Wolfgang Achtner
Justus Liebig Universtiaet Giessen
Local Society: Arbeitskreis Naturwissenschaft-Theology
Giessen, Germany
Paper Title: Infinity in Science and Religion: The Creative Role of Thinking about Infinity
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in G17


The major claim of this paper is to show the creative role of thinking about infinity in science and religion. This claim is substantiated by a historical survey. Starting with the reluctance of ancient Greek philosophy to think in terms of infinity it is shown, that first steps towards thinking about infinity were made by Anaximander’s απειρον and Aristotle’s potential infinity. However the overall schema of Greek philosophy remained oriented towards finiteness. It was not before the Christian theologian Gregor of Nyssa and not before some remarks of St. Augustine in his civitate dei that God was conceived as being infinite – in sharp separation of Aristotle’s metaphysical concept of a finite God.


This new concept of an infinite God raised the question of how to relate and how to think about this infinity, which was inconceivable in classical Greek metaphysics. One answer was the emergence of apophatic theology. The theology of Dionysios the Areopagite stresses like Gregor’s theology the infinity of God. However he holds that this infinity can not be thought of in terms of language. Therefore one can only speak about the infinite God in the form of negations (υπερ-, μετα- ) and can relate to it only in terms of emptying one’s rational capability thus in the final analysis ending up in adoring silence. This apophatic answer to the intellectual challenge to think and relate to God’s infinity however, as spiritual powerful as it may be, conveys the risk of eroding both human and divine rationality. Thus it could have turned out that the concept of an infinite God and the apophatic theology as a form of pious adoration of this infinity might have resulted in an intellectual dead end. However it is shown that in the subsequent historical development the most important successor of Dionysius the Areopagite and the strongest adherent of his theology, Cusanus, paved the way to intellectual understanding the infinity of God by means of symbolic mathematical illustration. He thus set the stage for the ongoing discussion about infinity and by creating the concept of (i) infinite mathematical approximation (ii) the concept of relativity of motion (iii) infinity of the world, including space, (iv) by linking infinity to mathematics. This combination of infinity with mathematics proved to be very fruitful in the theological and mathematical research of Georg Cantor in the 19th century, especially in the hierarchy of his אs. Thus thinking about infinity has been creative and triggered many innovative scientific and religious insights.

Wolfgang Achtner, studied theology in Mainz, Göttingen and Heidelberg and mathematics by correspondence. His doctoral dissertation analyzed a reframed natural theology in the work of T.F. Torrance and his recent second thesis (Habilitation) explored the shifts in theology, philosophy, epistemology and anthropology in late medieval times that paved the way to the emergence of modern science. Dr. Achtner spent about a year in FEST in Heidelberg, a think tank of the Protestant Church in Germany. He has published numerous articles about the science-theology dialogue and founded five working groups on science-religion. In 1999-2000 Dr. Achtner spent a sabbatical at the Princeton Theological Seminary, exploring the history of the concept of "law of nature" and its role in the science-theology dialogue. Since 2000 he has been a campus minister and a part-time lecturer on science and theology at the University of Giessen. His awards include "Kleines Lutherstipendium", a translation grant for his book Dimensions of Time (Eerdmans 2002), a grant for founding an LSI group at the campus ministry, and a stipendium for the "Templeton Oxford Seminars on Science and Christianity". He is member of the ESSSAT and the Protestant Academy of Arnoldshain and he has lectured in Germany, France, Switzerland, Greece, UK and USA. He is founder and editor of the Giessener Hochschulpredigten und Hochschulgespräche der ESG (GHH) and the newsletter "Wissenschaft und Religion" (WUR).
 

 

 

Brian K. Akers
St. Andrews Presbyterian College
Local Society: Religion and Science Roundtable
Laurinburg, North Carolina, USA
Paper Title: “Fish Wars” and the Science/Religion Dialogue

In recent years, a number of scientists with a high public profile, especially in biology, reflect a philosophical orientation toward what Ian Barbour calls “scientific materialism.” Whether most scientists embrace such a materialistic philosophy is unclear, but public perceptions about science and scientists are probably influenced by the sometimes overt scientific materialism of those in the media spotlight. The public controversies surrounding a topic such as evolution are sustained in part by the philosophical, rather than strictly scientific, aspects of the issue. One prominent reflection of this controversy can be seen in the “Fish Wars,” symbolic battles with automobile emblem display plaques where the traditional Christian symbol of the fish is used to express various editorial messages concerning the origin of humanity, life, and the universe. The best approach to mediating such controversies may lie in a greater effort to understand all sides, and a clearer focus on the distinction between the scientific, and the related philosophical considerations.
 

Brain K. Akers, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of biology at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, NC. Akers completed his undergraduate work at Western Michigan University and his Doctor of Philosophy at the Department of Plant Biology at Southern Illinois University. His research focuses on mycology and the systematics and morphology of Lepiotaceae. Akers is a member of the Mycological Society of America and the North American Mycological Society. Akers is also interested in scientific photography and illustrations. He chairs the Religion and Science Roundtable Local Society at St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

 

 

Edward Alam
Notre Dame University Lebanon
Local Society: Notre Dame University Communio Study Circle
Zouk Makael, Lebanon
Paper Title: Philosophy: The Bridge between Religion and Science
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in G17


Ever since Francis Bacon attacked Aristotle's theory of causation, neither philosophy nor science has ever been the same. Bacon made such a sharp distinction between material and efficient causality on one hand, and formal and final causality on the other, that he set the stage for what would subsequently become an almost unbridgeable gap between Modern science and philosophy and metaphysics (natural theology). He argued that physics ought to concern itself with material and efficient causality alone (at least two aspects of efficient causality), while philosophy and metaphysics should deal only with questions of formal and final causality. Consequently, the pace of scientific progress skyrocketed. Not many really questioned the wisdom of this fast pace of modern scientific progress until, after two world-wars, both philosophers and scientists began to ask what really had gone wrong with human knowledge. This paper revisits Bacon’s attack on the Aristotelian doctrine of causality and seeks to show that a return to the Aristotelian account, which has already begun with the modern emphasis on interdisciplinary education, may be just what is needed today in order to bring about a much needed unity to modern education. Such unity in knowledge and education must inevitably be rooted in a return to metaphysics, that is, to the questions of God, religion, and the ultimate purpose of human living, but not from the point of revelation, but simply from the point of reason.
 

Edward J. Alam graduated from the University of Utah in 1996 with a Ph.D in Philosophy, after completing graduate and undergraduate degrees in philosophy and theology from the Catholic Univesity of America, Washington, D.C. in 1985 and 1987 respectively. He currently teaches philosophy and theology at Notre Dame University, Louaize, in Lebanon, where he has taught courses in Philosophy, Theology, World Religions, Logic, and History of Human Thought. His research focuses on contemporary developments in Metaphysics. He has pubished a book titled Out of the Shadows into Reality on John Henry Newman's Grammar of Assent, as well as a number of papers in several international journals. He has participated in numerous international conferences and was chosen to give the plenary address at the World Congress of Metaphysics, in Rome in July 2003, and at the First Asian Regional Conference in Bangkok, sponsored by the International Institute for Metaphysical and Mystical Studies. He is a member of the Eckhart Society and the organizer of the LSI group in Lebanon. In his free time, he likes to travel, and to read and write fiction and poetry.

 

 

 

Evgeny Arinin
Pomor State University
Department of Cultural and Religious Studies
Local Society: Pomor Dialogue
Arkhangelsk, Russia
Paper Title: Essence of Organic Life In Russian Orthodox and Modern Philosophical Tradition: Beyond Functionalism and Elementarism.
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in Gallery
 
In Russian Orthodox Tradition, as it is pointed out by Ioann Kronshtadsky (1902), life is understood as a remarkable harmony or agreeable order in God's Creation, where flesh is like a temple of spirituality strengthened and sanctified by the power of Divine grace. N.O. Lossky’s (1938), V.F. Voino-Yasenetsky’s (1947), V.V. Zenkovsky’s (1961, 1964) and A. Men’s (1971) theology is majorly based on the ideas of H.Bergson, P.Teilhard de Chardin and Hegel (with Shelling). Further on we will thoroughly consider these ideas in the light of modern scientific approaches towards the definition of the essence of life.
 
During the Soviet period, “Idealism” and “Materialism” emerged as a shift from ideological philosophy. For example, V.P. Kuzmin (1986 ), distinguished between “Systematic” and “Meta-systematic” understanding of objects. A.Tchanyshev (1981 ) emphasised “Naturalistic” and “Anthropomorphic” principles for cognizing the essence of objects, whereas B.T. Grigorian (1973 ), through the principles of “Objectivism” and “Subjectivism." Yu.A. Shreider (1990 ) just opposed “Naturalistic” and “Individualistic” principles for interpretation the world. S.N. Smirnov (1978 ) emphasised “Functional” and “Structural” principles for the development of a scientific interpretation of objects. S. Petrov (1980 ) distinguished between “Structural,”“Functional,” “Phenomenological,” and “Substratum-substantial” principles, B.M. Kedrov (1980 ) between “Functional” and “Substratum” principles, while A.R. Sokolov (1985 ) worked mainly with “Functional-substantial” principles. In the works of the authors mentioned above, one can discern their will to deny the dogma of State Marxism in favour of a dialogue with Western philosophical and Church traditions.
 
First F.W.J.Shelling and G.W.F.Hegel interpreted the phenomenon as the “Substratum,” “Process (causal)” and “Substance” as levels of understanding of the objects` essence. Nowadays there have been a great variety of new definitions of essence of life created, in which the authors try to reflect the achievements of modern science. They differ from one another over a number of points. First of all it is necessary to mention the contraposition of “Organismic” and “Biospheric (Macro-evolutional)” definitions, which differ in understanding the every object of Biology - the essence of which is determined - organism, biosphere or process of evolution as a whole. Then it is necessary to single out general logical level of the definition itself. It could either determine common spatial and temporal features of the object defined or express the substance of phenomena, basis of common and differentiating features, peculiarities - in this case empirical and essential, phenomenological and fundamental definitions will differ. Depending on the way the essence of phenomena is understood the definitions are divided into “Substratural (substratum),” “Structural,” “Substantional (substantial)” and “Functional,” “Functional-composite” and “Structural-functional,” energy and informational.
 
Dr. Evgeny Arinin is founder and chair of Pomor Dialogue, a 2002 grantee of the Local Societies Initiative, located in Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation. In addition to teaching and heading the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies at Pomor State University, Dr. Arinin also travels to Vladimir State University to teach and foster the exploration of the same topics. He is currently exploring the creation of another dialogue project to be held at Vladimir State. Dr. Arinin is Founder and editor of Candle, an annual collection of articles, and Sources, a series of study books . He is also founder and coordinator of the project "ISTOKI", sponsored by the Barents Region Secretariat, Nordic Council of ministers, Arkhangelsk Regional Administration and the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation. He is a member of ESSSAT and author of several articles related to religious education in Russia.
 

 

Whitney Bauman
Graduate Theological Union
Local Society: Theological Roundtable on Ecological Ethics and Spirituality
Berkeley, California, USA
Paper Title: Contextual Methodology in the Science and Religion Dialogue
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in G17
 
Both science and religion offer us information about “who we are” in the world vis a vis other humans, other animals, and the rest of the natural world. Each has their mode of discourse and method for exploring reality. Often, in conversations about science and religion, the bridge between the discourses and methods of each discipline is unclear and the conversation remains in the area of how to do “science and religion.” It is my contention that these methodological traps arise out of an acontextual approach to theology and science (or, more broadly, religion and science). Neither religion nor science (both human-created discourses about the world) is acontextual; neither is an end in itself. In this paper, I will explore a contextual method for “doing” religion and science (along with a brief discussion of contextual epistemology) in light of two basic topical problems: Global Climate Change and Environmental Justice. In doing so, I highlight how this topic-centered, contextual method both maintains the integrity of each discipline’s approach while at the same time critically engaging each discipline’s approach in an open dialogue toward creative solutions to specific problems.
 
Key Terms: Communicative truth; remoteness; reversal; contextual theology; environmental justice; climate change.
 
Whitney Bauman serves as the Managing Editor for Theology and Science and is a PhD student in Philosophical and Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union. He received his MTS from Vanderbilt Divinity School in May 2000, and a BA in Psychology from Hendrix College in May 1998. Deeply concerned with environmental issues, Whitney wrote his MTS thesis on “Ecological Concepts of the Self” and is presently on the Steering Committee of the Theological Roundtable on Ecological Ethics and Spirituality (TREES) at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, CA. His current interests include eco-justice issues in theology, especially as they pertain to issues of theological anthropology, unity and diversity, and violence.
 

Mikulas Blazek, Ladislav Csontos, and Miroslav Karaba
Trnava University
Local Society: Towards Reconciliation of Religion with Science
Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Paper Title: To the Relation between Religion and Science at the Dawn of the 21st Century
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in Terrace
 
(1) The twentieth century can be characterized by unprecedented progress in natural sciences, especially in the field of lifeless nature. This circumstance influenced substantially also our point of view on the Universe, on its properties, structure as well as its evolution. Many new questions could be formulated and answered in the field of micro- as well as macro-worlds. However, even if several problems could be formulated more appropriately than before, their complete solution is in large deal still missing. There are also cases where the correct answer or solution should be looked for beyond the natural sciences. Generally speaking, current cosmology represents a well established branch of science, i.e. it already does not belong to a pure speculative area of the human activity.
 
(2) The data, presently available, allow us to conclude that our Universe is evolving. Its evolution started from a hot state of matter. It originated as whole, i.e. there is no scientific support in favor of the idea that the universe - as we know it today – might have arisen (let us say, gradually, in a stepwise way) by gluing together several hitherto individual and independently evolved universes. Our contemporary level of knowledge allows concluding that the existence of the Universe will be finished in the distant future. Moreover, there is no serious evidence of the existence of an oscillating universe.
 
(3) During recent years, the Standard Cosmological Model has been introduced into cosmology. By and large, it is based on the following principles, or axioms: (i) seen from the global point of view, the Universe reveals its homogeneity and isotropy, (ii) fundamental properties of the gravitation fields are described in terms of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and (iii) matter moves in the Universe obeying the laws of relativistic flow of fluid.
 
It is usually said that application of the Standard Cosmological Model allows us to explain chiefly the following three fundamental observations, namely: (a) the Hubble red shift of galaxies and their clusters (sometimes called "expansion of the Universe"), (b) the presence of the cosmic microwave background (relic) electromagnetic radiation at the temperature T = 2.735 Kelvin (with small but very important fluctuations), and (c) the primordial abundance of light atomic elements (especially of the deuterium, two helium isotopes and lithium).
 
(4) Our complex present day knowledge allows to conclude that (i) the relic electromagnetic radiation acquired the properties observed today, when the age of the universe was about several hundred thousand years (recent results lead to the value 340 thousands years), (ii) the primordial abundance of the light atomic elements appeared when the age of the universe was about ten seconds up to several minutes, and (iii) the Hubble expansion (i.e. the increase of the distance between galaxies and their clusters) observed today is primarily caused by the inflation (an enormously large expansion of the Universe in a span of an extremely short period of time); a relatively popular scenario places the appearance of this phenomenon to the period when the universe was t_1 seconds old (where t_1 is equal about 10^{-35}sec) and the duration of the inflation was about 10^{-33}sec. (Let us say that the existence of the inflation cannot be verified nor falsified.)
 
