswagen Foundation and the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft”.

Department of Theology and Natural Science
Forschungsstätte der Ev. Studiengemeinschaft (FEST)
(Protestant Institute for Interdisciplinary Research)
Heidelberg

The Protestant Institute was established after WWII as the first interdisciplinary research center in Germany to foster dialogue between theology, humanities and the natural sciences. Seeking to expand neuroscientific and philosophical studies of consciousness into a wider interdisciplinary spectrum to include theological reflection, this group unites scholars of physics, philosophy, theology, law, medicine, sociology, education, neurophysiology, and psychology. Employing an established group philosophy, core members convene meetings to consider the scientific, theological, and philosophical aspects of conscience in defining freedom, the formation of human resolve, and the role of conscience in religious authority. The central question for the group is about which characteristics of conscience are central in theology, philosophy, law, and psychology. To achieve as wide a public impact as possible, results of research and discussion will be presented in public forum through conferences, workshop discussions, the FEST-Newsletter, and a comprehensive anthology and bibliography. Works will simultaneously be offered for international participation through the FEST website, and through participation of members at national and international events and contributions to science and religion publications. Plans also include broad networking with other national and international LSI leaders and those thematically linked to the SophiaEuropa project, and other academic groups exploring similar topics. Matching funds are provided by FEST.

Philosophy, Mathematics and Theology Group (PhiMaTh) SophiaEuropa

Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Mathematics Institute
University of Tübingen
Tübingen

The core working group of this SophiaEuropa initiative brings together faculty from the Universities of Tübingen and Freiburg in fields of mathematics, philosophy, and theology in exploration of the profound impact of mathematics as the language of science and its role for the development of science. Investigations will also link the use of such mathematically based concepts as infinity and demonstration (proof) to historical and contemporary theological thought. Lead conveners maintain that the mutual relation between mathematics and theology is rarely considered with philosophical care, though crucial for the understanding of many aspects of the debate between sciences and faith. Through systematic and historical studies, the group will employ a philosophy of science approach in consideration of central mathematical and theological concepts such as determinism and freedom along with concepts of proof and infinity, in pursuit of the development of a common framework for convening transdisciplinary discussion. Referring to discussions in physical cosmology, evolutionary biology, probability, chance and law, and theories of time explorations will seek the role of mathematics and philosophical foundations in the development of meaning, alongside theological contributions. Aiming to enhance technical knowledge for non-scientists and philosophical clarity and precision for scientists in the group, members endeavor to develop undergraduate and graduate courses, monographic studies, public lectures, workshops, and local, national and international conferences. Matching funds are provided by the University of Tübingen.

Chance and Necessity (NChance) SophiaEuropa

Theologische Fakultät Paderborn
Paderborn

Concerned with connecting physics-mathematics with philosophy and theology, this group brings together scholars in these fields from universities of Frankfurt, Utrecht, Paderborn and Münster to consider metaphysical aspects of the concepts of causality, completeness, contingency, and final causes from the perspectives of respective disciplinary points of view. Members will evaluate Kant’s reasoning and establish a (transcendental-realistic) train of thought enabling interpretation of Quantum Theory in relation to human freedom. Research and discussion will take place on three levels: systematic discussion of recent research in physics and mathematics; historical inquiry into the dramatic development of contingency as a metaphysical concept during the Middle Ages; and discussion of the results of work and their import for modern Weltenschauung with a number of scholars in business, law and letters. Culminating in a broad public symposium to integrate group efforts, discussion, the publication of monographic studies, the formation of multidisciplinary courses, and advancement of the connectivity of other related SophiaEuropa initiatives. The Theologische Fakultät Paderborn provides matching funds.

Evangelische Studentinnen- und Studentengemeinde
München Evangelische Akademie Tutzing
Munich

This group represents a growing network that engages members of campus ministry, scholars, and students in the humanities and natural sciences from area institutions to explore science and faith. The society offers conferences and dialogue experiences for academic and faith communities in the surrounding area. Issues such as neuroscience, evolution, cosmology, astrophysics, bioethics, time, networking, complexity, and historical and contemporary issues in science and faith are explored. LSI Munich will continue to enlarge the core group to “enhance mutual collaboration and synergetic effects of transdisciplinary discussions about science and religion.” An annual national conference highlights the group’s work. The first effort—working title: “bios-cultus-religio” (anthropology and cultural-religious evolution)—has a special focus on anthropology, archaeology, and religious sciences. Lectures and panel discussions are printed and published and widely distributed. In addition to the on-going discussions of the core group, outreach to include potential leaders and members involve public lectures and events specifically designed to engage students and scholars in particular fields of biology, chemistry, genetics, physics, mathematics, informatics, and mechanical engineering. Matching funds are provided by Evangelische Studentinnen- un Studentengemeinde München and the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing.

Institut für Naturwissenschaftlische Grenzfragen zur Philosophie und Theologie Institute for Boundary Questions in Science, Philosophy and Theology

Hochschule für Philosophie München
Munich

Founded in the Philosophical Faculty of the Jesuit College of Philosophy, this society fosters an interdisciplinary dialogue among students and academics in science, philosophy, and theology. Regular planning meetings of the core group refine and identify areas of interest. Public offerings to increase general membership and enhance group perspectives include invited speakers, seminars, roundtable discussion meetings, and active participation in conferences on subjects of interdisciplinary interest. Society members also offer talks to academic, faith, and civic communities to increase core membership. In collaboration with the local Deutsches Museum, the society’s free lectures – on topics such as human evolution, stem cell research, biodiversity, medical genetics, and genetic engineering –attract a wide array of public participation and potential membership. The society also hosts joint seminars between students of philosophy and the natural sciences to promote fertile and exploratory exchange between future scientists and philosophers on the relation of science and religion. Future publications will provide further outreach to increase membership. Matching funds are provided by the Hochschule für Philosophie München.

BIOS – Grenzfragen des Leben

Johannes Gutenberg- Universität Mainz
Mainz

BIOS is a transdisciplinary, transcultural group consisting of thirteen core members from fields of philosophy, theology, religion, biology, medicine, history, medicine, and Indology. The project is in close cooperation with the Blondel Institute at the department of philosophy of the university, as well as the diocese of Mainz. The society focuses on multi-faith perspectives in three main areas of interest: ethical decisions before the beginning of life; the normative authority of the term ‘life’; and ethical decisions at the end of life. Meetings concentrate on one paper, internally produced by an individual member or a collaboration of members, to refine and discuss the implications of the work. Papers are electronically distributed to group members prior to meetings with subsequent email exchange, thereby fostering meaningful dialogue at the meetings themselves and afterwards. Revised works are being combined into a comprehensive edited volume for dissemination. Through collaborative efforts with other institutions, the group is intensifying outreach in both academic and non-academic professional circles. A public conference, bringing together members of the society, other area institutions, and members of the general public, also promotes diversification of membership. Matching funds are provided by the NoMaNi Foundation, the Lainz Foundation, and the department of philosophy of the University of Mainz.

Samueli Institute, European Office
Institute of Environmental Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology
University Hospital Freiburg
Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg

This interdisciplinary group of researchers and graduate students in psychology, biology, physics, and medicine joins together to consider issues in the biology of healing and to bridge the gap between science, healing, healing traditions, and spirituality. Through dialogue initiatives, research into clinical studies of mindfulness and healing practices, and through the development of relevant works, publications, student initiatives, and public events, this society collaborates actively and intends to broaden the scope of its interdisciplinary considerations. In the effort to develop the “theoretical underpinnings” for their work, they continue to seek membership from a broad array of disciplinary perspectives. Publicized weekly meetings, often inviting prestigious thinkers in the field, are open to students and other interested individuals and support the development of a syllabus. Regular seminars are being offered at the university, complemented by an international conference. In addition to committing to the publication of two books and a series of articles generated through their collaborative efforts, a postgraduate training program, entitled “Psychology of Consciousness,” is being implemented at the university – “integrating spiritual practice into postgraduate psychology teaching” – and available on a national level. Matching funds are provided by the Samueli Institute in Corona del Mar California.

Center for Psychobiological and Psychosomatic Research
University of Trier
Psychosomatic Clinic, St. Franziska-Stift
Bad Kreuznach

This society aims to promote an innovative dialogue for and between researchers, clinical practitioners, and spiritual caretakers on the impact of religion and spirituality on human behavior and the importance of recognizing the benefit of addressing individual religious belief in the health care field. The society provides outreach to staff and pastoral care workers in the 26 hospitals of the region, inviting their participation in public talks and providing a forum for information and discussion. They hope to provide a means for critical analysis and consideration of the impact of spirituality in health. The society will also build a comprehensive public library to support their work and provide a vital link to contemporary research in the field. Meeting weekly, the core membership representing area institutions will discuss principal issues and current research, plan public events, organize strategies for group discussions in specific locations, and develop presentation materials and bibliographies to support discussion regarding religion and health throughout Germany. Subjects will include broad and updated overviews of issues such as the relationship of belief and mental health, comparison of health care institutions that do and do not consider spirituality in treatment, addressing religion as a factor in the healthcare process, and motives and psycho-social consequences of membership in new religious movements. Members are encouraged to collaborate on research and contribute to current work through publication in both professional and popular media. Matching fund resources are provided by the Psychosomatic Clinic, St. Franziska-Stift.