(5) The three observations mentioned above bring an important portion of knowledge about evolution of the Universe. On the other hand, they do not say anything about processes that took place before the time t_1, nor do they require existence of the Big Bang. Some theoretical models allow extrapolation from the time t_1 up to the time t_0 (where t_0 means time zero or the starting point of existence of the Universe). This means that the singularity in the temperature or the density of the matter at the time t_0 comes in due to a special and very attractive extrapolation of the properties characterizing the Universe during the time interval between t = t_1 and t = t_0.
 
Now, it is seen that if there was an "agreement" achieved on the existence of the Big Bang, one should introduce - in addition to the three observations mentioned above, in the foregoing section - a fourth statement, too, namely, that (iv) the Big Bang truly took place (i.e. this addition is introduced by our hands, not by the nature). Introduction of this addition into the Standard Cosmological Model may lead to what can be called an Extended Standard Cosmological Model.
 
(6) The Hubble expansion requires some comment. Namely, according to our present ideas the Universe is filled with a material environment represented by ("heavy") matter and radiation; the rest mass of the radiation quanta vanishes so that their speed is equal to the speed of the light in vacuum. The Hubble expansion (or more aptly, the increase of the distance among galaxies and their clusters) is ascribed, today, mainly to the inflation and therefore it is not a simple task to deduce (without additional assumptions) the age of the Universe from the time dependence of the increasing distance just mentioned. But the question "What was there yesterday where the Universe is expanding today?" is still interesting and hardly answerable in field of the general relativity.
 
(7) Let us admit (for the moment being) that all the matter started to exist by Big Bang. This is to say that before the Big Bang there existed no matter at all (i.e. no heavy matter together with any kind of radiation). In that case, natural science (or any other science, such as philosophy or metaphysics) is neither able nor competent to answer the question: "What was there before the Big Bang?" The answer represents a matter of belief: the transition from "nothing" to "something" is not a physical event. Physics and the natural sciences in general are always dealing with some environment whose properties are specified by quantities adherent to the matter. A scientific approach (including for instance also the notion of causality) fits to the material world, not to the spiritual one. Religion is in a special way intimately related to such a "world", which cannot be described in terms adherent to the "material world".
 
Nevertheless, let us say that some kind of primordial matter (either in its vacuum or some excited state) existed before the time t_0 as well. In such a kind of matter there existed different fluctuations and one such energetic and very rich fluctuation might decay, leading to the birth of our Universe. In that case, the temperature at the origin of our Universe might have been extremely high but it could not have been necessarily infinitely high. Of course, such a possibility does not solve the problem of the origin of the matter. This model shifts it only one step further into the past.
 
(8)The questions related with the origin (or eternity) of the matter are answered within the framework of religion. Let us point out that it still might be that the volume of the Universe filled by (heavy) matter need not be the same as the volume filled by (some kind of primordial) radiation. On the other hand, quite often the answers to such questions come from various speculations and they do not represent the results of a serious scientific approach. Perhaps it is interesting to notice that not all questions formulated in a field of serious science will adequately meet their serious (scientific) answers.
 
(9) In the present contribution the distinction between facts and hypotheses is stressed. There are mentioned also some points of view on the interpretation of observations of the Universe. Mutual complementarity between religion and sciences is briefly sketched, too.
 
- Mikuláš Blažek: Born in Trnava, Slovak Republic (1932). University studies at the Comenius University, Bratislava (1957). PhD from Czech Technikal University, Prague. The late vice-chancellor at the Trnava University.
- Ladislav Csontos: Born in Piešťany, Slovak Republic (1952). Mathematical studies at the Comenius University (1975), PhD studies at Roman Catholic Faculty of Theology in Bratislava, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Trnava University 1997 –2003.
- Miroslav Karaba: Born in Piešťany, Slovak Republic (1976). University studies at the Theological faculty of Trnava University. PhDr studies at Palacky University (Czech Republic). PhD studies at the Theological faculty of Trnava University (from 2002).
 

Mathew Chandrankunnel
Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram
Department of Philosophy
Local Society: Bangalore Forum for Science and Religion
Bangalore, India
Paper Title: From Warpath to Wholeness: The Condemnation and Rehabilitation of Galileo Galilei
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in Gallery
 
Galileo is an ever living symbol for the struggle between science and religion, the medieval and the modern, or intellectual freedom and institutional authority. His life was a triumph for science; a life consumed in scientific discoveries and unhesitantly stood for truth and trumpeted it over the roof top. However, this courageous stand for truth, bugling the truth he knew as absolutely correct, cost him his personal life; he was misunderstood, condemned without evidence and sentenced to the coldness of silence. Still, in the stillness of his imprisoned house, he heard the symphony of the heavenly bodies and observed the perfect periodic undulation of the pendulum. Thus, he discovered new physical laws and astronomical insights, penetrating the immensity of the universe. In Galileo we touch a genius, a man committed to science and a man who practiced his faith who bridged what seemed to be unfathomable wedge between them. He is a martyr for human intuitiveness; a man fallen into the death trap of human connivance and viciousness and ones own ill judgments and calculated risks. His pungent, pointed arguments against his adversaries penetrated the hardest armaments and thus disarmed them; in a nutshell the tears and triumphs of Galileo Galilei always inspire humanity.
 
Galileo’s case is an example of the warpath model of the interaction between religion and science. The theologians, philosophers and Church leaders misunderstood him. Moreover he was unable to give clinching proof for Copernican view. The condemnation of Galileo is a classical case of how scientific discoveries call for a review of theological and hermeneutical positions and how resistant the institutional authority will be for doctrinal changes. Not only scientific and theological arguments but personal clashes contributed the condemnation of Galileo. However as a true scientist Galileo pushed for the conception about the universe; for which he was condemned; but as a true believer, Galileo had undergone the punishment with sincerity. In 1992 after 13 years of serious research done by four committees headed by internationally known scholars, Pope John Paul II revoked the condemnation of Galileo and reinstated him as a model scientist and true believer. The Galileo myth was a stumbling block for the fruitful interaction between science and the Church and heroically Pope John Paul undertook the review of the issue and after prolonged research and study accepted that though all the parties involved in the Galileo issue acted in good faith, the Catholic Church erred in condemning Galileo and asked pardon for committing such an inadvertent crime against science and scientists. Pope John Paul, examining the underpinning reasons, humbly accepted that “the Galileo case was the symbol of the Church’s supposed rejection of scientific progress, or of dogmatic obscurantism opposed to the free search for truth.”(Pope John Paul II, 1999) According to Pope John Paul, due to the Galileo case there was a general impression that science and Christian faith were incompatible leading to a “tragic mutual incomprehension” and a fundamental opposition between science and faith. In his sincere effort to resolve the age old suspicion and conflict between the Church and the sciences, John Paul humbly accepted that the Church had gone wrong in condemning Galileo and emphasized that instead of the theologians, it was Galileo who showed the way of understanding the scripture with the established empirical data. The war thus raged between nascent science and the established religion was amicably settled by Pope John Paul after examining thoroughly the complex reasons behind the condemnation of Galileo and exonerated him in the pedestal as the father of modern science and a true believer who is even model to the theologians in reconciling the scripture and nature by understanding the true meaning of scripture and the complex dynamics of nature. In resolving the Galileo myth, Pope John Paul has the intention of never repeating again this tragic incident in the name of religion. Today, as new ground breaking discoveries in the fields of genetics, nanotechnology, quantum relativity and artificial intelligence are made, the warpath model of science and religion interaction must pave the way for wholeness, integrating and working together for a better future of humanity. The exoneration of Galileo is an example of the reconciliation between science and religion based on mutual appreciation and is a pointer toward the partnership
 
Dr. Mathew Chandrankunnel studied physics and philosophy and defended his doctoral thesis on the theme "In Search of Causal Quantum Mechanics" at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He worked under Nobel Prize winners such as Carl Friedrich Von Weizaecker, Aage Bohr, etc. In his research, he compared the interpretations of Bohr and Bohm in quantum mechanics. At present he currently serves as registrar and Professor of Philosophy of Science at the Pontifical Athaeneum Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, India. He also serves as the Director of the Centre for the Study of World Religions and Chairman of the Bangalore Forum For Science and Religion supported by the Local Societies Initative of the Metanexus Institute. He is also the President of the McGill-Bangalore Chapter of SigmaXi International Science Organisation. A Catholic priest, ordained in the year 1987, he belongs to the Congregation of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. Dr. Chandrankunnel has worked as a science journalist and has written many books and articles in journals such as Philosophy of Science. He has taught in several Indian as well as foreign universities.
 

Alexei Chernyakov and Natalia Pecherskaya
St. Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy
Local Society: SPECRS Workshops for Academic and Civic Groups
St. Petersburg, Russia
Paper Title: The Nature of the Science and Religion Dialogue in Russia and Its Basic Ground
Monday, June 7 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM in G17
 
Described in the most general terms, the goals pursued by the activity of the St. Petersburg Education Centre “Religion and Science” (SPECRS) in Russia present the following. We are striving to provide a sphere where scholars, theologians and philosophers could combine their efforts to find a language and a way of posing problems which would transcend epistemological specifics of individual branches of research and would try to answer the profoundest questions of human existence.
 
In the beginning of a new millenium we are aware that the notion of truth presents many more aspects than the traditional adaequatio intellectus et rei, that searching for truth, knowing truth and remaining in truth have a bearing not only on the norms and canons of theoretical and empirical knowledge, but also on the creative activity and behaviour, religious life, culture as a whole and its various manifestations, involving all the aspects of man’s life in this world. However the liberation from universal claims of the science of the beginning of the 20 th century, which is actually under way, must not mean giving up attempts at responsible and, in a certain sense, rigorous thinking, which has been at all times determining the norms of existence of the scientific community and supporting the Church’s belief that it is possible to live according to a truth encompassing and guiding the whole of human existence.
 
Although Russian philosophy has always maintained the thesis according to which the human intellect is fundamentally whole and all the energies of a man’s soul should be united in an ascension to an innermost core (or perhaps precisely because of the circumstance), the problem of science vs. religion has not had, in Russian culture, the tension and importance which allow us to speak of it almost as the major determinant factor in the history of Western thought. Because of that the discussion of this most important problem goes on rather languidly in Russia, the outlines of related problems remain unclear, and the manner of posing questions and the strategy of thinking are more often than not completely irresponsible.
 
It must be noted besides that “theology” has always meant in Russia (and still means) almost exclusively “the writings of Fathers of the Church”, that is, study of patristics. Yet patrology cannot be limited exclusively to philological research, though it is of course an important part of any attempt at interpretation. Today’s habit of retelling what the Saint Fathers had said using the “language immanent to tradition” and a certain hostile attitude towards the “technical character” of scholarly thought which, it is claimed, renders today’s world too secular and deprives it of individuality, have occasioned in today’s Russia a wide gap between the religious life on the on hand and the intellectual and cultural life on the other hand, which exists despite all exterior appearance of welfare. This situation leads to a painful contradiction between contemporary Russia’s efforts to reacquire its cultural heritage and to become an equal member of the world’s intellectual and cultural community. The gap just mentioned influences scientific, theological and philosophical thinking, education, politics and (very often) the “private” professional careers of scholars, provoking a kind of “ethical schizophrenia”, i.e. an inability (and sometimes a determined refusal) to reconcile theoretical interests and religious life.
 
We think that discussions of the theme of science vs. faith, science and religion could clarify the nature of this contradiction and the actual extent to which it is rooted in Russian culture. There is no other way to overcome this contradiction, but to cooperate in a common space doing a joint work. This common space is called the hermeneutical problem in science and theology.
 
Prof. Alexei G. Chernyakov, Ph.D. in mathematics (St. Petersburg State University), Dr. of Philosophy (Free University of Amsterdam), Doctor of Philosophy (Dr. Hab., Russian State Humanities University, Moscow). Chairperson of the Metanexus/LSI program “ St.Petersburg Education Center for Religion and Science” (SPECRS). Head of the Department of Philosophy at St. Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy. Focus of interests: ancient philosophy, phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, etc.), Greek patristic science and religion. Author of two books and a number of articles dedicated to the problems of mathematics, philosophy and Russian Orthodox tradition published in leading international journals.

Mrs. Natalia A. Pecherskaya (Ph.D. in mathematics) - Administrator of the Metanexus/LSI program "St.Petersburg Education Center for Religion and Science" (SPECRS). The Rector of one of the first non-state educational institutions in Russia - the St.Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy (SRPh) founded in 1990 under the aegis of St.Petersburg Association of Scholars and Scientists. Being a mathematician by education and profession, Russian Orthodox by confession, Dr. Pecherskaya was invited to lecture at the SRPh among scholars who have a high level of professional skills and religious knowledge. She is the author of many articles in local and international journals, initiator and editor of the collected scholarly works on different issues connected with religion, civil rights and education. These publications are in Russian and foreign languages, in particular, "The Emancipation of Russian Christianity", written in English and printed Studies in Theology, v.33 by The Edwin Mellen Press in Toronto. Coordinator of the projects in the 20th century philosophy in cooperation with German, Italian, Spanish scholars. Organizer of the conferences on the issues of interconfessional relations among Christians, Jews and Muslims, religious higher education in Russia, the problems of the human being in science and theology. Expert for the city Administration and Coordinator of the Working group "Interconfessional Relations, Ethnic Problems, Religion and Society" at the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of Russian Federation in the North-West Federal Region.
 

John Chirban
Hellenic College / Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
Institute of Medicine, Psychology and Religion (IMPR)
Local Society: The Healing Intiative
Brookline, Massachusetts, USA
Paper Title: Holistic Healing in Byzantium Epistemologies and Methodologies
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in Gallery  

The tradition of healing in Orthodox Christianity emphasizes the human being as a psychosomatic unity. In Western society, however, the practice of healing is often separated into disciplines that independently address the body, the mind, and the soul. Orthodox Christian physicians, psychologists, and religious leaders trained in Western institutions may therefore find a conflict between modern healing methods and their religious beliefs. Should we attend to part of the person over the whole person? Does it matter if we approach the healing task in parts rather than as a whole? Recently, those working in the modern healing arts have begun to incorporate holistic, integrative approaches in their disciplines of medicine, psychology, and religion. This investigation:  

The task set forth in this investigation is to clarify epistemological and methodological approaches by various Orthodox Christian healers. The following questions will be explored:

To answer these questions, scholars in Byzantine studies and practitioners in the healing arts will gather to share their findings and clinical experience. Additionally, a national survey will be conducted of Orthodox Christian practitioners in medicine, psychology, and religion to ascertain the understanding and practice of healing by contemporary practitioners. This three-year study will address, respectively, historical, theological, and practical considerations.
 
John T. Chirban, Ph.D., Th.D., is a clinical instructor at The Cambridge Health Alliance at Harvard Medical School, where he teaches courses in spirituality and psychiatry, and the integrative treatment of sexuality and sexual dysfunction. He is also a 40th Anniversary Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University. Dr. Chirban serves as professor of psychology and Chairman of the Department of Human Development at Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology. He is also Director for The Institute of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion, in Cambridge. Massachusetts. A licensed psychologist in Massachusetts and California, Dr. Chirban serves as Co-Director with his wife at Cambridge Counseling Associates, LLP, a full-service practice in psychology.
 