Arbeitskreis Naturwissenschaft und Theologie Working Group in Science and Theology

Evangelische Akademie Iserlohn

This society stems from a project founded in 1971 by the synod and the leading church office of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia to further dialogue on religious, philosophical, metaphysical, sociological, and ethical questions concerning science, technology and nature. Bringing together people with different opinions, beliefs and professions, to deepen reflection, members meet regularly and organize an open conference on crucial topics to invite new membership and public participation. Particularly interested in anthropological questions, the society examines how scientific insight and technological progress touch upon, challenge, and change the concept and understanding of humankind. Issues such as the tension between the scientific and theological views of human life, the influence of recent neurobiological insights on the understanding of thought and action, or the increasing affiliation between humans and computers are considered in group meetings as well as public lectures, workshops, and annual conferences. To intensify professional input and broaden public outreach, the society is inviting high-ranking international experts to give junior scholars the opportunity to engage their work. Results of discussions are being published as papers and in book format. The Evangelische Akademie Iserlohn provides matching funds.

Hungary

Evangelical-Lutheran Theological University
Károli Gáspár Reformed University
Budapest

Comprised of scholars in theology, geology, mathematics, computer science, and physics from four area institutions, the core group of the Jesenius project provides a forum for intellectuals to discuss the relationship between science and theology, faith and reason. They are interested in reaching out to people who, “for cultural or historical reasons live overly in faith or in rationality.” Open to cooperating with inquirers of differing religions, the initial stages concentrated mainly on reaching out to protestant intellectuals of Lutheran and Calvinist denominations, in conjunction with members of the “Scientists” Bible Study group of Budapest-Pasarét Reformed Congregation. Current plans include outreach to other denominations (Baptist, Roman Catholic, and others) for membership and cooperative learning. The society explores the effects of the advancement of thinking in logic, cosmology, informatics, physics and mathematics, biology, ecology, and geology on Christian theology and the history of the sciences and Protestantism. Monthly meetings, an annual conference, publication of flyers, development of a library collection, course development, and an electronic database and homepage support growth and outreach. Matching support is provided by Evangelical-Lutheran Theological University and Károli Gáspár Reformed University.

CEU Interdepartmental Forum on Religion

Central European University
Budapest

Born of a desire to address the lack of a forum for bringing together intersecting themes of religion and scientific understanding and addressing concerns recurrent in research and teaching experiences, the Interdepartmental Forum was founded to foster discussion of the “overt or covert religious, theological and spiritual implications” of the work of a group of academics in philosophy, medieval studies, history, social anthropology, political science, philosophy of science, and others. Combining discussion, public lectures, academic events and open reading groups, the Forum reaches out to practitioners of science of various denominations, students, graduate students, and the interested public. The effort utilizes the expertise of researchers of established projects along with distinguished visiting speakers and scientific practitioners to explore ways in which “scientific theory draws implicitly or explicitly on resources of allegedly “non-scientific” ideas and backgrounds. Some of the topics include rationality and belief, humanity’s common good and belief, and the normativity of religion and science. The group also supports the development of a library and publication of printed versions of contributions to the program, and seeks the possibility of a university-wide doctoral seminar combining practitioners, students, and experts in fields of science and religion. Matching funds are provided by the Central European University Humanities Center.

3 Cultures Group

Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Eötvös University
Budapest

The program is a multi-lateral, open and public dialog between three dominant cultures: scientific, Judeo-Christian, and Buddhist. Together, these cultures constitute the major schemata of belief in contemporary society. Each have robust answers to the deepest questions about humanity and nature: biological and cosmological evolution, mind and matter, nature and consciousness, and human nature. Their “answers” are different, but they also have common factors; more importantly, there is much room for synergy. Guided by the idea that science and religion together can do more for a livable world than they could separately, the program facilitates public events and group discussion – inviting leading national experts in various fields of science and theology to explore each other’s fields and perspectives. Society members will grapple with such questions such as: Is prayer just meditation? Does the Universe evolve? What is the role of religion in an age of science? Is there evidence for transcendence? Is the soul eternal? How can religion help improve mental health? Society members will study the latest research in theology, Buddhist scholarship, and the sciences on these issues, and will invite experts to make presentations to members at meetings that will be free and open to the public. Matching funds are provided by Eötvös University, through grants received by society chair, Dr. George Kampis.

Debreceni Természettudomány és Teológia Központ [DTTK] Science and Theology Centre in Debrecen

Debrecen University of Reformed Theology
Debrecen

Debrecen, Hungary is a city of 21,000 university students. A core group of society members, including researchers, scientists and theologians from the area, meet once a month to discuss topical content and plans and to strategize outreach activities to increase participation. In addition to regular discussion group meetings, this comprehensive program includes a series of courses covering a wide range of science and religion issues, such as “Theological Aspects of Modern Cosmology”, “Sustainable Development”, “History of Nature Without Mathematics” and “About a New Worldview.” The group is also developing a library collection of science-faith resources, including books and journals on a wide range of topics; publication of works of students and researchers through the Press of the Theological Seminary attached to the university; student essay competitions; support for research in the field; and creation of a homepage for promotion and dissemination of society activities. The group has hosted bi-annual conferences on science and theology since 1993. Future plans include a continuation of this tradition via two major conferences, in 2003 and 2005, inviting global participation. Matching support is provided by the university.

Ireland

Christianity, Arts and Monasticism in a Technological Age SophiaEuropa

Glenstal Abbey
County Limerick
Ireland 

This SophiaEuropa group brings together participants from diverse fields in sciences, humanities and the arts to consider the influence of technology on values in contemporary society, aiming to propose ways in which Christianity can enable right relationship and human flourishing through responsible engagement with technology. In addition to investigating the influences of technology on contemporary values and assessing the potential impact of Christian faith on culture, the group will design, produce, and disseminate practical resources for inspiring discussion on these topics in schools, workplaces, and selected public bodies. Some of the fundamental considerations include the pervasive nature of the Internet in disconnecting individuals from their external environments and the loss of the sense purposefulness, in lieu of increasing technical and functional aspects of life. Engaging a broad membership of monks from the abbey, scholars of theology, philosophy and human and natural sciences, business persons, and public servants, members will survey practical concerns of the impact of technology and its profound potential influences on culture and faith. Members will assess the potential contributions and special role of monastic cultural space, and other spiritual and artistic values, with technological culture in the design of resources for stimulating discussion. The project intends to provide a forum for the intelligent and systematic framing of the deeper implications for concepts of self, meaning, and societal leadership in relation to technological influence. The initiative convenes semesterly open forum meetings, inviting academics, teachers, pastors, scientists, theologians, policy makers, and the interested public to join the discussion. Plans include a pilot project to provide “information packs” for teachers in selected local high schools. Efforts are enhanced through a website, message board, and discussion list; a resource library; a bi-monthly newsletter; and radio appearances with Wired FM, the student radio station for Limerick City. Matching funds are provided by the Centre for Culture, Technology and Values at Mary Immaculate College.

Culture, Technology and Religion in Society SophiaEuropa

Centre for Social and Family Research, Department of Applied Arts
Waterford Institute of Technology
Waterford

From a broad and multidisciplinary perspective, this group starts with the hypothesis that technology has transformed the culture of communication, meaning, and specifically time and space themselves. The core group meets once per month for member presentations and roundtable discussion and takes part in a joint symposium with other thematically focused SophiaEuropa groups. Maintaining that the speed and diversity of digital communication has in effect constructed a world based on virtual reality, rather than real community, leaders of the group argue that technology has paradoxically succeeded in distancing people rather than connecting them. The group will address the issue of advanced and accessible technology, the replacement of the connectedness with one of individualism, and the attending speed of computer-mediated communication as a major component in the erosion of the authority and impact of education, media and religion on the individual. Conversely, they will endeavor to identify those aspects of technology that offer opportunity to connect, support, and give new meaning to religion, society and community. The group will reflect on questions such as how time and space have changed through technological advancements; how lives are becoming less communal and more isolated; how concepts of sin and confession have been affected through the use of the Internet; how migration and the importation faith is changing the culture of Irish society and how technology may connect and create a community of understanding and religious respect; and how (impersonal) technology (such as text messaging and email contact) can create a supportive, healing and forgiving container. Research and deliberations will be promoted through local, regional, national, and international links with community and industrial interests, other interested SophiaEuropa members and research academies. Waterford Institute of Technology provides matching funds.

Religious Values and Social Change SophiaEuropa

Centre for Culture, Technology, and Values
Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick
Limerick

Core members of this initiative from fields of theology, media and communication studies, politics, philosophy, and sociology join together to explore the connection between current social changes and traditional religious values in contemporary society, drawing specifically on the data of the European Value Society. Members seek to engage a wide variety of ordinary persons in a new debate on this important topic, aiming to examine what is gained and/or lost in the current shift, and to identify future trends and potential pitfalls and suggest ways in which such social change can exist in harmony with religious values. The program will have three phases: 1) an investigation of the apparent decline of subjective religious values and the parallel rise of objective science in the Irish context as an example of what is happening on a Europe-wide basis; 2) an examination of the effects of such change on Irish society in terms of the increase of marginalization and poverty, as traditional charity becomes the sole resource for those on the margins; and 3) the design, production, and dissemination of practical resources for inspiring discussion on these topics in schools, workplaces, and selected public bodies. In addition to regular member meetings for dialogue and exploration, the group will host open roundtable discussions inviting academics, teachers, pastors, scientists, theologians, policy makers, and other interested citizens for informed critique and comment. They will also sponsor a refereed paper competition, with special consideration given to student and new scholar submissions, culminating in an exploratory conference, hosted by the Centre for Culture, Technology, and Values. Efforts are enhanced through a website with an unmoderated message board and discussion list; a resource library; a bi-monthly newsletter; and the production of radio interviews with Wired FM, the student radio station for Limerick City. Plans also include a pilot project to provide “resource packs” for teachers in selected local high schools. The Centre for Culture, technology and Values at Mary Immaculate College provides matching funds.