Dr. Chirban divides his time between teaching, research, and private practice in psychotherapy. A special area of interest for Dr. Chirban is the integration of medicine, psychology, and religion. The integration of these three fields provides the groundwork for his frequent lectures and professional writings. His current research examines the philosophy and religion of B. F. Skinner, drawing from hundred of hours of collaborative interviews spanning 25 years. He is also examining epistemologies and methodologies for psychosomatic healing in Byzantium as related to modern holistic healthcare.
 
His soon to be published book by McGraw/Hill entitled True Coming of Age shows how our True Self and our connections with our Self, Others, and God open the door for fulfillment. Through case studies and his work with notable Americans, such as Tom Hanks, Diane Sawyer, Ron Howard, and Maya Angelou, Tom Brokaw, and Sandra Day O'Connor, among several others, Dr. Chirban explains how we are, or are not, connected to the True Self, and shows us how we can reconnect and deepen our Critical Connections.
 
Other recent books include: Sickness or Sin? Spiritual Discernment and Differential Diagnosis; Raised in Glory; Interviewing in Depth: The Interactive-Relational Approach; and Personhood.
 
He and his wife Sharon, a clinical psychologist, live in Carlisle, Massachusetts with their three children Alexis Georgia, Anthony Thomas, and Ariana Maria.
 

Allan Combs
The Graduate Institute
Local Society: Learned Society for Spirituality and Complexity (LSSC)
Milford, Connecticut, USA
Paper Title: Multiple Levels of the Science-Religion Dialogue
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in G17
 
Modern psychological research on developmental stages of thought suggests that the dialogue between science and religion can be roughly parsed into several separate dialogues, each arising through a particular structure or manner of thinking. These structures, while developmental in origin, are found in persons of all ages. They have been studied intensively in the development of the individual, and have been tracked through historical epochs as well. In the language of Jean Piaget’s developmental psychology, the first stage of importance is associated with the pre-operational thinking, in which religion is concerned with magic and animism. At this stage science does not exist. The next stage is characterized by concrete operations thinking. For the person at this stage religion emphasizes authority and facts, as reflected in statements concerning truth as well as moral thinking at this level. Typical issues concern the absolute authority of a holy book such as the bible, and the facts it contains. It might be argued that science does not authentically exist at this stage, but in so much as it does it represents facts on file: that is, what is true and what is not true. Abstract thought finally comes into play with formal operations thinking. Here, religion is discussed in terms of general principles, and belief systems are compared in a search for common principles of truth and morality. Science is in its own element with this form of thinking, where it is a search for reliable abstract relationships that undergird empirical reality. These relationships are ideally summarized in mathematical formalities. Beyond formal operations, postconventional thinking often takes on a systems orientation, seeking relationships among relationships. Examples in science include recent TOT theories, and in religion, spiritual and experiential descriptions that undergird and unite the human and cosmic orders. Examples of the above structures will be given in terms of individual development as well as in the histories of thought, art, and religion.
 
Dialogues between science and religion cannot usefully begin prior to concrete operations thinking, and even here amount to little more than competition between authorities. For example, debates about the theory of evolution and biblical creationism typically make no headway. Formal operations thinking, however, allows parallel abstract discussions about moral questions and truth issues from scientific and theological perspectives, but the two perspectives rarely connect. Each side simply states its own thinking based on different suppositions about truth. Postconventional thinking, on the other hand, opens the possibility of a true connection between the scientific and spiritual vantage points, each extending beyond itself to include something of the other. Thus, much modern spiritual thought includes the big bang and cosmic evolution within its purview, while many scientists are attempting to stretch their own disciplines to allow for larger and more spiritual views of the cosmos. This is seen, e.g., in contemporary discussions concerning the creative aspects of nature, and of the Anthropic Principle.
 
Key terms: Structures of consciousness, psychological development, moral conflicts.
 
Professor Allan Combs is a systems theorist, consciousness researcher, and neuropsychologist at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He also holds appointments at the Saybrook Graduate School, The California Institute of Integral Studies, the Assisi Conferences, and the Graduate Institute of Connecticut, where he is the director of the Integral Studies program leading to an MA in Conscious Evolution. He is the author of over fifty articles, chapters, and books, including Changing Visions: Human Cognitive Maps Past, Present, and Future, with Ervin Laszlo, Vilmos Csanyi, and Robert Artigiani; Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences, edited with Robin Robertson; Nonlinear Dynamics in Human Behavior, edited with William Sulis; Synchronicity: Through the Eyes of Science, Myth, and the Trickster with Mark Holland; Mind in Time: The Dynamics of Thought, Reality, and Consciousness, with Mark Germine and Ben Geortzel; and The Radiance of Being (2ed): Understanding the Grand Integral Vision; Living the Integral Live, winner of the best-book award of the Scientific and Medical Network of the UK. Professor Combs is the co-founder of the Integral Foundation, The Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences, a member of The General Evolution Research Group, the Integral Institute, the Forge Guild and the one hundred member Club of Budapest. He is Editor of Integralis, Associate Editor of Dynamical Psychology, and the Administrative Director of the Human Change Project, sponsored by the Integral Institute. Allan is the winner of the 2002-2003 National Teaching Award of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, and holds the Honorary Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship at UNCA.
 

Thomas Dailey and Peter Leonard
DeSales University
Local Society: The Baranzano Society
Center Valley, Pennsylvania, USA
Paper Title: Do You Mind? The Anthropological Question Underlying Bioethical Discussions
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in Gallery
 
The Baranzano Society, a Local Societies Initiative that brings university scholars, corporate professionals, and healthcare practitioners together to discuss bioethical concerns, has sponsored public forums treating specific issues: Are pills the remedy to our ills? Can patients retain their autonomy at the end of life? Does individuality need medical enhancement?
 
Each issue, on its own, is of widespread interest and can be approached from several viewpoints. However, by stepping back to view these questions together, we see that these subjects disclose a larger, more comprehensive concern that leads to questions about who we are and how we develop as human persons: Is our identity reducible to molecular make-up? Does suffering negate the meaningfulness of our existence? Is beauty limited by the reality of personal appearance?
 
The anthropological concerns center on the question of the mind-body relationship. Traditionally, this question has been raised in philosophical inquiries (in terms of ontology and epistemology) and/or in psychology studies (in terms of consciousness). Our contention in this paper is that this question now forms the underlying basis for all bioethical debates. Consequently, how science and religion grapple with this meta-ethical question has significant implications for healthcare.
 
In summary form, the mind-body question as it relates to bioethics wonders about how we remain distinctly human when faced with debilitating illness or disease. For example, do we cease to be human when we lack complete consciousness or lose independent bodily functioning? More generally, are there differing degrees of humanness depending on our medical condition? Or does the fullness of our humanity depend on a reality that transcends the physical world (i.e., eternal life)? Who answers these questions, and how these decisions are made, will lead to radically divergent decisions when it comes to the practice of healthcare.
 
It is our contention that the meaningfulness of human life lies not simply “out there” in the physical world that our bodies inhabit, nor “inside” the perception generated by the mind’s eye. In our view, the human being is constituted as an “embodied self” or an “acting person” (John Paul II) whose body, mind, and soul are integrally connected and therefore wholly affected when it comes to healthcare matters. Consequently, we assert that bioethical dilemmas should be resolved in light of a more holistic understanding of the inability to partition a person (into body or mind or spirit) and of the permanence of what makes us human (without loss or degree).
 
Fr. Dailey is Professor of Theology at DeSales University (Center Valley, PA). There he also serves as founding Director of the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture, through which he administers the work of The Baranzano Society on Science and Religion. He holds a doctoral degree in theology (S.T.D.) from the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome). He has lectured worldwide on topics in biblical theology, Salesian spirituality, and Catholic higher education. He has written, edited or translated six books and over thirty articles. As past-president of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, he serves on their Board of Directors. He also serves on the board of directors of the Salesianum School (Wilmington, DE) and on the advisory board of the Berman Center for Jewish Studies (at Lehigh University). In addition to courses at DeSales University, he has also taught in programs at the Washington Theological Union, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Immaculata University, and the National Institute for Clergy Formation. He has twice been named to the list of Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Fr. Dailey entered the religious congregation of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (O.S.F.S.) in 1980 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1987.
 
Fr. Peter Leonard is Associate Professor of Biology at DeSales University (Center Valley, PA), where he teaches courses in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Immunology and Medical Ethics. He currently serves as chairman of The Baranzano Society on Science and Religion, a grantee of the Local Societies Initiative, at the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture. He holds a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Cell and Molecular Biology from The Catholic University of America and a Master of Divinity degree from DeSales School of Theology. His research interests include the effects of chemopreventive agents on the growth of cancer cells in vitro as well as the interface between religion and science. His publications range equivalently from the areas of multiple drug resistance in cancer cells to the ethical implications of the Human Genome Initiative (HGI). Fr. Leonard is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), The Pennsylvania Academy of Science (PAS), The Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology (ITEST), and Sigma Xi. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Tott’s Gap Medical Research Institute. He serves at DeSales University on the Facilities and Technology Committee of the Board of Trustees, the Institutional Review Board, and the Preprofessional Advisory Committee for Careers in the Health Sciences. He is the program coordinator of the Master of Education in Biology program. Fr. Leonard entered the religious congregation of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (O.S.F.S.) in 1975 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1986.
 

Edward Davis
Messiah College
Local Society: Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science at Messiah College
Grantham, Pennsylvania, USA
Paper Title: Protestant Modernism, the Warfare Thesis, and the Religion of Science
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in Gallery
 
In the early 20th century, the “Chicago school” of Protestant modernist theologians uncritically adopted A.D. White’s “warfare” view of religion and science. Like White, they held that traditional theology was utterly incapable of a positive, fruitful conversation with modern science. They rejected the moderate approach of the prominent theistic evolutionist Asa Gray, who had separated theology from science and who held that evolution and the Nicene Creed were fully “compatible.” Instead, they reshaped theology along “scientific” lines, discarding divine transcendence and defining “religion” in functional rather than doctrinal terms. This has important parallels with the emerging “religion of science,” which has its roots in Comtean thought.

Two Americans gave early, alternative definitions of the “religion of science,” in books using that title. One, the libertarian publisher Calvin Blanchard, sought to advance popular irreligion and “free love.” The other was Paul Carus, editor of The Open Court magazine. Carus was influenced by Charles Carroll Bonney, a Swedenborgian who served as president of the World Parliament of Religions. Carus went on to develop a “religion of science,” involving a view of God he called “Entheism.” Like the Chicago theologians, Carus uncritically accepted the warfare thesis.
 
Edward B. ("Ted") Davis, representing the Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science, is Distinguished Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College (Grantham, PA), where he teaches courses on Christianity and science. With Michael Hunter of Birkbeck College (London), he edited The Works of Robert Boyle, 14 vols. (Pickering & Chatto, 1999-2000), and a separate edition of Boyle's treatise on the doctrine of creation and the idea of nature, A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature (Cambridge, 1996). He has also written extensively on the history of religion and science since 1650 in Europe and the United States, including an edition of The Antievolution Pamphlets of Harry Rimmer (Garland Publishing, 1995) and an article on modern Jonah stories that was featured on the BBC radio program, "Making History." With support from the National Science Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation, he is currently writing a book about the religious beliefs of prominent American scientists in the 1920s. Additional information is found at http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/.
 

Kathleen Duffy
Chestnut Hill College
Local Societies Initiative Steering Committee
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Paper Title: The Cellular Automaton and the Cosmic Tapestry
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in Terrace
 
The 2002 best seller, A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram, has caused a stir within the scientific community. In its more than 1000 pages, Wolfram presents the fruit of his efforts to model all of the facets of nature, including the universe itself, with simple programs. The goal of this project is to gain insight into the origin and nature of complexity, a behavior that has only recently achieved widespread interest within the scientific community. Wolfram’s preliminary results show that the behavior of spacetime can indeed be modeled with programs called cellular automata and causal networks in which the fundamental reality is the interconnection between network nodes.
 
Some seventy-five years ago, Jesuit paleontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), in his book, The Human Phenomenon, proposed a new way of modeling the universe. In order to portray the cosmos as a whole and “to organize the tangle of appearances” (Teilhard, The Human Phenomenon 95), he constructed and explored a metaphor that I call “the cosmic tapestry” (Duffy 1-12). This metaphor also focuses on interconnections within the evolutionary cosmos.
 
In this paper, I provide a short introduction to Teilhard’s cosmic tapestry and to Wolfram’s new science. I then suggest parallels between these two views of the universe, noting particularly the common theme of interconnection.
 
Kathleen Duffy, SSJ received her PhD in Physics from Drexel University. Currently, she is Professor of Physics at Chestnut Hill College. Formerly, she taught physics at Drexel University, Bryn Mawr College, Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines. She has published research in atomic and molecular physics and in chaos theory in journals such as Physics Review Letters, Journal of Chemical Physics and Chemical Physics Letters, as well as Philippine journals and bulletins. She is presently a member of the Board of Directors of the Metanexus Institute for Religion and Science and Cosmos and Creation. Her current research interest is in the synthetic work of Teilhard de Chardin and its relationship to modern developments in science. She has published some of her work in this field in Teilhard Studies.
 

Lucio Florio
Universidad Santo Tomas de Aquino
Local Society: The Science-Theology Society of La Plata
La Plata, Argentina
Paper Title: Religion and Science in Argentina
Monday, June 7 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM in G17
 
Because of the proportions of the Roman Catholic population in Argentina, which nowadays reaches more than the 80%, and the importance it has had in its history, we must say that the relationship between science and religion had been basically between science and Roman Catholic religion. Later on, there was a Protestant presence in the dialogue but not until the last part of the XX century.
 
During the Viceroyalty period (from the XVI century until beginning of the XIX) there was a peaceful coexistence between both worlds. Many of the Catholic missionaries were responsible for founding schools and universities. The Jesuits in particular promoted the study of the sciences by the creation of observatories, museums and research centers.
 
With the arrival of illuminist and positivist ideas in the XIX century, science and religion began to have a conflictive relationship. At that time, some important research centers were created but under the influence of Aguste Comte´s ideas. According to him, science is the upmost stage of humanity which is coming to remove other imperfect stages such as the religious and the metaphysical ones. La Plata University, for instance, was founded at the end of that century with a observatory, a Natural History Museum –which is even now the most important in South America- and research centers on physics, chemistry, etc.
 
As regards theology, it had not been developed much until that moment. The great effort of the Church had been placed on evangelization and catechism so theology did not have proper tools to dialogue with the scientific world. Consequently, a conflict between both fields began, with only a few of exceptions. As evidence of such crisis, I am going to mention Ernesto Sábato, physicist, thinker, novel writer, fine arts artist and recipient of a Cervantes Prize.
 
In the last years, a new cultural situation has been produced, which is characterized by the search of bridges between both worlds. I am going to comment on the last experiences in this field, especially the ones of the Meeting which took place in La Plata in 2003.
 