Italy

Philosophy of Nature Forum TRIESTE-NIF (Nature, Intentionality and Finality Research Group) SophiaEuropa

Departimento di Filosofia
Universitá degli Studi di Trieste
Rome


Considering particularly the transition from collecting experimental data (nature) to philosophical and theological interpretation (intentionality and finality), core group members will study the boundary between defining knowledge, processes of intelligence, and ideas of truth and meaning in experimental sciences, philosophy, and theology. The group boasts leaders in fields of physics, philosophy, ontology, theology, political science, hermeneutics, and ethics. Members will also survey the metaphysics of the classical argument of God’s existence, focusing on theories of evolution that support teleological explanation. Based on the work of Jaques Maritan and Maurice Blondel as foundational starting points –maintaining that it is the habit (and requirement) of human intelligence to elaborate data and consider ‘facts’ as signs of supersensible reality – explorations will consider disciplinary perspectives on origins to establish where domains of science, philosophy, and theology provide authority. The group holds member meetings to present results of research in different subjects (physics, philosophy, religion, etc.), and organizes public seminars to promote interdisciplinary exchange and consider varying perspectives. A dedicated web forum invites member-only participation, including that of other SophiaEuropa groups and researchers in the field, and introduces to the public materials generated by their works. The University of Trieste and the International Jaques Maritan Institute provide matching funds.

Salesian Group on Missiology and Human Science (SalMiss) SophiaEuropa

Faculty of Theology
Universitá Pontificia Salesiana
Rome

The Salesian Group brings core members together for the following purposes: 1) to promote the constructive engagement of science and religion in the quest for new spiritual insight in the science of missiology; 2) as a catalyst for a dialogue between theological sciences, anthropological approaches, and social psychology – with stress on the issues in the idea of mission in socio-cultural and interpersonal contexts; 3) to support a dialogue between theology – both methodologically and pluralistically – and issues of inculturation, interreligious dialogue, bioethics, sexology, linguistics, liturgy, etc. This initiative unites scholars of theology, philosophy, education sciences, language, social communication, and religious studies for regular meetings to discuss research from a biblical and historical point of view. Members aspire to arrive at an integral Christian vision of the world and seeking the advancement of the human person through meetings with area clergy and laypersons from Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions. They will pursue formation of international connections with the growing initiatives in the field and through the SophiaEuropa and LSI networks by hosting jointly sponsored events. The works of the group will culminate in quality public programs to synthesize, and make accessible, emerging relevant themes in science that can be connected with a theology of mission. Five public conferences per year will be linked and extended through an open and participatory website. The Theology Faculty of Salesian Pontifical University provides matching funds.

Causality in Science, Philosophy and Theology (CSPT) Monte Cassino Research Group SophiaEuropa

Department of Philosophy and Communication
University of Cassino
Rome

The Monte Cassino Group is a research centre in history, theory, and philosophy of science that investigates the relationship between science and religion in past and present times. The CSPT society brings together a core membership of scholars of philosophy, theology, history, education, and physics from the University of Cassino, Saint Anselmo Athenaeum, and ‘La Sapienza’ for dialogue, specialized research, public seminars and conferences. Focused on consideration of causality, in both the sciences and theology, the group will reconstruct the main theoretical contributions of physics and biology, introducing philosophical, social, and theological perspectives for reflection. The work will also take special interest to the epistemological, theological, and social aspects of Darwinism on contemporary culture and language; including discoveries in immunology and neurophysiology. A Summer School for Ph.D. students, postdoctoral students, and young researchers will encourage future leaders’ thoughtful contemplation and contributions to science and faith. The group will actively connect with other institutions in SophiaEuropa and other international institutions carrying out similar work to share and deepen their own work through collaboration. Matching funds are provided by the University of Cassino.

Responsibility and Anticipation (RAA) Central European Perspectives on Causality and Motivation SophiaEuropa

Mitteleuropa Foundation
Bolzano

This project facilitates ethically based deliberations by addressing emerging issues and international dimensions of ethics in relation to faith and the ethical dimensions of new technologies and scientific endeavors. Exploring a wide variety of historical and contemporary contexts and interdependent domains, the group employs contemporary approaches in meta-ethics and applied ethics, aspiring to cultivate a diversified account of the levels of reality. Members seek to reconceptualize the notions of responsibility (agency) and anticipatory systems (action plans) from combined perspectives of ethics, ontology, and computer science to develop a prototype of new theoretically based, computer-supported tools for policymaking in the realms of group responsibility, global distribution, and situational dependency. Lead conveners maintain that familiar concepts of agency in the rationalist tradition cannot realistically approach the current profound issues in these domains and, therefore, that there is a profound need for developing new cross-disciplinary insights and techniques. Comprised of a consortium of over 400 leading scholars representing a multitude of fields including philosophy, psychology, ethics, economics, ontology, complex systems theory, semiotics, linguistics, sociology, phenomenology, religious studies, neuropsychology, cognitive science, engineering, and computer sciences; specific teams will focus first on the development of common language and conceptual overview and move forward into developing computer-supported anticipatory tools for decision making on ethical issues of profound, value-sensitive topics of socio-political significance. Results will be implemented into a new software agent (anticipatory agent) and a number of related computer based tools capable of providing advice and instruction for action and outcomes, according to the user’s responsibilities. In order to avoid biases or other unintended forms parochialism, the group will systematically compare Central European ideas with other cultural traditions, both Eastern and Western. In addition to the development of tools, participants will disseminate results of deliberations and research through press releases and scholarly publication; presentation at topical conferences; coursework; pursuit of relations with other related private and public institutions; student exchange initiatives among member institutions; website development; and regular electronic communication between members and other thematically linked projects of the SophiaEuropa project. The Mitteleuropa Foundation provides matching funds for this ambitious project.

Studio Filosofica Interprovinciale “San Tommaso d’Aquino”

Studio Filosofica Interprovinciale “San Tommaso d’Aquino”
Napoli

The host institution for this society has been in existence since 2001 on the initiative of the Dominican Friars to offer Dominican students a 3-year course to provide organic knowledge of philosophy, theology, and a deepening of familiarity with specific interdisciplinary issues. The LSI at the Studio Filosofica Interprovinciale “San Tommaso d’Aquino” is a collaborative effort between clergy, Dominican students, laity of the surrounding community, and teachers and scholars in physics, philosophy, theology, bioethics and medical ethics, agricultural science, biology, sociology, political science, and interdisciplinary studies. The program activities include a combination of weekly didactic units, open forums, and group tutorials on topics in “The Issue of Life.” The activities combine scientific and faith perspectives in bioethics, chemical sciences, medicine, anthropology, law, sociology, and cultural anthropology. Considerations on the subjects explored are combined and published in the quarterly Sapienza. Programs are open to anyone in the community wanting to explore these issues. Matching funds are provided by the Studio Filosofica Interprovinciale “San Tommaso d’Aquino.”

Pari Center for New Learning
Pari, Grosetto

The Pari Dialogues are hosted by the Pari Center for New Learning (http://www.paricenter.com). Created in 2000 as a free-standing academy, the Pari Center organizes conferences, courses, conferences, research programs as well as having an active program of international visitors. The Pari Dialogues are jointly coordinated by David Peat and Shantina Augusto Sabbadini and involve public lectures, round table discussions and international conferences. The audience for public lectures is drawn from laypeople and academics in the surrounding area as well as from Siena, Pisa, Grosseto, and Florence. 2006 saw an international conference held in Siena on Ethical choices in Economics, society and the Environment, jointly organized by the Pari Center and the Siena-based association EFA. This was followed by a daylong round table in Pari where it was decided to create the Pari Network (http://www.parinetwork.org) with the aim of transforming ideas and proposals into practical programs and actions. The Pari Dialogues became a third-time winner of the Local Societies Initiative Supplemental Prize in 2006 and activities will be expanded to include: continuation of lecture series; outreach program to create “Pari Lectures on Religion and Science” in centers and universities of Siena and Florence; research in framing the “fundamental questions” in religion and science; broadband link to enable teleconferencing with other groups; hosting a national meeting at Pari; annual publication of a book of commissioned essays; pursuit of additional funding for international conference on “Fundamental Questions”; development of free downloadable Work Books in Science and Mathematics for students in the developing world. Matching funds are provided by the Pari Center and private donations. The Pari Dialogues was awarded a LSI Supplemental Grant Prizes in 2003, 2004, and 2006.

Focolare Movement
Rocca di Papa, Rome

This society is an affiliation of university lecturers and researchers from a multitude of theological, philosophical and scientific disciplines, meeting regularly to explore the value of religious insights in diverse areas of human knowledge. Bringing together a broad representation of specializations in theology, philosophy, mathematics, environmental ethics, sociology, literature, ecumenism, political science, economics, and psychiatry, association members meet to explore the interface of religion and science and share ideas for planning further collaborative investigation. ACS also promotes public meetings and conferences to develop and explore topics with a wider range of interested individuals. The activities of the group culminate in the offering of a “Summer School Project for a Culture of Unity,” which provides a free educational experience for university and post-graduate students from a range of national and cultural backgrounds. This two week interdisciplinary venture explores theology, spirituality, ecumenism and interfaith dialogues on a variety of topics in the natural and human sciences such as ethics, economics, sociology, mathematics, and physics. Students come together in the fourth year for participation in in-depth self-directed seminar groups. One of the broader aims of the summer program is to act as a “catalyst” to inspire students and faculty alike to form local groups of their own in their home locale. Matching funds are provided by the Focolare Movement.

Biosciences and Religion Network (BNR)

Instituto Teologico S. Tommaso (ITST)

This society consists of members of university faculties; researchers, philosophers, theologians and scientists from the Institute; members of the Association of Genetic Engineering “Modafarri;” a group of teachers in religion; members of the Italian Society of Bioethics and Sexology; and students from the School of Theology. The program encourages the development of a network to promote a deep, dynamic, and open dialogue to advance the spiritual and religious significance of science and its place in society on a scientific and socially formative level. Themes focus on three fundamental dimensions: scientists’ personality and ability to go deeply into religious dimensions of scientific inquiry and discovery; identifying the richness of religious and spiritual insight into new bioscientific frontiers; and characterization of the methods for constructive dialogue among sciences and religions in order to promote peace. Some of the topics for exploration include religious approaches to science, bioterrorism, genetic engineering, cloning, humility and responsibility, environmental sciences in relation to creation theologies, ways of deep dialogue, reproductive technology, bioethics of food, Christological foundations of bioethics, and the role of science and religion in promoting bio-based economies. Matching funds are provided by the Salesian Institute “S. Tommaso” in Messina.

Department of Philosophy
Universitá Degli Studi di Perugia
Universitá di Pisa

This group brings together nine core scholar-members in fields of philosophy, chemistry, biotechnology, agriculture science, biology, theology and philosophy of science from Pisa, Perugia, and Viterbo, Italy—the home of the Etruscan civilization, the Tuscany renaissance, and the birthplace of Galileo. The main goal of the project is to show, on the one hand, that the partners of the science-theology-philosophy dialogue should respect each other in their respective autonomy and, on the other, how they can rediscover common areas of interaction and common fundamental questions concerning humankind and our place in the nature. Focusing on topics in evolution, environmental ethics, philosophy, biology and theological inquiry, the ELG provides opportunities for encounter, dialogue, and debate between members of religious and scientific communities through public conferences, master’s courses, and national and international meetings. Issues studied deal with the most basic requirements for human needs, such as the provision of "food", for both body and soul. The fulfilment of physiological and psychological needs, according to the rising demands of society for safer agricultural practice, with its benefits for the health of the body, mind, and environment are also explored. Materials to be prepared include: public meetings between members of the organization and local parishes and in the academic communities of the Universities of Perugia, Viterbo and Pisa; and work of editing and publishing about the science and religion relationship. Groups in each of the three locales concentrate on specific topics and cross-pollinate each other’s work through collaborative efforts. In Pisa, the focus is on evolutionary biology, theology, and the biosphere perspective. In Perugia, public meetings and masters courses link philosophical concerns with science and faith, encountering the works of thinkers such as Teilhard de Chardin, Jonas, and Bachelard, and the relationship of ethics and the new biology. In Viterbo, the faculty of agricultural science holds public meetings on conservation of the biosphere and agricultural techniques with a focus on faith, stewardship, and genetically modified organisms. The group produces publications based on their work, conducts collaborative roundtables and lectures, and hosts researcher workshops. Outreach includes television and newspaper advertising, flyers, email, and the production of pamphlets outlining activities. Matching funds are provided through a combination of generous support of members and the University of Pisa, Perugia and Viterbo.

Euresis
Catania

In existence since 1991, the Catania Section of the Euresis Society convenes professors and researchers from fields of chemistry, physics, astronomy, computer science, statistics, geology, Italian literature, philosophy, and history. In addition to monthly meetings of the group for discussion, planning, and exploration, activities involve a wide rang of outreach through well-attended public lectures and discussion series, inviting scientists, philosophers and theologians to present viewpoints; public exhibitions, with guided presentations, demonstrating classic and modern physics and microscopic/macroscopic visions of the Universe; and sponsored high school presentations and conferences to graduating classes exploring contemporary research in chemistry, physics, and astronomy in relation to ethics and faith. Plans include a deepening of outreach to educational and faith communities in the surrounding area, with a focus of monthly meeting on such topics as the origin and implication of modern scientific discovery; the Anthropic properties of the universe and connections to the laws of physics and chemistry; review of the notion of “purpose” in scientific research in relation to faith; contemporary developments in bio-technology, computer and communication sciences and the impact and value to humanity. Euresis Catania continues to expand these efforts. Matching fund support is provided in a combination of local membership donation, and resources from the City Hall of Catania and the University of Catania.

Pontificia Universitá Della Santa Croce
Rome

This society consists of a working group of young researchers, graduate students, and scientists, and it arose as a development of the on-going work on Dizionario Interdisciplinare di Scienza e Fede (Interdisciplinary Dictionary of Science and Faith) and the accompanying website www.disf.org. Members are invited to reflect and work together on relevant interdisciplinary topics to perceive the humanistic and spiritual dimensions of science and to increase the scientific learning of those preparing for ministry in the Catholic Church. For both a study group and a documentation group, themes explored include: history of philosophical ideas in science, the role of the great theological and philosophical traditions in answering questions raised by science; scientific and humanistic dimensions of great scientists; the search for unity of knowledge; theoretical and practical approaches to science and faith; autonomy of science and research freedom; ethical dimensions of science; and meaning and content of the discourse on God in the context of contemporary scientific culture. The groups primary activities include bi-monthly study seminars, with a one-hour lecture followed by a two-hour discussion; reading and discussion groups; seminar courses with special public status open to all students and people interested in the subject; a section on the current website outlining proceedings, book reviews, anthology pieces, documentation and research. The website acts as a catalyst for the group, as an outreach tool for new membership, and facilitates collaboration with other members of the LSI network. Matching funds are provided by the Italian Bishops Conference.

Netherlands

Heyendaal Open Circle on Science and Religion

Radboud University Nijmegen
Nijmegen

The Heyendaal Open Circle on Science and Religion is dedicated to exploring the interface between science and religion from a multi-/inter-disciplinary approach. The program serves as a thematic umbrella program to bring together a number of current and prospective activities to the Heyendaal Institute at the University of Nijmegen. The activities of the Heyendaal Open Circle produce collaborative papers for publication and presentation at professional meetings, as well as in materials responsibly prepared and in appropriate format for dissemination to the broader, non-academic public (e.g., through the popular media). This latter body of work, resulting from the exchange in the program, will constitute the primary content for the public outreach activities of this society. Themes planned for exploration include methodological issues in the interaction of science and religion, methodological issues concerning religion as the object of scientific study, and conceptual and interpretive issues in the scientific study of religious experience. Topical foci include methodology in the science and religion dialogue, neuroscience, self-organization in science, and medical sciences. Matching funds are provided by a private donation.

Poland

Poland Sophia-Warsaw Group of the Philosophy and Fundamentals of Science SophiaEuropa

Institute of Fundamental Technological Research
Polish Academy of Sciences
Warsaw

The purpose of this research society is to explore the humanism of knowledge in nature and the meaning of science for contemporary man in relation to the historical development of humans as cultural beings. The core group of members includes faculty from mathematics and mechanics, physics, philosophy, theology, and religious studies departments of IFTR and Warsaw University of Technology. Open for researchers from other institutions interested in the dialogue between religion and science, leaders expect to establish and deepen transdisciplinary efforts among natural, social, and human sciences in Warsaw and Poland. Initially, the society members will address philosophical presuppositions of science to develop approaches applicable in the analysis of a given branch of science. Using this newly developed language of meaning, the group will move forward to consider the humane aspects of scientific endeavor as an agent for fashioning humankind in a culturally new way through changes in the environment and understanding. The ultimate pursuit of this initiative is the development of a methodology that can be applied to reveal the humanistic significance of science for consumers, practitioners, and creators – for both personal and cultural development. Main research areas include dogmatic and speculative theology; the application of philosophy to theology; theoretical philosophy (ontology and epistemology); theologies of literature and culture; mathematical methods in cryptology; applied mathematics; mechanics; informatics; chaotic processes and their applications; and much more. Outreach efforts invite faculty and postgraduates from PAS faculties of philosophy, theology, human knowledge, the School of Science at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University, and the Pope’s Faculty of Theology. The group will organize seminars and public forums, take part in joint SophiaEuropa symposia, and develop a bulletin devoted to their work. Matching funds are provided by the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences and individual member contributions from the Sophia-Warsaw Group.

The Council of Pomeranian District of the Baptist Church
Gdañsk

The Hevelius Forum was initiated by a group of academicians, teachers, pastors, and theologians interested in the interface between science and religion. Combining professors from Pomeranian area universities, the Baptist Theological Seminary in Warsaw, local leaders of the Polish branch of InterVarsity – CHSA, active scientists, and pastors of local churches, this interdenominational group meets to conduct studies, engage in dialogue, and to conduct business. In the interest of outreach and increased membership, the Forum organizes open, free, and well-publicized public lectures and conferences featuring respected experts in fields of both science and religion, to “extend the discussions to a more popular level and foster the posture of tolerance.” The core group also hosts collegial meals and seminars for academics and students to promote leadership and innovation in science and faith with interested institutions throughout Poland. An annual national conference invites participants of all programs to come together. The Forum also supports a website, opportunities for publication, a resource library, and a newsletter. The group is actively involved translating contemporary science-faith materials. Members and partners are encouraged to publish works in the broader media and related journals. Some of the subjects considered are global warming, renewable energy and human change, intelligent design theory, stewardship, socio-religious perspectives in the roots of European culture, Big Bang Theory and philosophical implications, concepts of interfaith and interdisciplinary tolerance, the “Anthropic Principle,” and theology and pedagogics. The Council of Pomeranian District of the Baptist Church provides the matching funds for this effort. Additional financial support comes from member contributions and other solicited donations, to ensure long-term growth of the society.