Lucio Florio graduated as Professor of Philosophy and Pedagogy at San José Institute of La Plata High Seminary (1984). He followed his studies at San Tommaso d'Aquino University in Rome, where he received the Bachelor of Theology (1986) and the Master in Dogmatic Theology degrees (1989). In 1999 he defended his doctoral thesis: "Trinitarian Map of the World: Updating of the Perception of the Trinitarian God in the Believer's Historic Experience" at the Theology College of the Argentine Catholic University of Buenos Aires. Florio is an Ordinary Professor of Trinitarian Theology, and has taught Introduction to Theology and other subjects on Systematic Theology at the High Seminary, La Plata (1989 up to date). He is also Ordinary Professor of Theology at the Philosophy and Literature College and at the Theology College of the Argentine Catholic University (from 2000 up to date), and Guest Professor of Systematic Theology at the Institutional Studies Institute of the Universidad del Norte, Buenos Aires (from 1999 up to date).

Dr. Florio is the director of Communio magazine (Argentine edition). He is also a Member of the "Argentine Theological Society" (SAT); member of the "Associazione ex-alunni del Pontificio Istituto Biblico"; member of "Santa Ana Foundation", La Plata, Argentina; member of the Board of InterFASE, International Faith and Science Exchange of Boston (USA); member of the "European Society for the Study of Science and Theology" (ESSSAT). He was also President of the Organizing Committee of the International Meeting "Sciences, Philosophy and Theology: At the Search of a Worldview," La Plata, August 20, 21, and 22, 2003, which had CTNS´ support.

In the last few years, Florio has taken part in different meetings about science and religion, as in the Second Annual Science and Religion Colloquium of the BTI, in Boston. He was a lecturer at the Winter Workshop of the Science and Religion Course Program: "Ciencia y Religión: Hacia una Nueva Cultura de Colaboración," which took place at the Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (México), in January-February 2002, and also at the meeting "L'Evoluzione. Crocevia di Scienza, Filosofia e Teologia," Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, Rome, April 2002, with the lecture: "Trinity and Evolution." Florio is also a member of ESSSAT, and he has participated in the meeting: "Creating Techno Sapiens? Values and Ethical Issues in Theology, Science and Technology," in Nijmegen, Netherlands, March 2002. Last April, he was a lecturer in the X Meeting: "Streams of Wisdom? Science, Theology and cultural Dynamics" which took place in Barcelona. His topic was titled "Walking on a Hermeneutic Territory: The Horizons of Sense for a Pilgrim Man." Florio has written many articles about Trinitarian theology and on topics of culture and theology. He also published in Spain the book Mapa trinitario del mundo. Actualización del tema de la percepción del Dios trinitario en la experiencia histórica del creyente (Trinitarian Map of the World. Updating of the Perception of the Trinitarian God in the Believer's Historic Experience), Salamanca: Secretariado Trinitario, 2000.

Dr. Florio is a priest of the Roman Catholic Church, La Plata Archdioceses, Argentina , and he has worked in parishes for some years. Now he is also dedicated to the educational and theological work.


Kim Hauenstein
United Protestant Campus Ministries in Cleveland
Local Society: Religion and Reason: Unifying Rationality and Spirituality
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Paper Title: The Cultural role of Respectful Interfaith Dialogue in the Search for Religious Peace and World Peace
Monday, June 7 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM in G17
 
“There will be no peace among the peoples of this world without peace among the world religions.”
-Hans Kung, Christianity and the World Religions
 
Any serious student of the world’s major religious traditions will recognize the tremendous riches of each. The sacred writings have been internationally recognized as inspirations of pure beauty, regardless of whether the reader is a member or that particular religious tradition or not. The moral and ethical codes advanced are remarkably similar, even in religions as diverse as Buddhism (The Eightfold Path) and Judaism (The Ten Commandments). Confucius told his students, “What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others (The Silver Rule).” Six hundred years later, in a far different culture and time, Jesus said to his followers, “Do to others as you would have them do to you (The Golden Rule).”
 
For centuries, cultures, religions, and political leaders have focused on faith differences as a way to separate people, manipulate trust, and arouse suspicion towards “the other.” In this excerpt from a longer manuscript, the author attempts to create a rationale and method for challenging that historically destructive pattern that has led to centuries of suspicion and violent conflict.
 
First, by identifying eight basic orientations toward religion, an historical method is determined for identifying similarities among the great religions and religious peoples of our time. Some striking examples of similarities are produced, such as those mentioned in the first paragraph above.
 
A method is then advanced for the development of a dialogue between brave leaders from the great religious traditions. This model focuses on education, dialogue, and the breakdown of prejudices, and the method is based on the classic theory of nonviolent transformation advanced by Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi. It includes the necessary elements of learning how to hold dear to one’s own religious tradition while accepting the “other” as friend and dialogue partner rather than as enemy.
 
Kim A. Hauenstein, D.Min., is adjunct professor of religious studies at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, and executive director of United Protestant Campus Ministries on seven urban Cleveland campuses. His doctoral work focused on the imaginative and persuasive language of metaphor and parable in the Bible, particularly in the sayings of Jesus, and how that language can assist in the breaking down of prejudices. He has taught courses on comparative religion at the CCC Eastern campus since 1998, as well as a course on the history of western Christianity. Dr. Hauenstein has worked in ecumenical and interfaith settings for the past fifteen years.

Long a student of the writings of Huston Smith and Joseph Campbell, Dr. Hauenstein has completed a manuscript, “Imbedded Traditions and the Future of Religion”, suggesting a dialogue among leaders of the world's great religions based on the model of nonviolent transformation advanced by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. This model recognizes the cultural basis for most religious traditions based on the ancient world in which they arose while calling for a brave new initiative for mutual recognition and peace.
 

Manuk Hergnyan
Vem Radio Station and Gandzasar Theological Center
Local Society: Recognize the Wisdom Project
Yervan, Armenia
Paper Title: Ethical Antinomies of Economics
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in Gallery
 
Economics is based on a set of fundamentally ethical antinomies. Intertwined with fact-value distinction, the concept of value-free economics was reinforced by the operational definition of economics. However, neither in theory nor in practice is it possible to single out normative and positive sides of such a coherent social process as the functioning of markets. At the core of the “purposive” ethical impulse of economics, lies the well-known argument of the “invisible hand”. Apart from being paradoxical in terms of economic mechanisms, the antinomy has profound ethical dimensions. Moreover, the ethical implications of the presupposition of unlimited wants lead to “distorted” anthropological concepts. Economics should embrace vital aspects of human existence departing from the reductionist view of “homo economicus”. In the practical area there can be sporadic islands of virtue rising through the consistent nurturing of values based on virtues.

 
Manuk Hergnyan is the Executive Director of Vem radio station in Armenia, which broadcasts religious and intellectual programs. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Moscow State University and an M.A. from Yerevan State University. He was also trained at Harvard and Cambridge universities in management and leadership. Dr. Hergnyan is a research fellow at the Gandzasar Theological Center, one of the biggest religious research and publication centers of the Armenian Church, and he is also a member of the Association of Christian Economists, both in the USA and the UK. His research interests lie in the fields of business strategy, competitiveness and Christian and moral aspects of economy. Prior to his current position, Dr. Hergnyan was a consultant at Barents Group LLC (KPMG Consulting) and Arlex International, working in the fields of financial and legal research. He has also worked, as an investment specialist, for the Ministry of Privatization and Foreign Investments of Armenia.
 
Currently, Dr. Hergnyan teaches Harvard Business School's course on Microeconomics of Competitiveness using Internet-delivered materials developed by world authority on strategy and competitiveness, Prof. Michael Porter. He has also pioneered an innovative radio show "Economy and Values" which he hosts weekly, exploring the role of ethics and values in today's economy in Armenia and globally. Dr. Hergnyan is also involved in the planning and implementation of the show and an outreach program entitled "Recognize the Wisdom," a grantee of the Local Societies Initiative.
 

Noreen Herzfeld
St. John’s University
Local Society: Science & Religion: Faculty, Students, and Benedictines in Conversation
Collegeville, Minnesota, USA
Paper Title: LSI and the Media: Obstacles and Opportunities
Tuesday, June 8 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in G17
 
This year our LSI began an ongoing partnership with Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) with the filming of one of our events for broadcast. Our LSI was engaged in reading and discussing Dr. David Sloan Wilson’s book Darwin’s Cathedral. We invited TPT to film the final discussion between Wilson and members of the LSI and Wilson’s public presentation.
 
This experience gave us several insights into working with the media, and raised some larger questions. Media exposure is, of course, an opportunity to bring the science and religion dialogue to a much larger audience; we expect our first show to reach 3000-5000 households. Interestingly enough, members of the production crew became interested as they worked on the show and asked for our extra copies of Darwin’s Cathedral, so our outreach was to the crew as well. Shows such as this also give exposure to the institution sponsoring the LSI, and this can be used as a means to leverage funds and institutional support for ongoing LSI activities. Deans and presidents like this sort of thing.
 
On the other hand, there are drawbacks to television involvement in LSI activities, drawbacks that seem to be, in part, inherent in the nature of the medium. Several of our LSI members were unhappy with aspects of our collaborative event. LSI discussions, at their best, are deep, sometimes technical, and involve specialized knowledge in at least two fields. Television wants something accessible to the common viewer—our discussion had to be simplified. LSI discussions, at their best, involve multiple persons, yet television producers are happiest with a limited number of people on the set—some got left out, formats had to be altered. Finally, LSI discussions are about ideas, while television looks for visuals—did we substitute flash for substance?
 
In this paper I will explore alternative formats that neither compromise the integrity of the LSI nor fail to produce an engaging show. I hope to suggest how to overcome some of the obstacles above, and to solicit suggestions for innovative formats that would present the excitement of LSI dialogue to a larger audience.
 
Noreen Herzfeld is Professor of Computer Science at Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA, where she is also the director of the Senior Ethics program. Noreen holds a doctorate in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Institute in Berkeley, California. She also holds advanced degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from Penn State University. Her primary research interest is in science and religion.
 
She is the author of In Our Image: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Spirit (Fortress, 2002) which examines the question of what it means for one being to be in the image of another. She has written numerous papers for journals and professional conferences including: "Creating in Our Own Image: Artificial Intelligence and the Image of God" (Zygon, June 2002); "Wall or Window: The Prospects for Spiritual Experience in Cyberspace" (CTNS Bulletin, Fall 2002); "Cybernetic Immortality vs. Christian Resurrection" (in Resurrection: Theological and Scientific Assessments, Eerdmans, 2002); "Co-creator or co-creator? Two Interpretations of the Imago Dei and their Implications for Artificial Intelligence," (Studies in Science and Theology, Fall 2003) and "A Letter From the Balkans: The Prospects for Religious Reconciliation in Bosnia" (The Christian Century, July 2003). She teaches undergraduate computer science courses in artificial intelligence, computer theory, ethics, and senior research. She also teaches "Spiritual Traditions of Islam" and "Religion and Conflict" for the School of Theology and undergraduate department of Theology at St. John's. In her spare time, Noreen is a certified wine judge with the American Wine Society, and sings in the Collegeville Consort, a nine voice early music group that has just made its first CD.
 

Peter Hess
St. Mary’s College
Local Societies Initiative Steering Committee
Moraga, California, USA
Paper Title: Nature and the Word of God in Inter-religious Dialogue
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in G17
 
This paper is aimed at generating discussion about “nature as revelation” among LSI participants from different faith traditions. All three monotheistic faiths articulate with varying degrees of explicitness the idea that God is knowable through both the creation as and revelation as transmitted by the scriptures. Western Christianity has developed this idea most explicitly in the Patristic and medieval metaphor of the book of God’s word and the book of God’s Works, which flourished in the seventeenth century but is presently in decline.
 
Theologies of binary or pluriform revelation carry a number of interesting challenges for our interdisciplinary and interfaith dialogue. What constitutes revelation? Whose sacred texts are regarded as sources of such revelation? Can we allow for multiple scriptural revelations as we have multiple interpretations of nature by the sciences? The paper will broach some of these problems, sketch possible interpretations from within a Christian theological context, and propose lines of discussion on the topic of revelation for our interreligious conversations.
 
Peter M. J. Hess earned his M.A. in philosophy and theology from Oxford University in 1984, and his Ph.D. in historical theology from the Graduate Theological Union in 1993. His scholarly work focuses on the interaction between science and religion in early modern Europe, particularly on the appropriation of the developing sciences by theologians during this period. He currently teaches historical theology at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California and serves as a member of the steering committee for the Local Societies Initiative of the Metanexus Institute.
 

Gennady Kalyabin
Samara Academy of Humanities
Local Society: Through Faith We Understand
Samara, Russia
Paper Title: An Orthodox Christian's View on Exact Sciences of the 20th Century
Monday, June 7 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM in G17
 
At the end of 19th century Max Planck was given the advice of his more experienced colleagues not to go into physics because this science is non-perspective, 95% of problems had been solved except some small details. Now we know that each of these "details" has given rise to huge branches of new physics such as the relativity theory, the quantum mechanics and the theory of elementary particles.
 
Astronomy has also made a great breakthrough due to much better and larger telescopes and other advanced equipment. The huge and magnificent phenomenon of the Universe Expansion, manifested in the "red shift" of light from the remote galaxies, was discovered. Thus the cosmology became a branch of science rather than a realm of philosophic speculations and religious intuitions.
 
The No. 1 science, i.e. mathematics, has achieved great progress too: many (though not all) old problems have been solved (the most famous of them is the Great Fermat theorem), several quite new branches of mathematical knowledge have appeared, among them the theory of algorithms which forms the basis for computers together with the solid body theory. The achievements in many other sciences are enormous (chemistry, biology, space research). All of these achievements have promoted progress in technologies which have significantly changed industry, agriculture, medicine, education, and eased everyday life.
 
On the other hand, it is obvious that the development of new technologies very often yields a lot of harmful effects, e.g. the discovery of the chain fission reaction in uranium has led not only to new inexhaustible source of energy ("peaceful atom") but - and this is much more essential - to creation of nuclear weapon (already used in World War II) with terrifying destructive capability predicted by the New Testament: "The elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are in it, shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3,10). According to the doctrine of Orthodox Christian Church the striving towards more knowledge is not very useful for human soul. Recall that the fall of the first-created people was just that they did eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and this caused the catastrophic spoiling of their own nature as well as the status of the whole world (Genesis 3). In Revelation 10, 10 St. John the Apostle writes: "and I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey, and as soon as I have eaten it my belly was bitter." St. Ignatius, Bishop of Caucasus, has considered this verse as a clear prediction of great flux of (scientific) knowledge to appear nearer to "the last time", which will strongly influence human beings so that the arrangement of earthly affairs would attract them away from the care of their eternal life.
 
As for the completeness of the contemporary "scientific picture of the world" the situation looks similar to that one hundred years ago (and perhaps worse): in cosmology – it was found out that 95-99% of the total mass of galaxies makes up the so called "dark matter" whose properties are unknown because it doesn't interact (except gravity) with any type of the observable objects; in geology it is now accepted that 95% of the ground layers were formed during short periods of catastrophic changes rather than in slow processes of sedimentation; in biology only 3% of the decoded genome information was ascribed certain functions in organism.
 
It is a great pity that only a few of those living now will learn what the science will be like in the middle or in the end of the 21st century!
 