Romania

Parish St. Nicholas Craiova, Romania

Archbishop’s Siege Craiova
Craiova, Dolj

This society brings together an interdisciplinary membership of members of the Orthodox Romanian Church, including priests, scientists and professors, organized at the Conference Hall of the St. Nicholas Parish of Craiova, in partnership with the Center for Theological and Applied Sciences of the Archbishopric of Craiova. The main focus is on questions of creationism and evolution, along with an open consideration of a broad array of issues in science and faith. Members are reaching out to area scientific organizations and representatives from various fields to engage further expertise in questions of natural science, ethics, faith ,and morality in the context of a rapidly changing society. Outreach efforts focus particularly on bringing professional scientists into the discussions at hand. Meeting twice monthly, the society promotes study and dialogue in science and religion, and plans and organizes public seminars, workshops and debates, ensuring a balanced exploration of subjects. Topics survey the history and contemporary state of science and religion dialogue; Darwinian revolution and Christianity; the human genome; cosmic evolution and other issues in the relationship of faith and science. Matching funds are provided by the St. Nicholas Parish, Craiova.

Faith and Reason, a possible alliance?

Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Babes-Bolyai University
Cluj-Napoca

This group combines an association of professors from theology and the social and natural sciences in the engagement of students and faculty members in consideration of matters at the intersection of science and faith. Promoting dialogue between Romanian Orthodox theologians, other Christian confessions and world religions, and scholars in scientific fields the group organizes ten meetings per year. A website presents the group to the general public and encourages interaction between meetings. Other plans include supporting an interactive network of LSI groups in Romania and Europe, developing an international conference, and organizing a summer school in science and religion. Some themes identified for consideration include: modern semiotics; contemporary apologetics; evolution and philosophies of life; and cosmology, theology, relativity and quantum mechanics. The Faculty of Orthodox Theology at Babes-Bolyai University provides matching funds.

Faith and Reason, a possible alliance?

Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Babes-Bolyai University
Cluj-Napoca

This group combines an association of professors from theology and the social and natural sciences in the engagement of students and faculty members in consideration of matters at the intersection of science and faith. Promoting dialogue between Romanian Orthodox theologians, other Christian confessions and world religions, and scholars in scientific fields the group organizes ten meetings per year. A website presents the group to the general public and encourages interaction between meetings. Other plans include supporting an interactive network of LSI groups in Romania and Europe, developing an international conference, and organizing a summer school in science and religion. Some themes identified for consideration include: modern semiotics; contemporary apologetics; evolution and philosophies of life; and cosmology, theology, relativity and quantum mechanics. The Faculty of Orthodox Theology at Babes-Bolyai University provides matching funds.

Theandria

The Annunciation Abbey, Gradinari, Olt Romania
Bishopric of Râmnic
Ramnicu Valcea

Consisting of clergy, theologians, scientists, architects, jurists, sociologists, physicians, engineers and others interested in the encounter between science and faith, this group engages priests and intellectuals of the Romanian Orthodox Church to encourage dialogue with other confessions. Eight conferences per year invite remarkable specialists, from Romania and abroad to share talks and discussion. Twice-monthly weekend-long meetings culminate in the completion of a comprehensive sociological questionnaire to gauge the impact and perceptions of the dialogue between science and faith in Romania. Each year, the questionnaire is updated and adjusted to review the impact of efforts upon members and the general public. Dialogue topics include: the impact of the dialogue between science and religion on the secular world; historical and contemporary topics in scientific knowledge from an ethical point of view; organ transplantation; social ethics and moral destiny; theology and theories of knowledge; quantum physics and reality; and ethics and economics. To facilitate outreach, the group hosts a website, produces the Theandria review journal three times per year for dissemination to institutions of higher learning throughout the country and beyond, and pursues the broadcasting of discussions on local and regional television. A core outreach aim of Theandria is the creation of new dialogue groups in other dioceses in Romania. Matching funds are provided by the Annunciation Abbey, Gradinari, Olt Romania.

Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy
Bucharest

In partnership with over ten educational and religious institutions in the region, this society brings together faculty, students and clergy to organize discussion groups and public conferences. Members include priests, professional scientists, and professors from fields including physics, astronomy, law, sociology, philosophy, mathematics, and Orthodox theology. The group meets twice monthly for reading and discussion to review topics such as the nature of time; evolution; physics and cosmology; faith of scientists; economics and faith; theories of knowledge; and varied religious perspective on scientific discovery. Bi-monthly public conferences, featuring input from both a scientist and a theologian will seek the participation of students, professionals, and the general public. A journal, The New Representation of the World: Interdisciplinary Studies, further promotes outreach and the dissemination of new perspectives. The society will also actively pursue the creation of new dialogue groups at other institutions throughout Romania and sponsor an international conference, bringing together representatives of multiple Orthodox faiths with members of other religious traditions. Matching funds are provided by the Association for the Dialogue Between Science and Theology, Romania (ADSTR).

CDST Dialogues on Technological Pollution (A Sensitive Spirit in a Technological World)

University of Craiova
Craiova

This group combines the University of Craiova faculties of theology, physics, biology, mathematics, chemistry, and letters with representatives of local Catholic and Protestant churches, other area universities, and spiritual communities. The group meets weekly to hold discussions on a well-defined topic, as viewed from multiple interdisciplinary and religious perspectives, and these discussions will set the tone for expanded activities. The group also undertakes public speaking engagements, the creation of adult education courses, television and radio broadcasts, and the creation of a public library (Information Center). A print bulletin and electronic journal, a website/discussion forum and an international conference assist in outreach and broadening of the core group’s activities and perspectives. All plans are aimed at increasing the size and interdisciplinary representation of the society. Specific areas of focus will explore the nature of increased technological and scientific developments in society in relation to faith, ethics, and morality. Support for this project is provided by from the University of Craiova.

Russia

Samara Academy of Humanities
Samara

This society has its roots in a group formed at the Samara Orthodox Spiritual Seminary in 1995 for the purpose of examining the relationships between Christianity and science, past and present, and to explore the possibilities for these relationships in the future. Activities include: (1) weekly discussions and debates on a variety of topics related to scientific achievements and their influence on various worldviews; (2) an annual conference on Christianity and Science at the regional, national, or international level; (3) research on the theme of “Philosophical and Religious Aspects of Mathematics and Natural Sciences;” (4) publishing books, brochures, and articles in the popular media; (5) lectures at secondary schools, at the university level, and for adult education programs; (6) broadcast programs for television and radio; and, (7) a website for disseminating information on the science and religion dialogue. With an emphasis on Orthodox theology and pedagogy, this group engages technology, the social sciences and natural sciences. Matching funds are provided by the Samara Academy of Humanities.

St. Andrew's Biblical Theological College
Moscow

Designed for long-term impact, this broadly based, multilevel network of educational, outreach, and publicity activities promote the dialogue between science and religion in area educational institutions and the wider community. Core participants promote considerations in areas such as faith, environment, bioethics and technology; cosmology, creation and eschatology; epistemology, empirical knowledge and rational models in theology and science. A series of college level courses designed and promoted within various local and national institutions of higher learning were created for collaborative impact. Monthly seminars entitled “Theology, Philosophy and Science” promote discussion of emerging topics and issues will include specialists and leaders in education, science and theology. Annual conferences and workshops are held, with radio broadcasts to the outlying public, as well as publishing and distribution of translations, books and articles to other educational institutions and libraries throughout Russia. Paper contests challenge scholars and students to deepen their own research and considerations. In addition to internally developed courses, the Network offers programs to secondary schools and an online and correspondence initiative to reach national populations. The individuals involved the network appreciate the project’s ability not only to promote exploratory discussion, but also to solicit an increasing number of interested people. Friends of St. Andrew's, a US organization, can be found by visiting http://www.fsabtc.org. Matching funds are provided by St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological College.

Pomor Dialogue

Pomor State University
Arkhangelsk

Monthly seminars bring together specialists, professors and students from host, Center of Christian Culture, Moscow and St. Petersburg Universities’ departments of the sciences, humanities and theology to discuss and prepare presentations and lectures on three major categories of consideration: “Ecology, Well-being, Natural Science and Theology”, “Education, Ethics and Outlook” and “Tradition and Modernism”. The outcome of these deliberations are then presented in the context of a general annual conference. Publication of lectures, seminars and conferences are added to an ongoing series of volumes, generated in alternate years, entitled “Svecha” (Candle). A study-text and interactive courses has been developed and shared, in a distance learning format, with the Russian educational community-at-large as a means of introducing students and faculty to the rich and diverse exploration of the relationship between religion and science. In addition, special student seminars and conferences are organized and open to all interested participants. A website, in both English and Russian, titled “Dialogue of Science and Theology” presents translated materials highlighting current international and Russian-based modern research and classically significant interdisciplinary works that may have otherwise not have been available in Russian translation. Over 1500 hours of video taped lectures and discussions will be transferred to web-broadcast format, presented on the site, and made available through DVD’s. Pomor State University provides matching funds for this effort.

Vladimir Orthodoxy Seminary
Vladimir

The oldest educational institution in the Vladimir region, dating back to 1749, Vladimir Orthodoxy Seminary, home of the Russian Society of Orthodox Teachers, prepares priests for service in the Russian Orthodox Church. Drawing from the expertise in theological concerns of the Seminary and the scientific, humanities, and technological scholarship of Vladimir State University, this society hosts a “wide open” interdisciplinary dialogue at the Diocese between different confessions and different institutions of the city and region. Monthly meetings engage specialists working and conducting research in the spheres of natural sciences, the humanities, and theology to consider topics in theology, biology, medicine, physics, philosophy, history, and anthropology. In general, discussion topics are divided into three major sections: “Ecology, Natural Science and Orthodox Theology in Modern Russian Society,” “Orthodox Education and Secular Outlook,” and “World Orthodox Tradition and Inter-Confessional Dialogue.” In addition to the monthly meetings, the group hosts regular seminars inviting local, regional, and national participation, publishes of a collection of articles resulting from the proceedings of meetings and workshops, and will produce a website and a magazine, journal or series of books highlighting current discussion and proceedings. The proposed website will include translations of popular and contemporary science-faith works, conference proceedings, and abstracts from books presenting classical examples of interdisciplinary dialogue in both Russian and English. A database CD, containing website materials, will be created for interactive study courses available for use by other institutions and universities in different cities and countries. Funds, well in excess of the matching requirement, are provided by Vladimir Diocese and sources of donation to the Church.