Gennady Anatolievich Kalyabin was born Aug 12, 1947 in the city of Kujbyshev (this is the surname of one Communist functionary of Stalin period). The city was a centre of Soviet aviation industry during World War II. Its original name - Samara - was restored in 1992. After graduating from secondary school in 1961 he entered the Kujbyshev Aviation Technicum and after that in 1966 Moscow Physico-Technical Institute which was created in 1946 as a special (top secret!) University to teach researchers and engineers for defence (i.e. military) branches of industry. At the Institute he began to specialize in pure mathematics (Differential Equations & Analysis) which has become his main speciality. Dr. Kalyabin defended his Doctoral Thesis in 1980 at Steklov Institute of Mathematics in Moscow. Since 1973, he has been a teacher at Samara Aerospace University (full Professor since 1985), at the Samara Academy of Humanities (created in 1992) and at Samara Orthodox Spiritual Seminary (re-opened in 1994 after 77 years of atheistic regime). Dr. Kalyabin has published more than 60 papers in math and a dozen in natural apologetics; he has participated in 100 mathematical conferences (including World Congresses at Kyoto, Zuerich and Newark, Delaware) and 10 meetings in theology. He chairs the Samara Local Society, Through Faith We Understand. In 1969, Dr. Kalyabin married Ekaterina Andreevna Kalyabina, and he has two daughters and seven grandchildren.
 

Gennady Kalyabin
Samara Academy of Humanities
Local Society: Through Faith We Understand
Samara, Russia
Paper Title: Science-Religion Dialogue on the Middle Volga East Bank
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in Terrace
 
Answering the question "Why is the history of Russia in 20th century so tragic?" the famous Russian writer, Nobel Prize winner Alexandre I. Solzhenitsin said: "The reason is very simple. The people have forgotten God". The apostasy from the Lord is baneful not only for individuals but also for the large groups of people and for the whole nations. Since the millenium of Russia's baptism (1988), the return to God has begun and spiritual rebirth is now the main factor of modern Russian life which is much more important than economical and political reforms. Among other activities, such as reconstruction of the demolished churches and monasteries, publishing the Holy Scripture and spiritual literature (it was strictly forbidden for many decades), educating new clergymen, the dialogue between science and religion is one of the most essential parts in the restoration of normal spiritual life in Russia.
 
The point is that during seventy years of communist regime, atheism and materialism were the only official ideological doctrines in Russia, and a huge army of propagandists existed, who tried to convince the audiences that "science has established firmly that there is no God". Many scientific results were declared false, bourgeois or "top secret", other doubtful investigations were advertised as excellent confirmation of materialism. This strange mixture of incomplete knowledge, falsifications, distortions of science results have filled the minds of Soviet people and it remains to be the case today.
 
In order to correct this situation the Local Society "Through faith we understand" has been created at Samara Orthodox Spiritual Seminary in 1995. Initially the Society involved only Fr. Eugene Shestun, Professor Victor Kotlyar of the Image Processing Systems Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences) and the author of this notice. The main TFWU activity is lecturing to believers and non-believers: at the Catechization Courses for adult scientists, engineers, medical workers, administrators, as well as for less-educated persons; for students - at Samara Academy of Humanities (which is now the host organization of the Society), Institute of Railway Transportation, Technical University (at these three higher education Institutions the home churches have been recently constructed where the Godservices are regularly conducted), for pupils and - of special importance - for teachers of secondary schools, and at short courses at the towns of Samara and neighboring regions (Togliatti, Otradny, Syzran, Melekess etc). Very often such lectures transformed into unconstrained disputes and discussions of different views. Usually such lectures are held two or three times a week. Annually in spring and fall two conferences "Christianity and Science" are held in Samara by the TFWU. The members of the Society participate in conferences (local, All-Russian and International): "Bible and Natural Sciences", Moscow, 1991; Biennial Meeting of Association of Christians in Mathematical Sciences, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, 1997; "Faith and Knowledge", Saint-Petersburg, 2000; "Pedagogics and Theology" at the Orthodox Saint Tikhon Theological Institute, Moscow 2001; "Man and Christian World Outlook", Simferopol, Crimea, 2001; "Educational Christmas Readings", Moscow 2002; and "The Truth will make you free", Bratislava, 2003.
 
Protopriest Eugene Shestun has published a 400 page monograph Orthodox Pedagogics which is very popular with teachers. The series of popular papers on the theme "Religious and philosophic aspects of mathematics and natural sciences" was printed by Samara Eparhy Magazine, The Spiritual Vis-a-Vis, and Samara Orthodox People Newspaper. More than ten brochures were published by Samara Press House (the series named "Way to the Church"), and one brochure, titled just "Through faith we understand" - by Sretensky Monastery in Moscow. Many of these publications are presented at the web-site of this monastery www.pravoslavie.ru. The site of the Society itself is now in preparation.
 
Several programs on natural apologetics have been prepared and broadcast via Samara regional radio. The course of lectures by Fr. Eugene on history of Russian religious philosophy was shown by Samara city TV. However there are serious difficulties with TV and radio because the general attitude of many Russian mass media toward diverse Christian groups is still rather negative (the "heritage" of atheistic education of their leaders). We hope that the support given to us by Metanexus Institute will help to spread our voice to a broader audience.
 
Gennady Anatolievich Kalyabin was born Aug 12, 1947 in the city of Kujbyshev (this is the surname of one Communist functionary of Stalin period). The city was a centre of Soviet aviation industry during World War II. Its original name - Samara - was restored in 1992. After graduating from secondary school in 1961 he entered the Kujbyshev Aviation Technicum and after that in 1966 Moscow Physico-Technical Institute which was created in 1946 as a special (top secret!) University to teach researchers and engineers for defence (i.e. military) branches of industry. At the Institute he began to specialize in pure mathematics (Differential Equations & Analysis) which has become his main speciality. Dr. Kalyabin defended his Doctoral Thesis in 1980 at Steklov Institute of Mathematics in Moscow. Since 1973, he has been a teacher at Samara Aerospace University (full Professor since 1985), at the Samara Academy of Humanities (created in 1992) and at Samara Orthodox Spiritual Seminary (re-opened in 1994 after 77 years of atheistic regime). Dr. Kalyabin has published more than 60 papers in math and a dozen in natural apologetics; he has participated in 100 mathematical conferences (including World Congresses at Kyoto, Zuerich and Newark, Delaware) and 10 meetings in theology. He chairs the Samara Local Society, Through Faith We Understand. In 1969, Dr. Kalyabin married Ekaterina Andreevna Kalyabina, and he has two daughters and seven grandchildren.
 

Regine Kather
University of Freiburg
Local Society: Forum Boundary Questions
Stuttgart, Germany
Paper Title: The Definition of Life: An Essay in an Interdisciplinary Dialogue between Biology and Religion
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in Terrace
 
1. Life, and particularly human life, lies in the intersection of three disciplines: the sciences, above all biology, - philosophy, above all philosophy of nature and anthropology - and, at least, theology, too. Every discipline has a special concept of life in the frame of its method and its concepts. To mention only the extremes: For a biologist life has developed in the process of evolution and is, above all, defined by the genes and metabolism; nearly for all of the great religions God himself is pure life. How can this gulf be bridged? Among all beings, we know, only man participates in nature as well as in culture and is, beyond this, open to transcendence. In one’s own life all aspects have to be taken into consideration. Therefore it is impossible to accept an isolated side by side of the different definitions of life. It must be shown that they belong together. But which argument and which phenomenon can lead us from a biological to a cultural and even a religious definition of life? Though I will concentrate above all on human life, this topic concerns the whole of nature and the relation of man’s to it.
 
2. It will start with the scientific definition of life, because it is dominant in western culture. Life has a history: It has developed in the process of evolution. For most biologists the first living being is the single cell. With the biological basis, the genetic code, consciousness, too, has, as Darwin has argued, developed. All living beings are described as ‘open systems’, “which are composed of parts, which have the function to guarantee the survival and the reproduction of the whole.”(Smith and Szathmáry: Evolution) But what are the implications of the concept of ‘system’ in its application to living beings? And in how far have living beings to be characterized as a ‘whole’? These questions lead us further to a brief reflection on the scientific method.
 
3. One of the main characteristics of the method of science, as it has been developed above all for physics, is the exclusion of all those experiences, which refer to the observer in his subjectivity: Qualified sensations, aims and values are ignored as well as to the biographical identity of a person. From scientific facts, comes a well known statement, “Values cannot be deduced.” But if consciousness belongs to life, can we get a full definition of it, if we objectify it completely? Is it really sufficient to define life, as H.Maturana does, as ‘open system’ and man as a ‘self-referential system’?
 
4. Already the single cell, according to biology, shows a certain irritability, a sensitivity for perceptions. At least for the big apes and especially for man intentions, aims and values cannot be neglected. Without doubt man is by his body a part of nature, but he is a cultural being, too. For Homo sapiens, palaeanthropology shows us, the symbolic interpretation of the world is characteristic: Religious rites as well as paintings in caves are a sign for the symbolic form of intelligence. These symbols cannot be reduced to biological processes, though they are based on them. The interaction of biological and cultural processes is constitutive for human life.
 
5. Man has a consciousness of himself and an imagination of time. Therefore he can ask for the beginning and the end of his own life. Death has not only a biological, but above all an existential meaning. It can change the values and aims of his life. Beyond this the question may rise, if there is a sort of eternal being. Man is by his constitution open to transcendence. Now, as the last step of my argumentation, the religious definition of life, too, can be taken into consideration. Life therefore cannot be restricted to preservation. Self-transcendence is the main characteristic of man as a cultural as well as a religious being.
 
7. Summary: Human life is based on the interaction of physical, cultural and even religious forms of life. Man is by his body a part of nature, he creates culture by the symbolic form of his intelligence and he is open to a transcendent sphere. Man himself is the point of convergence of the different orders of being. In a paradigmatic manner the definition of life shows, that the separation of humanities, religion and science is based on a historic decision in the 15th century, which has to be overcome today. The completion of the different perspectives is absolutely necessary to be able to understand life, and above all human life, in its different relations to itself as well as to others and to the world.
 
Dr. Regine Kather was born in 1955 in Germany. She has studied physics, philosophy and sciences of religion in Freiburg i.Br., Basel and Paris, and in 1985 Kather began teaching philosophy. 1989 she earned her Ph.D. and in 1997 a Habilitation in philosophy at the University of Freiburg; since then she has taught there regularily. Because of the Venia legendi she is obliged to teach there as Privatdozentin. From 1998-2002 she taught for several weeks each semester at the Universities of Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca (Romania), since 2000 as Associate Professor. Kather is a member of the organising committee of an interdisciplinary forum at the Catholic Academiy of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. Kather has written several books and essays about the dialogue of science, philosophy and religion: Zeit und Ewigkeit. Die Vieldimensionalitiät menschlichen Erlebens (1992); Der Mensch - Kind der Natur oder des Geistes? (1994); Ordnungen der Wirklichkeit. Die Kritik der philosophischen Kosmologie am mechanistischen Paradigma (1998); Gotteshauch oder künstliche Seele? Der Geist im Visier verschiedener Disziplinen (2000); Was ist Leben? (2003); in preparation: Wer ist eine Person?.
 

Eric Klein
Representing Penn Hillel, University of Pennsylvania
Local Society: Tradition Confronts Innovation
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Paper Title: The Effectiveness of Student-Led Local Societies
Monday, June 7 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM in G17
 
The Tradition Confronts Innovation society, part of the Orthodox Community at Penn Hillel, brings together Jewish students of all religious backgrounds to analyze the interactions of religion and science through the perspective of traditional Judaism. In order to maximize participation of all members of TCI, our group has chosen to shun top-down leadership and rely on student leadership. Each month a team of 2-3 students is responsible for choosing a topic that explores the boundaries between science and traditional Judaism, finding the relevant Jewish texts and scientific articles, and facilitating the group discussion.
 
Our student-run organizational model has been largely successful. By allowing the individual teams to choose their own discussion topics they were able to identify areas that most interested them and therefore they were able to bring more energy and enthusiasm to the group discussions. In addition, having peer led discussions created a less intimidating atmosphere, allowing students to freely share their ideas. Consequently, our community-wide events have also been extremely successful. Using peer-to-peer advertising techniques in order to publicize our events, we ensured impressive turnouts and engaging discussions.
 
Although the TCI group has only been in existence for one year and we are always looking to grow and improve, our experiences this year have shown that having a student-led organization is optimal for having insightful analysis of the intersection of religion and science.
 
Eric Klein graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in biochemistry and chemical engineering. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania where he is studying regulation of the mammalian cell cycle. He has published work in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Developmental Cell. In addition to his scientific work, Eric participates in many activities at the Hillel at Penn and is on the board of Gesher, a spirited, harmonious, traditional Friday Night prayer service.

Tomas Kodacsy
Debrecen University of Reformed Theology
Local Society: Science and Theology Centre in Debrecen
Debrecen, Hungary
Paper Title: Theological Aspects of the Cosmological Anthropic Principles
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in Terrace
 
Regarding the Cosmological Anthropic Principles (WAP, SAP, PAP, FAP) theologians may find a good opportunity to argue for divine creation. Nevertheless, from the methodological and cosmological point of views, none of the Anthropic Principles implies logically creation as the origin of our universe.
 
Instead of a shallow ignorance or invigorating of Anthropic Principles I would like to point to the fact how these cosmological considerations can have an effect on current theological views. Thinking about the relationship of theology and Cosmological Anthropic Principles we should allow for the mechanism of decision-making and the existential status, because the common field of science and theology is not only the domain of the different interpretations of creation or of other theorems about the origin of our world. Moreover, the basic Anthropic Principles do not settle answers, rather, they polarise with questions like “how and why we are living beings in this universe.” In this paper I would like to focus on some theological points brought about by Anthropic Principles.
 
The Strong Anthropic Principle implies a non-scientific decision between two possible images of the origin of our world. The first option is a belief in God, who created our world, while the second option is a religiously neutral assumption that our world accidentally evolved from a big set of many possible worlds. Obviously, Christian theology supports the first theory. Although, an argument for divine creation connected to the Anthropic Principles, inevitably means a deep personal commitment. This commitment regards not only the existence of God, but it consistently defines the personal approach to a few fundamental issues. Namely, if someone takes the Anthropic Principles seriously, then the conclusions of this decision surely shape his or her view of life or environment or of the beginning of the world.
 
First, there is no compelling scientific reason to believe in a world-creator God, but if someone asserts that the world is designed by a supreme power and that this world is fitting in to human existence, then it means an existential decision refusing the eventuality of the world which we are living in. This decision is similar to the confession of Israel, formulated at the time of the Babylonian exile written in the story of Genesis.
 
Second, the Anthropic Principles raise the question of the position of human existence in the order of nature and also the problem of providence. It is significant when we are thinking about our responsibility for the other living beings and nature. According to the logic of the Anthropic Principles, we could formulate an “Animal Principle” or a “Stone Principle”, substituting the “anthropos” for any existing thing. The Final Anthropic Principle can demonstrate an extreme negligent attitude of human thinking.
 
Thirdly, these principles can join to Christology, since God not merely created this world for people, but also lived through it as a man. According to Paul, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and “all things were created through him and for him.” (Col. 1:16) This “for him” may indicate a Christological Anthropic Principle.
 
Tamás Kodácsy was born in 1975, in Hungary. He graduated in 2000 as a reformed pastor, and in 2001 as a programmer mathematician at Debrecen University. From 2000 he has been assistant lecturer at the Department of Christian Dogmatics at Debrecen University of Reformed Theology. He studied science and theology in Zürich, 2001-2002. He has been teaching Reformed confessions, early christian doctrines, and on issues in the field of science and theology, systematic theology and cosmology. The topic of his PhD studies was the Cosmological Anthropic Principles. Kodacsy chairs a Local Society, the Science and Theology Centre in Debrecen.
 

Jean Kristeller and Carolyn Speranza
Indiana State University and independent artist
Local Society: Center for the Study of Health, Religion, and Spirituality
Terre Haute, Indiana, USA and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Paper Title: Meditation – Creating Wisdom: Images, Experience, and Research Evidence
Monday, June 7 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM in Terrace
 
This program, a joint collaboration between the LSI Center for the Study of Health, Religion, and Spirituality at Indiana State University, and independent filmmaker Carolyn Speranza, will use video to express both the range of experiences that are engendered by meditation practice, and the depth of change that even brief training can produce. Meditation is a universal practice that promotes spiritual and practical wisdom by disengaging the mind from conditioned patterns of reactivity and self-concerns. Dr. Kristeller will present an overview of a multi-domain model of meditation effects, illustrated by Ms. Speranza’s film Sight of Stillness with highly experienced meditators. This video was produced during a series of meditation workshops conducted in Pittsburgh. Ms. Speranza has also worked with Dr. Kristeller to capture on video the personal experiences of individuals participating in an NIH-funded trial that evaluated the effects of a mindfulness meditation based treatment on binge eating disorder. That research has demonstrated how the MB-EAT (Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Training) program, a 9-week structured experience with mindful eating and other meditation practice, can substantially reduce compulsive eating in obese individuals, while improving depression and sense of self. Videotaped interviews with participants sharing their personal experiences, along with results from the study, will be presented to illustrate how focused meditative practice can produce life changes in relationship to eating and to the self.
 
Dr. Jean Kristeller received her doctorate in clinical and health psychology from Yale University in 1983. She is currently Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for the Study of Health, Religion and Spirituality at Indiana State University. She has been conducting research in the therapeutic uses of meditation for over 20 years. Her research areas also include the role of spirituality in adjustment to cancer. She currently has funding through the NIH Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine for research on the use of mindfulness meditation in treating binge eating disorder, and from the Metanexus Institute through the Spiritual Transformation initiative.
 
Ms. Carolyn Speranza, MFA is an independent artist and filmmaker and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally since 1987. Sight of Stillness, funded by the Heinz Endowments, is one of her interdisciplinary projects in which she collaborated with scientists, health professionals and community participants to share, through art and media, the experience of meditation and the connection between the mind and body. Ms. Speranza has received funding awards from the NEA New Forms Program and Pennsylvania Arts Council. Her work has been published in The Lure of the Local by Lucy Lippard and The Uses of Decoration: Essays in the Architectural Everyday by Malcolm Miles.
 

Anne Kull
University of Tartu
Local Society: Collegium of Science and Religion at the University of Tartu
Tallinn, Estonia
Paper Title: A Rumour of the Scandal of Naturecultures in Science and Theology
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in Gallery
 
Whitehead noted that it takes a special effort of mind to pay attention to what is always or nearly always present. We construct our cultures of understanding nature (science is culture), and along the way we also construct the surrounding nature itself. Both the ecological processes and dumping grounds enfold our ideas of nature and the ideas of ourselves. Ecological knowledge (as a natural scientific knowledge) in principle is not sufficient to solve ecological problems. We need an extended biology. Similarly, the problems technology is introduced to solve are never purely technological problems. In one sense it would seem that ’more’ technonature means ’more’ culture. But the mathematics does not work. The perception that there is less nature in the world is joined to the feeling that there is less culture, and less society for that matter – less community, less tradition. When diversity appears to depend literally on the vagaries of human individuals, it suddenly seems at risk; variation may not ensue. The definitions of science, technology, nature are highly sensitive for obvious reason: discussions of technology are the reverse side of the coin to debates about human nature. We cannot grasp the significance of any complex technological device, such as a nuclear reactor or a spaceship or a computer or a reproductive technology, without understanding its history, complex support system, social meaning and political implications. Any technology joins together countless humans and non-humans, from engineers to genetically engineered laboratory animals. Any technology reveals some aspect of the human nature.
 
It is theologically relevant to pay attention to our constructions of technoculture and technonature. If we cannot determine a place for technology and nature in our theological contructions, we lose credibility for those who are able to experience the new in a creative spirit, those who take the risk to fail. If we cannot incorporate nature and technology in our theology, it will remain a reductionist (supernatural) theology. If we cannot find symbols to express the technonatural and technocultural situation, ’blinkers’ will not be removed and we will not address the contemporary situation, detrimental both to the churches and individual believers. Christians are not exempted of personal and corporate responsibilities for the products and impact of technosciences, and the least helpful would be to encourage technophobic understandings of technology and sentimental understandings of idealized nature.“Technology is ambiguous, as is everything that is; not more ambiguous than pure spirit, not more ambiguous than nature, but as ambiguous as they are“ (Paul Tillich). Once we reduce our own fight-or-flight reaction to emergent naturecultures, and stop seeing only biological reductionism or cultural-religious uniqueness, both people and God will look different.
 
Anne Kull studied at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (Ph.D., 2000). Her thesis was titled "A Theology of Technonature Based on Donna Haraway and Paul Tillich." Since 2000, she has worked at the University of Tartu, Estonia, from 2000-2002 as a lecturer of the New Testament, since 2002 as head of the department of systematic theology and lecturer, and since 2003 as associate professor of systematic theology. She is founder and head of the Collegium of Science and Religion at the University of Tartu, a member of ESSSAT, and Lutheran by church affiliation. Dr. Kull's main research areas are science and religion, contemporary theology; she has published papers in Zygon, Currents in Theology and Mission, and various collections of conference papers both abroad and in Estonia.
 

Abdul Majid
Government Postgraduate College, Mansehra
Local Society: Hazara Society of Science-Religion Dialogue (HSSRD)
Mansehra, Pakistan
Paper Title: The Problem of Origin and Evolution of Life: Scientific and Religious Perspectives
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in Terrace
 
There are some basic constraints in the origin and evolution of life by mere physical laws and blind chance. In origin and evolution of simple and complex life it is argued that in a very large span of time and due to a large series of intermediates, first non-living components of matter might have given rise to a simple unicellular life. Then from such simple forms of life, more complex forms, including the most intelligent life – Homo sapiens – ‘could evolve provided sufficiently large series of finely graded intermediates may be considered’.
 
In this paper we shall discuss in detail the problems in the origin and evolution of life.
 
Evolutionary biology can explain adaptation and descent, but it cannot tell how natural selection and other living processes began in the first place? How the atoms and molecules, which usually randomize themselves into maximum disorder, ordered and organized themselves into life macromolecules? Whether the origin of life – the transition from chemicals to the cell- was written in the cosmic script (under Divine will) or it was just a chance incident? Did proteins come first or DNA because the paradox is that proteins can perform many activities like catalysis but cannot perform the function of storing and transmitting information for their own synthesis? On the other side, DNA can store information, but cannot manufacture anything nor replicate itself. Therefore, DNA needs proteins and proteins need DNA. Again we are facing the old problem of unbreakable cycle - the chicken-and-egg problem.
 
Similarly there will be discussion of how in 3.8 billion years, more than 2 million living species- each consisting of billions of organisms- evolved. Some other problems faced by Darwinism and evolution will be dealt with including:
 
The problem of direction in evolution, the problem of scarcity of fossils of intermediate forms, the difficulty of gradual evolution of complex organs like eyes, ears, lungs and brain, etc; in vertebrates especially in primates and in Man. How did the instincts of living things evolve, blindly or by some intelligent source? How did the most marvelous process of differentiation and organogenesis come about, that is, how a single fertilized human cell (zygote) divides giving rise to a ball of cells (morula), how these cells interpret and discover how and where to become the cells of a heart or lungs or brain, and some become a nose or eye or toe? As a whole, how does a perfect human body consisting of more than 75 trillion cells, each synthesizing two thousand complex protein molecules per second, evolve by chance?
 
How do the evolutionists of today explain the Cambrian Explosion – 600 million years ago, in a very short period of time, no more than 25 million years, (recent studies have reduced this time span to perhaps as little as 5 million years), when all the major types of animals appeared?
 
At the end, there will be some discussions about the limitations of humans’ sources of knowledge.
 
Abdul Majid is Assistant Professor & Head of the Zoology Department at Government Postgraduate College, Mansehra(Pakistan). Prof. Majid received his B.Sc Degree from Peshawar University, M.Sc in Biology from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad & M.phil from the same university in Molecular Biology in 1990. He also did M.A in Islamic Studies from the University of Peshawar in 1994. Prof. Majid has received many awards at the national & international levels. At the national level he has been awarded five presidential awards in the all-Pakistan essay award competition in 1986, 1988, 1999, 2000 & 2002 on various aspects of Islam & Modern Era. His course titled "Islam & Science on Evolution and Creation" was selected for the 2001 science-religion award. Prof. Majid is also founding chairperson of HSSRD (Hazara Society of Science- Religion Dialogue, www.hssrd.org) & Associate Editor of a quarterly journal Science- Religion Dialogue. His published works include his M.Phil Thesis & 16 research articles on various aspects of Islam, biology and the interrelationship of Islam & science. Prof. Majid has attended a number of national & international conferences. Each of the last two years, he has attended the annual Metanexus workshop; at each of those workshops, on behalf of HSSRD, he has accepted a Local Societies Initiative supplemental grant award.
 
 


Robert Mann
University of Waterloo,
Local Society: Canadian Scientific and Christian Affliliation National Lecture Series
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Paper Title: Inconstant Multiverse
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in Terrace

The challenge of explaining why there is something rather than nothing is traditionally considered one of theology's root tasks. Recent scientific findings in cosmology have suggested a different, but equally important theological task: namely that of explaining why there is something rather than everything.

This task arises because of the conjunction of two intriguing (and only recently realized) properties of our universe: its strong biophilic selection effects and its apparent causal-connectedness on its largest scales. The first of these is the result of a series of meta-observations and calculations that indicate the natural constants of physical laws admit the existence of life as we know it only for a very narrow range out of infinitely many logically admissible values. The origin of these selection effects has puzzled scientists for the past several decades. The second of these has to do with more recent observations of the cosmic microwave background, which strongly suggest a coherent mechanism relating structures over vast distances that apparently have never been in causal contact. The paradigms used to explain these properties -- respectively the anthropic principle and the inflationary universe -- have suggested to many that our observable universe is a small part of a much larger structure called the multiverse.

I contend that a multiverse -- should it exist -- raises significant challenges for theology. The chief problem is how to contain the multiverse, as the logical extension of this concept suggests that anything that can exist, does exist in some region of the multiverse. I will argue that such a perspective is incompatible with the foundations of theology, leading to the theological task noted above. From here I shall argue that the multiverse perspective leads to similar difficulties with the foundations of scientific inquiry as well.

As an antidote, I propose that the universe be embedded in an altiverse: a set of possible alternatives that logically exist but are not physically realized. I shall discuss the evidence for and against this proposal, and suggest several lines of inquiry that might be pursued along these lines.

Robert Mann is the chair of the Physics Department at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He has published over 200 refereed articles in scientific journals, supervised more than 30 graduate students, and has given over 150 invited talks. He is an affiliate member of the newly-established Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and has served on several academic and scientific advisory boards, including two grant selections committees of the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Ontario College of Graduate Studies, and the Institute for Quantum Computing. His research interests are in black holes, quantum gravity, particle physics, quantum information, chaotic phenomena, and the relationship between science and religion. He is a Templeton Course Prize winner for his course on "Faith & Science Faith". As president of the Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation, he oversees the activities of Canada's only national organization concerned with science/faith issues. He is an active member of First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ontario, and lives in Waterloo, Ontario with his wife Nancy, daughter Heather and pets Frisky and Gracie.


Robert Mann
University of Waterloo,
Local Society: Canadian Scientific and Christian Affliliation National Lecture Series
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Paper Title: Staging a National Lecture Series: Challenges, Blessings, and Opportunities
Tuesday, June 8 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in G17
 
The Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation (CSCA) has organized and hosted a Canadian-wide lecture series for the past three years. Entitled "Science & Faith in the 21st Century", the purpose of this series was to present to the public some of the current issues in the science/faith dialogue as we enter a new century. So far there have been over 50 presentations by 10 speakers in more than 15 cities. As the third year of this series draws to a close, it is prudent to reflect on what has been accomplished by the series and what remains to be accomplished. Key issues that the CSCA has dealt with are as follows.
 
(A) Organization:
How do we go about coordinating the grand vision of the lecture series with the local
organizational needs and idiosyncrasies?
 
(B) Openness:
How does one ensure that other perspectives are respected and listened to whilst
maintaining with integrity the faith-position of the organization?
 
(C) Outreach:
How do we best use the series draw new people into the dialogue and new people into membership of our organization?
 
The challenges, blessings, and opportunities associated with each of these aspects will be addressed in both general and specific terms, drawing on particular examples from the history of the series thus far.
 
Robert Mann is the chair of the Physics Department at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He has published over 200 refereed articles in scientific journals, supervised more than 30 graduate students, and has given over 150 invited talks. He is an affiliate member of the newly-established Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and has served on several academic and scientific advisory boards, including two grant selections committees of the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Ontario College of Graduate Studies, and the Institute for Quantum Computing. His research interests are in black holes, quantum gravity, particle physics, quantum information, chaotic phenomena, and the relationship between science and religion. He is a Templeton Course Prize winner for his course on "Faith & Science Faith". As president of the Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation, he oversees the activities of Canada's only national organization concerned with science/faith issues. He is an active member of First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ontario, and lives in Waterloo, Ontario with his wife Nancy, daughter Heather and pets Frisky and Gracie.
 

 

Natalia Markova
Vladimir State University
Local Society: Vladimir Dialogue
Vladimir, Russia
Paper Title: Vladimir Soloviev and Interpretation of Catholicism by Russian Authors in the Context of Cultural Dialogue
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in G17
 
The Catholic Church has been attracting the attention of Russian theological and secular authors for many ages. In Orthodox theological literature, the assertion of the Orthodox Church’s verity tends to be combined with the opinion of the Catholic Church as more “congenial” in some ways, but ultimately separated from the Orthodox Church, and as a result it leads to distortion of the truth of the Orthodox faith.
 
During the 20th century, Russia experienced two revolutionary cultural transformations that have come to allow worldviews previously at odds to come into contact. In the context of a renewed Orthdox awareness and cultural identity in Russia, the philosophy of Vladimir Soloviev and his interpretation of Catholicism is very attractive for efforts at mutual understanding. Before Soloviev (especially in Soviet Period), only critical and anti-Catholic papers predominated. Soloviev, however, raised the problem of the interpretation and understanding of Catholicism to a high level by considering the problem of “ours versus the strange”. He found universally valid content in both Orthodoxy and Catholicism. This content is to be found only in a partial manner in the historical churches, but he thought it would become fully manifest in future.
 
The aim of this paper is to present the methodological ways of creating the image of Catholicism as different from Orthodoxy.
 