St. Petersburg Education Center for Religion and Science (SPECRS)
St. Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy (SRPh)
St Petersburg

SRPh is an interdenominational academic institution uniting highly regarded scientists and scholars, theologians and priests, engaged in searching for new ways of teaching the next generation of academics. Society members plan a series of twenty workshops, including academic and civic institutes in twelve major cities of the Russian Federation with a goal of reaching over 2000 individuals. SPECRS promotes contacts between Russian and Western scientists, theologians, religious groups, and business people with interest in the science-religion dialogue. The aim of workshops is to involve a broader spectrum of scholars, researchers, leaders in education, congregations and church officials in the growing science/theology conversation by providing a base for the formation of additional groups, network building, and intellectual exploration. To enhance their ongoing dialogue, SPECRS plans to offer a graduate-level program entitled “Religious Basis of Contemporary Problems of Natural Sciences.” Publication of the workshop materials is available on a website that will also include an enhanced forum for ongoing discussion and further initiatives. Institutional support for this comprehensive project is provided by SRPh.

Quest for Modern World Views

Chair of Philosophy, Ufa State Institute of Service
Ufa

This growing group of philosophers, researchers, scholars and students from various disciplines, as well as interested community members, formed in Ufa in 1995. In addition to students and scholars, members of the union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, the Spiritual Board of Moslems, the Russian Orthodox Church and members of the local Jewish congregation also comprise this religiously diverse group in the Russian Federation. With offices located at the Ufa State Planetarium, this group gathers for both formal talks and informal discussion on a wide range of topics including the study and discussion of Ian Barbour’s book Religion and Science, topical seminar discussions on “The Role of Religion and Science in the Quest for Modern World Views” and “The Relation Between Religion and Science, Philosophy and Religion, and Philosophy and Science: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” Newspapers, magazines, and journals, as well as a local television station, which can broadcast society meetings, provide additional tools for outreach activities intended to invite others into the growing dialogue. Founders of this society provide personal financial support as well as extensive research to host meetings, publication of collections, and distribution of a free weekly publication, “Sphere Plus,” through Ufa State Institute of Service. Additional financial contributions are provided by Ufa Planetarium and the Ufa State Institute of Service.

God’s Design In Human’s Presentations (Christian Theology and Modern Science: Interrelations, Problems, Decisions)

St. Petersburg State University, Russia Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia, and National Technical University Kharkov, Ukraine

Combining a geographically and disciplinarily diverse group of scholars, students, professional scientists, technology experts, and clergy, this group conducts monthly meetings involving representatives of the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Philosophy, the Kharkov Polytechnic University’s Department of Philosophy, and St. Petersburg University. The group focuses on issues related to modern theories in cosmology and “theories of everything”, perspectives on origins, and theological and ethical interpretations of discoveries and research in biology. Meetings culminate in two major conference/symposia each year at St. Petersburg University. In addition to inviting scholars from across the globe and the broader public into the conversation, conferences highlight the presentation, discussion, and review of reports by individual society members on the various topics explored in monthly meetings. The broader goal of this group is to include and integrate as many interested parties as possible in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine. To accomplish this goal, a website and publications link society members together with others who may be interested in joining the discussions. Technological support is provided by Kharkov Polytechnic University and matching funds are provided St. Petersburg University and the Russian Academy of Science.

Vladimir State University
Vladimir

Monthly interdisciplinary seminars engage specialists working in the natural sciences, humanities and theology to explore topics in ecology, biology, medicine, philosophy, history, ethnography, folklore and theology. These monthly meetings form the basis for annual conferences on Russian inter-religious dialogues and scientific discovery. The group also organizes special student seminars and conferences. All lectures are combined into a collection of articles for print and electronic publication. Any available proceedings from other relevant international conferences, along with contemporary works, are translated and made available in the form of a journal in both English and Russian. The hope of a future website project is to share contemporary Western works in the field of religion and science with Russian scholars and students and, conversely, to share contemporary Russian science, philosophy and theology that may not otherwise be available with English readers. Website contents will also be made available for distribution in CD format for the formation of interactive study courses. The Faculty of Humanities at Vladimir State University, the Russian Ministry of Education and commercial education funds from inter-confessional groups in Religious Studies provide the Dialogue’s matching funds.

New State Russian School Curricula and Student Summer School on Religion and Science

Moscow State University
Moscow

Monthly interdisciplinary committee meetings with specialists in the natural sciences, humanities, and theology are held by this society, culminating in summary presentations of the society’s works at the annual “Russian Inter-Region Symposium” – which brings together representatives of all of the active LSI societies throughout Russia. The group also hosts roundtable discussions during the Russian Congresses of Philosophy in Moscow, as well as hosts a Student Summer School on Science and Religion each year. All lectures and materials generated by the society will be published and presented on the Moscow State University website. One of the major works of the group, following deep and collaborative exploration, is the preparation of texts and renewed religious studies curricula and coursework. Acting as coordinators and overseers of religious studies programs for all of the universities in Russia, this group sets the standard for regular exploration of religion and science in religious studies programs across the country. The responsibility of supervising the editing and publishing of educational literature for all Russian State Curricula in religious studies, places this collaborative effort at the forefront of redefining education in religion in Russia to include perspectives in science and faith. Outreach efforts include the preparation and active distribution of a comprehensive database; the creation of interactive study courses and video seminars, and a distance-learning program to prepare educators and students for scholarly works in science and religion. Broad topics to explore and develop include the nature of science and religion; the history of the interaction between science and religion; science and Christianity in the Twentieth Century; integral culture – religion and the philosophy of science; and topics in physics, literature, ethics, and on the soul and redemption. As cooperating members of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR), which includes universities in Ukraine, Belarussia, and Germany, the group also networks to promote explorations beyond their own national sphere of influence. Matching funds are provided by Moscow State University.

Academy-Dialogue

International Higher Education Academy of Science
Moscow

An interdisciplinary and inter-confessional organization, IHEAS holds more than 30 international, national, and regional conferences, workshops, symposia and other scientific and educational forums each year. As a new comprehensive “section” of their current work, the Academy-Dialogue program organizes public lectures and seminars on the history and current state of science theology and education. The society engages educators and research specialists representing diverse perspectives to explore a broad range of topics in science, theology, mysticism, rationality, divine will and freedom, religion in modern education in the Post-Soviet area, and worldview and religious identity. The proceedings of monthly meetings, seminars, and workshops intend to encourage members’ contributions to the creation of educational materials and to various publications and journals. The Dialogue also hosts an annual international conference and plans to launch a website of proceedings and lecture materials to invite new members into the discussions. All materials produced will be published in a bound volume for wide, international distribution to educators and interested researchers. Members are also involved in translating contemporary Western texts on science and faith to expand available materials. Matching funds are provided by IHEAS.

Slovakia

Faculty of Philosophy, Catholic University Ruzomberok
Ruzomberok 

This group consists of scholars specializing in natural sciences, bioethics, theology, philosophy, and mass media communications. An internal group of nine scholars from CU and four scholars from neighboring institutions work in conjunction with efforts of the two previously established LSIs in Slovakia, as well as the international Society for Critical Thinking. The object of the project is for members to use their expertise and resources to promote the idea that science-religion dialogue should be based on critical, balanced, and open principles as a standard academic discipline. Equally important to group members is the notion of supporting an intellectual atmosphere of free and unforced exchange of ideas to counter the current lack of democratic culture and critical thinking in the country. After initial stages of dialogue, core members intend to broaden activities to other major Slovak universities. The intention is to apply some of the results of the Critical Thinking program to enhance and mainstream the science-religion dialogue and its critical elements in the form of courses. Society programs consist of a series of internal reading and discussion groups; annual participation in an international conference on religion, science, and society; faculty seminars and student conferences in local and foreign universities; development of resource materials, an annual newsletter and a comprehensive website, promotion in scholarly journals and popular magazines; and the introduction of courses to at least three Slovak universities. Using a combination of contemporary texts in science and faith and discussions of application to Slovak educational and socio-political realities, members call on the expertise through partnership with Prof. Bulent Senay of the Bursa Local Society Initiative in Turkey to provide Islamic perspectives to their work. The project also promotes collaboration and outreach to universities and colleges in the network of Catholic universities in the neighboring countries of the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Ukraine to encourage the expansion of science-religion in Central Europe. Matching funds are provided by Catholic University Ruzomberok.

Ustredie Slovenskej Krestanskej Inteligencie (USKI)
Federation of Slovak Christian Intellectuals Section for Science and Religion
Bratislava

In existence since 1919 (working in exile from 1948 to 1989), the Federation of Slovak Christian Intellectuals is a member of Pax Romana, working for the deepening of Christian values in cultural, scientific, social, and political spheres. Drawing from scientists from various disciplines, the group hosts lectures and discussions on philosophical, psychological, social, and biological issues in relation to theology. Examples include the relation between man and God; historical and contemporary theology; mind, soul and body; creation and evolution; Anthropic and cosmological principles; natural laws, chance and necessity; and gene technology and cloning. Workshop structures consist of introductory lectures by specialists and emphasize discussion. Members are prepared to share insights and knowledge gained with their own institutions and organizations. Meetings are also organized to involve teachers and university pastoral centers in larger metropolitan areas of the Slovak Republic. Matching grants are provided by the federation of Slovak Christian Intellectuals.