In the secular scientific literature through 1917, there were only works in which authors simply described the parts, ceremonial, and dogmatic sides of the Catholic Church as it developed in Russia until the last decade of the 19th century. In the works of Soviet authors, any church (Orthodox or Catholic) was treated as an archaic institution which was completely subordinated to autocracy and which played a reactionary role during the epoch of reforms. The authors consider the problem of Catholicism from the atheistic point of view, and they have only one aim – to reveal Catholicism as a hostile force for all spheres of people` s life and its destructive influence over development of culture and science.
 
The authors of the period after “perestroika” consider a wide circle of problems about Catholicism. Usually the authors pay attention to the problem of history of Catholic Church’s existence at the territory of Russia and questions of governmental policy to the Roman Catholic Church connected with it. They pay attention to the policy of the Pope of Rome and as a result, the relations between Russia and Vatican.
 
That is why the works of Vladimir Soloviev are very interesting. Although an Orthodox philosopher, Soloviev was one of the first to attempt to develop the criteria for an objective opinion of Catholicism. He exercised great influence over the understanding of Orthodox-Catholic relations. Refusing the tradition of opposing Orthodox Russia to western “rationalism,” Soloviev criticized what he called, “abstracted commencement.” He advocated the idea of “free theosophy,” which put together empiricism, rationalism, and mysticism. In contrast to the majority of Orthodox authors--in particular, to the representatives of Slavophil tradition who saw the future of Russia as exclusively Orthodox, Soloviev saw his social ideal in “free theocracy” or “ Universal Church,” without any nationalism, ultimately unifying the Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Churches.
 
Natalia Markova, born in 1979, graduated from Vladimir Teaching Training University in 2002, is now preparing her PhD thesis at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Faculty of Humanity, Vladimir State University. The theme of her scientific investigation is "Interpretation of Other in the Orthodoxy-Catholic Perspective." Since 2002 she has been the lecturer in Religious Studies and Philosophy of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Faculty of Humanity, Vladimir State University. She is a Secretary of "Russian Inter-region LSI-Symposium" (Vladimir State University, Pomor State University, Moscow St. Andrew's Biblical Theological College). She has participated in preparing 11 LSI-applications for Metanexus Institute and has participated in 7 international conferences. Markova is the author of more than 10 publications.
 

Gordon McPhate
Chester Cathedral
Local Society: Center for Religion and the Biosciences
Chester, United Kingdom
Paper Title: Dying to Live: Biology and Faith
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in Terrace
 
This paper explores the notion of dying-to-live, as it finds currency in biological processes and in a theological account of growth in holiness for the Christian.
 
Orientation towards death is a familiar feature of classical Catholic art depicting sainthood. It is also a theme of philosophical reflection. Spinoza’s Free Man must think of dying. Heidegger’s Dasein can only exist as “being-toward-death” if he is to be authentic. Amongst theologians, Teilhard de Chardin understood biological death to be pivotal in the transformation of nature, and in growth of the personality. Arthur Peacocke similarly identifies biological death as the sine qua non of evolutionary emergence. At the level of a single organism, Claude Bernard characterised two interdependent processes: self-directed organic creation and self-destruction.
 
“In the midst of life we are in death.” The Funeral Service encapsulates in these words the biological and theological intertwining of living and dying. Three examples follow.
 
First, molecular death-in-life. Starvation carries the threat of death daily. The mammalian metabolic response to starvation is tripartite : glycogenolysis in hours, gluconeogenesis in days, and ketogenesis in months. All of these mechanisms of internal fuel regeneration are versions of catabolic molecular destruction. However, gluconeogenesis is distinctive in that it links destruction of muscle and adipose tissue to the creation of new glucose, the ubiquitous bioenergetic fuel. Dying and living, as destruction and creation, are here juxtaposed.
 
Starvation is also a good spiritual metaphor. The primordial sin of the Garden of Eden was eating the apple, and the first Deadly Sin is Gluttony! Hunger for God expresses the motive for the spiritual journey, punctuated for Christians by frequent participation in the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist, through which dying-to-self and living-to-Christ can be realised.
 
Second, cellular death-in-life. The pathologist Andrew Wyllie first described the process of programmed cell death, or apoptosis, now recognised as central to embryogenesis, neurogenesis, immunoregulation, inflammation and tumorigenesis. In apoptosis, organised cell deletion allows new growth, development, and indeed survival. The theme of death as the gate of life matches that of the sacrament of Baptism : ritual drowning and resurrection.
 
Third, tissue death-in-life. The biological process of wound healing consists of three stages : wound stabilisation by “organised” blood clot, then tissue demolition, and finally tissue regeneration and ingrowth. Tissue macrophages are dominant in remodeling wounded tissue at each stage, being both destroyers and regenerators, agents of tissue death and life, as healing proceeds.
 
Healing a wound is also a good spiritual metaphor. Movement from wound to wholeness captures the nature of the spiritual pilgrimage of faith. Once again, a biological process reveals destruction and creation as juxtaposed. The dual role of macrophages recalls the image of Snake in medicine, and recalls the image of the God who wounds us in order to make us more whole.
 
Orientation towards death is both biological and spiritual necessity. We are truly “dying-to-live” in body and soul.
 
A member of the Society of Ordained Scientists, Professor Gordon McPhate trained consecutively as a physician and a priest, combining both vocations in joint pastoral and clinical academic posts at the Universities of London and St. Andrews.
 
Initially trained as a physiologist, Dr. McPhate researched the role of prostaglandins and synthetic steroids in bronchodilation, while teaching physiology to medical students at Guy's Hospital, London. Subsequent to a research doctorate on the hormonal regulation of gluconeogenesis, Dr. McPhate trained as an endocrinologist and chemical pathologist, becoming a hospital consultant in these fields of practise, while also teaching pathology to medical students at St. Andrews. His research field shifted to the search for protein markers of diabetic nephropathy.
 
Holding a master's degree in medical ethics, Professor McPhate has written on the theological implications of the Human Genome Project. He teaches medical ethics at the University of Liverpool Medical School, where he runs modules on Medicine in Nazi Germany and on Roman Catholic Ethics.
 
Currently, Professor McPhate has a chair in Theology and Medicine at University College Chester, where he runs master's programs in Science and Religion and in Medical Ethics. Professor McPhate is concurrently Dean of Chester Cathedral.
 

 

Ted Metzler, Amanda Beyers, and John Goulden
Oklahoma City University
Local Society: GOOD STAR: Growing Open Oklahoma Dialogue in Science, Technology and Religion
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Paper Title: Overcoming Obstacles in Religion-and-Science Dialogue with an Agent-Based Computer Simulation Tool
Tuesday, June 8 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in G17
 
This paper introduces a novel application of agent-based computer simulation that promises to improve dialogue among certain scientific and religious communities. In particular, it offers the prospect of a mobile and flexible software tool that can help overcome obstacles to clear communication among those who are seeking to understand the important phenomenon of altruistic behavior.
 
Although some scientists have already employed computer simulation methods for research in this area, theological and philosophical responses have been relatively encumbered by lack of commensurate media for expressing their perspectives. We shall present a case for improving this ongoing—albeit, rather stumbling—dialogue by introducing a new class of agent-based simulation tools that provide extensible representation capabilities as well as global portability on the World Wide Web. This class of tools, while remaining useful and intelligible within the sciences, should also permit theologians to express, explore—even precisely communicate—their own distinctive theoretical explanations for altruistic behavior.
 
We shall give an account of prototyping efforts at Oklahoma City University (OCU) that are now progressing toward delivery of an initial version of the proposed simulation tool. These efforts have not yet drawn directly upon the resources of our LSI group; they have, instead, exploited some fortuitous synergism. First, we combined the availability of functional requirements—formulated previously by one of the authors of this paper (Metzler)—with a current need on the part of his co-author (Beyers) for a challenging graduate-level computer science project. Indeed, Dr. John Goulden, Chairman of OCU’s Computer Science Department, was also pleased to find his guidance responsibilities on the project compatible with some of his own technical interests in the area of artificial intelligence. In addition, our developmental requirement for a knowledgeable “test user,” representing the theological community, was happily matched by an interest in the project shown by Dr. John Starkey, from OCU’s Wimberly School of Religion. A provisional name for the initial simulation tool that we expect from this collaborative effort is “THAIST” (Theological Artificial Intelligence Simulation Tool)—yes, we appear also to be guilty of a pun on the word “theist.”
 
Although the LSI group at OCU is not financially supporting the THAIST prototyping, it has good reasons for interest in its outcome. First, we are currently planning an event that is focused upon the topic of altruistic behavior, and is expected to feature a widely recognized guest speaker. Clearly, we shall be quite pleased if the simulation tool has reached a stage of development that will allow it to be demonstrated when this event takes place. Second, we hope to take advantage of the fact that much of the THAIST tool is being written in the Java 2 programming language. We intend to exploit this feature by making THAIST available for downloading from our GOOD STAR web site, as freeware, and we shall certainly encourage widespread experimentation with the new tool among other LSI groups, scientists, and theologians.
 
Keywords: agent-based simulation, altruistic behavior, artificial intelligence, dialogue, Java 2, user programmable
 
Ted Metzler’s B.A. degree in mathematics (philosophy minor) was followed by an M.S. in computer science and an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy. The uniting motivation in this educational path was his fascination with relations between traditional notions of the human person and new alternatives introduced by artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. Appropriately, most of Ted’s work experience in computer software development has involved AI applications. Several years ago—sensing a personal calling to help mediate dialogue between the communities of AI and religion—he returned to school and earned an M.A. in theology. Ted currently is an adjunct professor in religion at Oklahoma City University and serves as program coordinator for its new LSI program.
 
Amanda Beyers appears also to have embarked upon a multidisciplinary educational path. Although her B.A. degree from Oklahoma City University combined a French major with a philosophy minor, she chose the university’s computer science department for her graduate program. Currently pursuing the M.S. degree in that discipline, Amanda is focusing upon software engineering involving games. The project described in our paper already is consistent with this focus, and it ultimately could become pertinent to Amanda’s computer-game hobby.

John Goulden has earned degrees in varied disciplines, as well, holding a B.A. in music, B.S. in physics, M.A.s in physics and computer science, and a Ph.D. in physics. He has taught in all three areas and is currently chair of the Department of Computer Science at Oklahoma City University. His interests include computability, algorithm design, programming, and any issues that span science and religion.

 

Stephen Modell
University of Michigan
Local Society: Genetic Frontiers: Challenge to Humanity and our Religious Traditions
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Paper Title: Genetic and Reproductive Technologies in the Light of Religious Dialogue
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in Gallery
 
Objectives: This paper identifies areas of controversy in the application of genetic and reproductive technologies (from genetic testing to stem cells) having relevance to the health of communities and populations. Dilemmas arising from their application call for resolution based on a broader set of principles than secular principlism can offer. Six categories of genetic and reproductive technology from the “Genetic Frontiers” series in Detroit will be presented, showing how religious considerations offer more satisfactory solutions. Elements of group discussion and dialogue are defined.
 
Background: Since the gene splicing debates of the 1980s, the public has been exposed to an ongoing sequence of genetic and reproductive technologies. Final policy compromises often lose track of people’s inner values. Discussion of genetically modified foods and stem cell research, for example, has been reduced to issues of labeling and safety. These resolutions seem unsatisfying to consumers and professionals who feel that significant moral concerns have been lost. Yet, many genetic and reproductive areas, such as prenatal testing and cloning, have outcomes that engender opposing religious viewpoints defying final resolution. This paper relocates the discussion of what is an acceptable application from the individual to the societal level, examining those technologies that stand to benefit large numbers of people, thus call for policy resolution, rather than individual fiat, in their application.
 
Methods: Since April 2002, the Detroit regional branch of the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), with the support of Metanexus and local religious organizations and universities, has sponsored a 3-part conference and ongoing professional discussion series – “Genetic Frontiers: Challenges for Humanity and our Religious Traditions”. The range of topics covered – from the Human Genome Project to genetically modified foods to genetically engineered humanity – has been as broad as the attendance, including consumers of diverse racial-ethnic and religious background, and professionals from different fields. Emphasis has been on what Iris Marion Young calls “communicative democracy”.
 
Results: The series has yielded two baskets of concerns: A. interventions having a broad public health relevance: standard genetic testing, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, gene variation research, food bioengineering, and life extension / aging modification, including stem cell research; B. voiced religious principles: the sanctity of divine creation, humanity’s creation in the image of God, human co-creativity with the divine, caring compassion, the principle of solidarity, social justice and equity, stewardship and respect for life, and responsibility to heal. These principles suggest policies that are more inclusive of people’s diverse moral values than standard ethical frameworks. The bounds of technologic use become more sharply defined and amenable to the search for common ground.
 
Conclusions: Focus on genetic and reproductive technologies having potential collective benefit motivates discussion participants to find common moral ground on how they should be employed. Novel alternatives appear when participants are enabled to explore beyond standard ethical principles. Group discussion can be dialogue-oriented to allow a broader range of expression.
 
Dr. Stephen Modell is the Director of Research - Genetics Policy, in the Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health. He has been an ongoing participant in the Metanexus-supported Detroit area "Genetic Frontiers" religion and genetics series, hosted by the National Conference for Community and Justice. Dr. Modell has embraced religious and metaphysical perspectives in various writings on genetics, aging, and systems theory he has published in Zygon, Ultimate Reality and Meaning, and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations Bio-Ethics Program guide series. He is current acting President of the International Society for the Study of Human Ideas on Ultimate Reality and Meaning.

Dr. Modell is active on two federally funded projects: a Haplotype Mapping / Public Engagement project being co-managed by the University of Michigan and conducted by the Genetic Alliance (National Institutes of Health-funded), and the Michigan Center for Genomics and Public Health (Centers for Disease Control-funded). He co-teaches the "Issues in Public Health Genetics" course at the University of Michigan. This course looks at genetics from multiple perspectives, among them theological, and motivates students to seek policy solutions for the issues they are examining.
 

David Montalvo
Upper Merion Area High School in King of Prussia
Local Society: Society for Philosophical Study of Religion, Science, and Asian Thought (SPSRSAT)
West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
Paper Title: Two Worlds or One: Complementarity in the Dialogue between Religion and Science
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in G17
 
In the dialogue between science and the spiritual, prior metaphysical commitments can radically alter the ground of discussion. I survey the effect of certain metaphysical commitments on the dialogue between science and religion, noting that commitments which appear to favor some sort of dualism, entailing a strict separation between the realm of science and the realm of the spiritual, seem to be the most successful in preventing an anti-realist interpretation of either religion or science. And yet dualism has the fatal flaw of making any connection between the scientific world and the spiritual world quite literally impossible, in addition to the fact that dualism is considered problematic in philosophy in general.
 
I argue that the principle of complementarity (as it is used in physics) would preserve the possibility of smooth connection between science and religion by allowing the spiritual and the quantifiable to exist in the same world, while at the same time preventing precise aspects of scientific relations and spiritual relations from simultaneously being in view. As one brings the mathematical relations of science into focus, deeper spiritual relation becomes unclear and vice-versa, on this view.
 
Complementarity has been invoked in the relation between science and religion before; however, it has been misapplied in some instances and has not remained true to the principle as it occurs in physics in other instances. I present a thoroughgoing complementarity which avoids these pitfalls. I also conclude that if one accepts the principle of complementarity, many of the perceived conflicts between religion and science can be viewed as violations of the principle.
 