Slovak Physical Society
Bratislava

This society was established by a group of practicing scientists interested in open discussion of science and faith issues and in the search for new answers to profound questions posed by scientific investigation. Stimulated by the activities of existing LSI groups in Slovakia, this group brings a complementary dimension by engaging a scientifically based organization as host, presenting varied religious traditions, and designing specifically planned engagement of science teachers and professionals. The society holds monthly discussions and regular symposia, and it produces publications. This mix of programs allows for participation from both scientists and theologians, considering science and faith from historical to contemporary times. Research into the epistemological processes in both scientific and faith-based inquiry will seek to discover the synergy between scientific and theological knowledge. Other topical considerations include: scientific and religious perspectives on time; causality; cosmological models; concepts of nature; quantum theory; informatics in physics; biology and society; medicine, diagnostics, and healing; human values and purpose; and much more. Outreach extends to social events and public forums throughout the region, designed to reach non-scientific audiences and encourage greater understanding in the public sphere. Group members will also engage area high schools, institutions of higher learning, and religious and civic organizations, providing accessible presentations and discussions. It is expected that the work of the group will act as a catalyst for promoting science-faith research and publication from a wide array of professionals. The best contributions will be offered for television and radio broadcast, with an email list and website complementing outreach efforts. The Slovak Physical Society provides matching funds for this endeavor.

Polylogos

Science, Religion and Philosophy: A Search for Communication and Tolerance
Matej Bel University 
Banska Bystrica 

This society is the first of its kind “after forty years of atheistic ideology in the former Czechoslovakia” had prevented any “systematic dialog among scientists, philosophers, and religious thinkers.” According to the society leaders, the various groups in the region “had their own monologues, but there was no open exchange of ideas. The objective of this project is to start up such an exchange.” Based in Central Slovakia, this program promotes mutual tolerance and appreciation for alternative interpretations through informal public lectures for teachers, students, and the public. The group holds meetings with invited speakers presenting issues such as: scientific theory and belief; philosophy of science; religious perspectives on scientific discovery and ethical issues; and cosmology. Meetings are followed with thorough exchange of ideas and perspectives. An Internet database encourages the sharing of thoughts and alternative interpretations on current issues, terminology, concepts, theories, and also to helps to identify “traps” and “gaps” that seem to threaten any dialogue within the group. Additionally, this Internet forum allows members, as well as the interested public, to contribute to the discussion. An annual newsletter presents the work and achievements of the group. Yearly, a section of the International Conference on Spirituality, organized by the Department of Philosophy, will include a section exploring science and religion issues in order to engage conference participants this new aspect of dialogue. Matching funds are provided by Matej Bel University.

Trnava University
Bratislava

Comprised of faculty of Theological Institute, philosophy and science faculty at Trnava University and the Slovak Academy of Science, this society has been working together for several years. The group holds regular meetings to explore, discuss and contribute to individual activities. Topical focus explores the areas of physics, astronomy, biology, philosophy, theology, and more. Support for this dialogue society is provided by the university, in part, in the form of release time for organizers and through full administration and office support for the organizational and outreach activities of the group. The society augments its conversations by inviting scholars and researchers from neighboring countries to participate in society meetings. All meetings and conferences are open to the public, particularly local students, and publicized throughout the community. Plans include further promotion of the activities of the group to bring additional scholars, students, and interested laypersons into dialogue, via specifically focused lectures and broadly distributed publication of proceedings. Matching funds are provided by the Theological faculty of Trnava University.

Spain

Cátedra de Bioetica, School of Theology
Universidad Pontificia Comillas
Madrid

The main objective of this society is to shed light on moral dilemmas arising from rapid progress made in the biomedical sciences, responsibility and stewardship in ecological matters and the distribution of resources, and the right to health care. Leaders aim to encourage interdisciplinary reflection and research by bringing together qualified contributors to themes of faith, culture, and science. The group supports three main interdisciplinary projects of research, teaching, and publication. Members facilitate projects focused on bioethics and world religions including: interdisciplinary seminars, bi-monthly meetings of health care professionals, philosophers, theologians, scientists and psychologists seeking insight and collaborative endeavor. Subjects explored take into account historical and contemporary relationship between faith, health, and the biomedical sciences such as: medical care and spirituality, end of life issues, palliative care, and euthanasia. Outreach efforts are complemented by the publication of lecture resource books, a website, and a comprehensive Bioethics Dictionary and journal dedicated to exploring and promoting the work of members. Matching funds are provided by the Chair of Bioethics of the School of Theology at Universidad Pontificia Comillas Madrid.

Seminari de Teologia I Ciències (STIC)
Institut de Teologia Fonamental (ITF)
Barcelona

This society, the first in its nation, provides intellectual leadership in the science and religion dialogue for its milieu. Its high-level explorations of questions in physics and biology and their relation to theology provide food for thought not only for local society members but also resources for education across the country…and beyond. Topics of interest to this 17 member society include the idea of a Christian anthropic principle; genetic roots of spirituality; theological implications of the fine tuning of universal constants; the Trinitarian trace in nature; creation and kenotic love; brain, gender, and religious experience; and lots more. The society has held regular group discussion meetings, organized academic courses, developed library holdings, sponsored public lectures, and promoted interdisciplinary collaboration. The group has offered intriguing courses, for instance, “Cosmobioevolution and the Eschatological Role of the Spirit.” They have developed a collaboration with a publisher to release a series of books under the general heading of “Teología y Ciencias.” They hope to continue to do translations of key Anglo-American science and religion texts, with books by Polkinghorne and Peters next on the list. Society members have been supervising three doctoral dissertations on science and religion themes, are engaged in the ongoing development of their website, and their work has been featured in mass media outlets. Matching funds, well beyond the required amount, are provided by the Institut de Teologia Fonamental.

Universidad Pontificia Comillas Madrid
Madrid

This local group was established in the Chair of Science, Technology and Religion, founded in 2003. The most important activities of this group are carried out in three environments: 1. Local Societies Network in Spain. In close relationship with the 10 Local Societies in Spain where a research project is being carried out which intends to publish opposing or inter-related research articles on several aspects of ‘Human Evolution’ and its theological implications. This research is intended to address the evolutionary-religious paradigm of Teilhard de Chardin and the current state of scientific and theological research. 2. Direct action at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas. a) The Seminar of the Chair which, in the course of a four-year program, has convened the most important specialists in the Science-Philosophy-Religion dialogue in the fields of Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Neurosciences. b) Courses on Science and Religion taught at the Universidad Comillas and at the Universidad Complutense by members of the Chair of Science, Technology and Religion. c) Collaboration with the Philosophy Journal ‘Pensamiento’. Up to now, several articles have been published. A special edition is being drafted on Science-Philosophy-Theology themes, 3. Collaboration with the electronic journal: Tendencias 21 through a page called Tendencies of Religions. Matching funds are provided by Universidad Comillas.

Fundación Xavier Zubiri
Madrid

This society consolidates and brings together the efforts an elite group of researchers and scholars in Spain interested in considering themes on the relationship between modern science and religions, using the philosophy of Xavier Zubiri as an inspiration and guide for exploring this relationship. Practitioners, scholars, and researchers in medicine, theology, philosophy, metaphysics, history, and physics come together for dialogue, outreach planning, and offering public forums. The early stages of this new project commenced with a wide-ranging historical review of Zubiri’s perspectives in physics and quantum mechanics, biology, and the nature of intelligence in scientific and other forms of knowledge. Zubiri’s work promotes an integral epistemology, permitting links within forms of knowledge, including religious forms of knowledge. The group seeks integration of these historical themes in light of contemporary foci in scientific advances. The next stage of the group’s considerations is reviewing Zubiri’s views on religion and the nature of religious knowledge; drawing upon his notions of the relationship between human reason and revelation, metaphysics and its relationship with the natural sciences. The third period of research and dialogue will seek to establish specific relationships between science and faith in Zubiri’s works, as applicable to contemporary times. Some specific questions such as the relationship between God and the world; the meaning of creation in monotheism; problems of the human psyche; and the notion of freedom will draw upon previous results of deliberation. In collaboration with other societies in the Iberian network, this group contributes to an over-arching program to create accessible and broadly based materials in science and religion for a full spectrum of educational contexts. A public program designed to invite participants from area academic and communities at large complements the work of the group. Matching funds are provided by the Fundación Xavier Zubiri. 

Science, Culture and Theology Group

Asociación Española Ciencia y Cultura (AECyC)
Madrid

This group consists of a delegation of academicians from a range of fields including physics, philosophy, chemistry, civil engineering, hydrology, engineering, theology and astrophysics coming together for dialogue and the creation of broad outreach materials to disseminate science-faith themes into educational spheres. Outreach efforts are aimed at high school teachers, professors and students in Madrid and bordering regions of Avila, Segovia, Guadalajara, Toledo, and Cuenca. The group is creating appropriate materials – including a website with e-books, information booklets, and illustrated, animated CD/Power Point presentations – for use by teachers of science, history, and culture. This material will be invaluable for use in lectures, informal talks, colloquia, and presentations to senior high school students and university students alike. Topics and themes cover the intersection of faith with physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, biology, physiology, astronomy and cosmology – through the title “God and Scientists”. Matching funds for this new program are provided by the Asociación Española Ciencia y Cultura (AECyC).

Facultad de Teologia de Granada and Campus Universitario de Cartuja
Granada

With the goal of founding a group of scholars, students and others interested in the study of science and religion throughout the region, this effort brings together members of the Facultad de Teología de Granada with expertise in electronics, paleontology, biology, chemistry, theology and philosophy. Society programs include public lectures, dialogue groups on specific areas of interest, and focused initiatives throughout the region. In addition, the group is creating a regionally collaborative resource library and documentation center. Outreach includes a public seminar series at the Faith-Culture Center in Granada, meetings arranged through Jesuit networks, other community-based centers and institutions of higher learning. The major theme for the project is titled “Hominization and Humanization: Implications for the encounter between Science and Religion,” intended to cover material on phylogenetic and ontogentic dimensions of the biological process (hominzation) and the cultural process (humanization), joining perspectives in natural and human sciences with philosophy and theology to consider the essential questions of being human. Plans also include a deep exploration of the ethical, philosophical and theological implications of the encounter between science and religion. An additional program will convene interdisciplinary dialogue experiences in a Spanish context, exploring the works of the “Atepuerca Team” a multi-disciplinary group of researchers who, in 1975, discovered a jawbone in a cavern in Atepuerca and went on to write a series of books accessible to the general public exploring the implications of interdisciplinary approaches. Matching funds are provided by the Facultad de Teología de Granada http://www.teol-granada.com.

Grupo Deusto de Ética y Tecnología (GDET) Deusto Ethics and Technology Group

Universidad de Deusto
Bilbao

A core planning group of professors in engineering, theology, philosophy, ethics, psychology, law, cultural anthropology, and sociology joined together to launch GDET. Focused on those branches of knowledge and culture through which humankind discovers values in the face of rapid cultural changes, this society explores and reflects on issues in technology and values through interdisciplinary discussion, public events, creation of useful materials (books, pamphlets, website) and outreach to extend membership. Through use of the materials generated, the society coordinates the teaching of ethics, boosts the training of teachers, promotes interaction with the surrounding community, participates within inter-university ethics networks, offers expertise to organizations, professionals and associations, and promotes investigations, research and publication. Members attended the 6th national Congress on Computing and Technology, seeking to encourage a deep reflection on the ethical and spiritual implications of technological advancement through their participation. Matching funds are provided by the University of Deusto, one of Spain’s most important universities.

Centro Pignatelli
Zaragosa

This society formally brings together university and high school teachers, along with professionals in public and semi-independent centers, who have been discussing and collaborating on themes of science and faith from a variety of perspectives. The Center, in conjunction with other societies in the Iberian network, works to create and disseminate science and religion materials through planned discussions, lectures, and public activities. The group also supports the creation of a library of bibliographic and documentary material at the Center (which also hosts an award-winning Peace Initiative and library), open to the interested public. Focusing on “dialogue at the service of a more human world,” and to ensure social impact, the effort begins with contemporary themes in technology, ethics, and peace accessible to the community at large. The group promotes a deeper understanding of science and faith within a community only recently awakened to the possibilities and value of the dialogue. Various activities include a comprehensive focus on the works of Teilhard de Chardin, Alexander Fleming, and Albert Einstein, commemorating the occasion of each thinker’s passing and highlighting their considerations of science, faith and the intersection of science and religion. Scientists from departments of microbiology and theoretical physics from the University of Zaragosa are called upon to lend their expertise to the programs. Further themes and topics will be identified and explored as the effort and group evolves. Centro Pignatelli provides matching funds.

Cátedra Pedro Poveda
Pontifical University of Salamanca-Institución Teresiana
Madrid

This society, whose core group consists predominantly of women scholars and intellectuals, promotes the consideration of Pedro Poveda’s ideas on dialogue between science, faith, education, and culture in a contemporary context by convening a group of professors and students from universities and research centers of Spain. This dialogue group, made up of scholars in theology, philology, philosophy, biology, information science, law, mathematics, and ethics, is currently addressing the theme of humanism and technical-scientific society. The center also provides an annual weeklong course, publications, lectures, studies and research through in-depth exploration of religious reality, contemporary society, and science and faith in relation to the work of Pedro Poveda. All activities, hosted by the School of Theology of the Pontifical University of Salamanca, are open for public participation and close with a widely publicized public lecture. Themes of earlier conferences included: “Questions emerging in the faith-culture dialogue;” “Cultural heritage of the Church;” and, “In praise of diversity: an interdisciplinary approach to migration.” Through the formation of the LSI society working group, conferences directly address themes at the intersection of science and faith. Core planning members gather monthly, with experts in various fields as invited as needed, for dialogue and to plan future events. The center promotes publications and maintains an extensive library. Publicity for the publications will be presented on a website and in other outlets. Matching funds are provided by the Cátedra Pedro Poveda.

Seville Local Group

Centro Pedro Arrupe de Sevilla
Seville

The Seville Local Group provides a “space for dialogue and a meeting point for faith and the modern world, especially open to unbelief and inspired by Ignatian spirituality.” Devoted to including members of the community, the group aims to contribute to human and Christian education based in freedom and respect, justice and solidarity, dialogue and participation. Various groups within the larger initiative – including a Bioethics Research group, founded in 1984 – will focus on specified subject areas in matters of science, technology, and faith. Topics include: end of life issues, origins, and the ethical, theological, and religious aspects of science and faith in health and the medical profession. Society members offer lectures, seminars, and workshops for surrounding academic and professional communities and the general public. A complementary effort in the greater “Sophia Iberia LSI network”, the society will share the results of meetings and research with other groups in the Spanish LSI network. Members also seek publication in popular academic journals and share materials through website and email. Centro Pedro Arrupe de Sevilla provides matching funds.

Turkey

Bursa Local Society Initiative

University of Uludag
Bursa

The Bursa Local Society Initiative is a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural educational group bringing together theologians, medical practitioners, mathematicians, and scientists for a study/steering group to inform and direct activities and outreach efforts. They explore a range of metaphysical and worldview questions arising from the dialogue between science and religion through conferences, symposia and reading/discussion activities, and invitations for participation of students and professionals from local scientific and theological institutions. Bursa LSI explores topics related to holistic knowledge, science in Islamic history, creationism, evolutionary theories, notions of, math and metaphysics, ethics, and training and curriculum in science and faith for students and professional. Various events are publicized through Internet and other postings. Meetings of the planning group take place regularly to plan events, keep abreast of current trends and themes in science and religion dialogue, and discuss future activities to remain current with contemporary issues. Bursa LSI also organizes society events, invite speakers, purchase books for group study, assure that results are publicized, and maintain public forums directly related to the project. The Bursa LSI is establishing a strong specialist library in science and religion. According to the Chair: "The term ‘holistic’ as used here is not limited to the science of healing and nutrition. The term 'Holistic' means totally all-inclusive, all comprehensive, integrative, systematic, balanced, and takes into account all factors. Holistic knowledge means an all-encompassing ‘science’ which would take into account the contributions of metaphysics and physics as well as other domains of knowledge. At the heart of this approach lies ‘interdisciplinarity.’ In this context, the concept takes its inspiration from the idea of ‘marâteb al`uloom’ or ‘ihsâ al-uloom,’ which in classical 9th-13th century Muslim sources as well as for Ottoman Turkish scholars of science emphasized the interconnectedness of and hierarchy in individual areas of knowledge. It aims towards a ‘holistic’ approach to knowledge which neglects neither science nor ‘metaphysics-religion.’ An interdisciplinary approach to science and religion has not found a space for itself in Turkish academia so far due to various historical, educational, and political reasons.” Therefore, promoting holistic knowledge and interdisciplinarity throughout Turkey direct the Bursa LSI agenda. Matching funds are provided by the University of Uludag.

Ukraine

East-Ukrainian Center of Science and Religion

“Wholeness” Association
Karazin Kharkiv National University
Patriarch Mstyslav College
Kharkiv

In the words of the Society Chair, “the main task of this program is to create a real society of a permanent work that should unite philosophers and scientists (physicists, biologists, cosmologists and others) with a purpose of active discussion and attempts at solving numerous common, interdisciplinary, and ‘parallel’ problems in two important spheres of human experience: science and religion.” Brought together in reading groups, research, seminars, colloquiums, conferences, and offering a website and publication opportunities, this group directs their efforts at fostering the legitimacy and importance of the dialogue within the many institutions represented by its expanding membership. The broader goal of the society is that of sharing their experiences with the Ukrainian Ministry of Education to encourage the integration of science-faith discussion into the modern educational curriculum to help awaken the “public consciousness” to the importance of the interrelations between science and religion. Addressing this broader goal, specific seminars for post-graduate and undergraduate students are offered, as well as a library of resources for use in education. Topics explored cover a broad range: quantum probability, nature and rationality, scientific and religious truths, and historic and contemporary science and religion overviews. Matching funds are provided from several sources, including Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv National University of Electronics, Kharkiv Applied Physics Institute of the Ukrainian National Academy of Science and the Monocrystal Institute of the Ukrainian National Academy of Science.

United Kingdom

Centre for Religion and the Biosciences

University College Chester
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Chester, Cheshire

The Centre for Religion and the Biosciences (CRB) was established in recognition of the growing importance of fostering constructive dialogue between different religious traditions and new developments in the biosciences, including medicine. The local society program is designed to encourage critical exchange not only between those who are faculty members of the centre, but also to broaden the debate by hosting themed public lectures which are widely advertised and are designed to attract a wide audience, including those who are high school students and ministers of religion local to the area. In addition, smaller interdisciplinary study groups involving postgraduate students and professionals meet on a quarterly basis in order to foster specific discussions on current literature in the field. These groups present a seminar once a year, attended by society members and open to friends of the centre and other members of the public. A biannual newsletter is used as another medium of summarizing the work of the program. Each year culminates in an annual conference and incorporates both public lectures and scholarly academic presentations designed for eventual publication. Public lectures and the conference lectures are recorded and made available through the CRB website. Matching funds are provided by the Chester College Foundation and a Christendom Trust grant.