David Montalvo graduated from Widener University with a B.S. in physics in December 1987, and has been teaching physics, science, and mathematics in the public schools since February of 1988. In August of 2001, he obtained his M.A. in philosophy from West Chester University. David has published articles in both Asian Philosophy and in The Physics Teacher, and he was the Associate Editor of, and a contributor to, Breaking Barriers: Essays in Asian and Comparative Philosophy in Honor of Ramakrishna Puligandla, Hoffman and Mishra (eds.)
 
David is a founding member and vice-president of West Chester University's Society for Philosophical Study of Religion, Science, and Asian Thought (SPSRSAT), which is supported by the Local Societies Initiative of the Metanexus Institute.
 
David's areas of interest include Asian philosophy and religion, philosophy of science, and philosophy of mind. He also enjoys creating webpages, and currently maintains (among others) the website for the PA State System of Higher Education Interdisciplinary Association for Philosophy and Religious Studies at http://www.sshe-iaprs.org, and a website for his students at http://www.mrmont.com.
 

David Montalvo
Upper Merion Area High School in King of Prussia
Local Society: Society for Philosophical Study of Religion, Science, and Asian Thought (SPSRSAT)
West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
Paper Title: The Use of Web-based Argument in the Religion-Science Dialogue
Tuesday, June 8 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in G17
 
In discussions — especially discussions concerning the relation between the scientific and the spiritual — one often wishes that the background beliefs and metaphysical commitments of the discussants were clearly labeled on a placard mounted on the chest right at the start. How much time could be saved by such a measure; how many arguments at cross-purposes prevented; how many misunderstandings averted? As any philosopher will know, teasing out background beliefs and metaphysical commitments occupies a large part of any philosophical discussion — sometimes the entire discussion if time is short!
 
It would be tremendously time-saving if in discussing, say, Intelligent Design, one knew ahead of time whether the person believed that available evidence proves the existence of an Intelligent Designer and falsifies evolution theory, or whether the person instead thought that evolution is merely an unlikely explanation for the available evidence, making the existence of an Intelligent Designer more likely. Arguments against those two positions would have very different structures.
 
It occurs to me that most discussants would object to pre-discussion labeling, however useful it might be. And yet, it would be quite natural for someone to make choices based on background beliefs when clicking through links on a website. In fact, the hyperlink structure of a website is ideally suited to funnel visitors through a complex argument based on these kinds of choices. If carefully designed, a web-based argument would have visitors reading through an argument specifically tailored to meet them on their own metaphysical ground, so to speak.
 
In the paper, I present a rationale for web-based argument through a specific example which clearly displays the advantages of web-based argument.
 
Webpage: www.mrmont.com/idcsieve
 
David Montalvo graduated from Widener University with a B.S. in physics in December 1987, and has been teaching physics, science, and mathematics in the public schools since February of 1988. In August of 2001, he obtained his M.A. in philosophy from West Chester University. David has published articles in both Asian Philosophy and in The Physics Teacher, and he was the Associate Editor of, and a contributor to, Breaking Barriers: Essays in Asian and Comparative Philosophy in Honor of Ramakrishna Puligandla, Hoffman and Mishra (eds.)
 
David is a founding member and vice-president of West Chester University's Society for Philosophical Study of Religion, Science, and Asian Thought (SPSRSAT), which is supported by the Local Societies Initiative of the Metanexus Institute.
 
David's areas of interest include Asian philosophy and religion, philosophy of science, and philosophy of mind. He also enjoys creating webpages, and currently maintains (among others) the website for the PA State System of Higher Education Interdisciplinary Association for Philosophy and Religious Studies at http://www.sshe-iaprs.org, and a website for his students at http://www.mrmont.com.
 

Clay Farris Naff
Center for the Advancement of Rational Solutions
Local Society: Lincoln Forum on Science and Religion
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Paper Title: A House of Many Mansions: How Science Can Make Room for Religion
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in G17
 
Science and religion are often regarded as being in conflict over their descriptions of reality. Attempts at reconciliation have not been wholly successful, in part because the scientific narrative attributes crucial features of the Universe to random processes, while religions tend to ascribe the same features to God's will. This paper proposes a way out of the conflict based on scientific discoveries and principles. Specifically, it will defend the following claims:
 
--Einsteinian relativity demonstrates that, for any two or more observers, material reality differs. The laws of physics may be the same everywhere, but locally available information varies. This, along with developments in quantum cosmology, suggests limits on scientific data and on the universality of religious claims.
 
--For rational justification, science depends on the metaphysical reality of certain fundamentals of logic, including mathematical reasoning. However, based on a longstanding physicalist definition of reality, there are rational grounds for accepting other metaphysical entities, including at a minimum, God.
 
--Our best knowledge suggests that reality is multiaxial in nature. What this means is that, at a minimum, many metaphysical axes intersect with the natural world through the agency of human minds. 
 
The paper will show how this characterization of reality as multiaxial can harmonize many religious worldviews with science, and with each other.
 
Clay Farris Naff is an award-winning journalist, community activist, and author. His first book, the 1994 nonfiction title About Face: How I Stumbled onto Japan’s Social Revolution, brought him a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship. His most recent is a book on gene therapy, due out from Greenhaven Press in Fall 2004.
 
As a writer, radio commentator and national speaker, Naff focuses on science and religion issues. He directs the nonprofit Center for the Advancement of Rational Solutions (CARS), which seeks to promote rational reconciliation of the world’s many religions with science and with each other. A self-styled "hopeful agnostic," Naff reaches out to people of any or no religious faith with equal respect for their dignity, hopes and aspirations. He has engaged audiences from New York to Honolulu.
 
His wide international experience includes years of living in predominately Muslim and Buddhist countries. In the early ‘90s, while a Tokyo-based correspondent for United Press International and National Public Radio, Naff reported on tumultuous changes in Japan. After returning to the U.S., he held several university posts while writing a book on the social upheavals in Japan. Kodansha International published his book About Face in 1994 to favorable reviews in the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune magazine, and other major publications.
 
Long concerned about issues of religion, science and their roles in civilization, Naff followed up a 1995 summer stint at Harvard University with an enduring collaboration among scientists, philosophers, theologians and ordinary people aimed at devising a sound basis for reconciling various religious worldviews with emerging science. The events of 9/11 prompted a full-time commitment to this endeavor with CARS.
 
A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Naff now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he serves as executive director of CARS and as on-air editorialist for community public radio station KZUM.
 

Marie Vejrup Nielsen
University of Aarhus
Local Society: Forum Teologi Naturvidenskab (The Danish Science-Theology Forum)
Aarhus, Denmark
Paper Title: Making a Vision Available – Christian Teachings on Sin in Dialogue with Evolutionary Biology
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in Terrace
 
Many Christian themes and thoughts are currently being enriched through dialogues with different sciences. The themes connected with the Christian doctrine of sin pose some interesting questions to theologians who wish to discuss human nature and human life with other academic disciplines. “Sin” as a concept has led a rather tumultuous life in the 20th century and its fate in the beginning of the 21st century seems to be much the same. “Sin,” it seems, has been reduced to either a term used jokingly by us when we talk about indulging in some of the “forbidden pleasures” of modern life, food, sex and cigarettes for example. Or it has been reduced to a moralistic use within some religious communities, where the only function of the term is to separate the “good” from the “bad” and create borders between people and also potentially cause serious psychological damage related to abnormal feelings of guilt and shame.
 
But I think the concept of “sin” holds a much broader potential as a vision of human beings, their past, present and future. My claim is that sin is a complex term, which holds an equal complex view of human beings through its key component, which states that sin neither is the first nor the last word to be said about human beings.
 
This complex view of human nature can benefit from dialogue with other sciences concerned with understanding human nature. One of the most interesting and influential research on human nature in current times comes from evolutionary biology. In the development of evolutionary biology many questions concerning human nature have been asked, and these areas of questions have been widening their scope to areas connected to many other academic disciplines. Evolutionary biology’s research opens up for discussions, which have been the concern of theologians for centuries; what are the basic forces at work in our lives? How does our past influence our present and our possibilities in the future? Are we as human beings free or are we bound by some more or less obvious boundaries? Is there a hope of transformation in the knowledge we have of human nature? What can we actually know about our lives and how can this knowledge be useful to us? How does the vision of human life we have in our philosophy affect the decisions we make in our lives?
 
My lecture will present the complex view of human beings entailed in Christian teachings on sin and set out some guidelines for how the anthropological vision in these teachings in Christian theology can go into a fruitful dialogue with modern evolutionary biology in a discussion of how we should understand human life, its origins, its present life and its hopes for the future.
 
Marie Vejrup Nielsen is currently a PhD student at the department for Systematic Theology at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. She is on the board of the Danish Science-Theology Forum (www.forumteonat.au.dk). In 2004, Nielsen received the ESSSAT Student Prize for the thesis "Aggression and Violence as themes for the Christian understanding of sin," written while she was studying theology at Aarhus University. She has been accepted to present a paper in a workshop session at the ESSSAT X conference "Streams of Wisdom" in Barcelona, April 1-6 2004. She has a Master of Theology degree from Aarhus University and a Master of Arts degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where she studied from 1999-2000, with Professor Phillip Hefner as academic advisor.
 

Kuruvilla Pandikattu
Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth
Local Society: Jnanam Discussion Group
Pune, India
Paper Title: LSI as Social Web of Committed Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, June 8 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in G17

“The old men shall see visions and the young shall have dreams.” (Joel 2: 28)
 
Modeling on two recent significant phenomena (World Social Forum, which held its meeting in Mumbai on January 2004) and the Indian Software entrepreneurship, this paper tries to see the importance of networking, creativity and vision in enabling a new way of life. Like WSF and software entrepreneurship, LSI is a unique phenomenon that fosters

LSI and science-religion dialogue are motivated by openness to the world, a dynamic vision of dialogue and commitment to both science and religion. It encourages people who are passionate (‘fire in the belly’) and committed to a cause. Their enthusiasm, purposiveness and openness to change can contribute significantly to better the human society.
 
LSIs do make a positive contribution to the society. Some of the key elements of LSIs may be summed up as below:

**Fostering the dynamics of dialogue
LSI fosters not just dialogue between science and religion. Because of the multi-cultural and multi-religious background, it functions also as a mediator for dialogue between religions and cultures.

**Promoting peace and prosperity
Religious fundamentalism (after 9/11) and consequent violence can be tackled better with scientific temper and openness to the new. So peace, which is the basic essence of religions can be better brought about by a creative interaction between science and religion that cross national and cultural boundaries.

**Critiquing technological creativity
While appreciating the marvels of today’s technology, LSI can take us back to the human face of technology. It can usher in creative technologies that are ecologically friendly and not guided solely by profit motive.

**Promoting human values
The perennial religious insights give humans meaning in life and provide them with lives of values, commitment and purposes. For our modern world, we need to rediscover these values and adapt them suitably, so that contemporary humans can relish the perennial wisdom and retain their humanness. At stake today is the very survival of humanity.

**Constructive Engagement and Creative Commitment
Within this background, LSI groups can function as entrepreneurs, visionaries and dreamers, who can combine their efforts to

Their scope is beyond academia and so they try to reach out to people who make a difference in the world. LSIs can respond to the scientific, religious and social issues critically, creatively, constructively and compassionately

**Conclusion
LSIs do offer a network and platform to bring together science and religions as well as people of different mentalities. They provide opportunities to be creative and committed, to be enterprising and purposive, to be visionaries with a practical bend. While encouraging dynamism and accountability, it promotes concrete LSIs who can indirectly help us to open ourselves to a possible “leap in religious insights” (comparable to the technological leap that we experience today) so that humans can live more happily and purposely.
 
Kuruvilla Pandikattu (b. 1957 in Kerala, India) teaches science, philosophy and religion at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, India. He has three Master's Degrees and two doctorates, both from the University of Innsbruck. He has won the Templeton Course Award (1998), Development Grant Award (1999) and is the director of Jnanam, a Local Societies Initiative. Three of his articles have won special awards from CTNS and the Templeton Foundation. He is a founding member of the Association of Science, Society and Religion, the first of its kind in India. He is the moderator of Jnananm Discussion Group, an LSI grantee. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Society of Jesus. His areas of specialisation are dialogue between science and religion and between religion and hermeneutics. Among his numerous books are: Dialogue as Way of Life; Idols to Die, Symbols to Live; It's Time! Science, Religion and Philosophy on Time; Tamas [There Are Many Alternative Stories]; [email protected]; and Promises of Life. He has edited seven books, including Hopefully Yours, Meaning of Mahatma for the Millennium, Human Longing, and Fulfillment. Pandikattu has written more than thirty scholarly articles and has had a regular column in the local newspapers on science and religion. He is the secretary to two scholarly journals. He has organised five international conferences and seven national ones and is regularly invited for conferences and symposia in the area of science and religion and has participated in more than twenty international conferences. Pandikattu is a visiting professor in many universities and colleges and is an active member of various learned associations and societies related to science, religion and philosophy.
 

 

Adam Pave
West Chester University
Local Society: Society for Philosophical Study of Religion, Science, and Asian Thought (SPSRSAT)
West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
Paper Title: A Proposal of Process Theology and its Implications for Science and Religion
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in G17
 
Science tells us that we live in an uncertain world. Christianity, through faith in God, belief in his Word, and arguably divine revelation, establishes order and consistency to human endeavors. Yet, as history shows us, scientists in the Western world were originally theologians practicing science within the structure of the Church. It seems that scientists pursued empirical data in complete harmony with biblical truth. Along the way, however, Science and the Church diverged. It was as if Religion or Science filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. Which one? That is a subject of another discussion. Unification is our current dilemma, and Process Theology is a possible vehicle for uniting these two divergent fields. I briefly examine the ideas of Alfred North Whitehead, Charles Hartshorne, John Polkinghorne and others, to see how close together Process Theology can bring Science and Religion.

Throughout the paper, I briefly discuss the concept of “Truth” and/or “truths” in Science and Religion, hoping to unify the language within the two fields. In the end, I admit that Process Theology, as a concept, lacks the ability to understand what faith means for the individual Christian believer. Faith, as belief in the Truth of God, taken to the heart of the Christian, cannot be just a provable theory. I also argue that the changeable, malleable concept of God in Process Theology is a point of divergence for the Christian. Although Process Theology does offer hope and insight in beginning a dialogue, I hold that it cannot maintain a complete unification in the face of these objections.
 
As a 1997 graduate of DeSales University, BA English, in Center Valley, Penssylvania, Adam Pave began working in banking and retail sales. In August of 2002, he left the workforce to pursue an MA in Philosophy at West Chester University, which he will complete in 2004. With a BA in English and an MA in Philosophy, it is his goal to further attain a PhD in Philosophy and teach at the college level. His philosophical interests include Philosophy of Religion, Comparative Philosophy, and Ethics. Pave presented a paper at both Fall and Spring EPPA (Eastern Pennsylvania Philosophical Association) Conferences. Respectively, the presentations were: "The Concepts of Repression and Action in the Bhagavad-Gita" at Bloomsburg University and "Buddhist and Christian Thoughts on the Concept of Self and No-Self" at Mansfield University. His current work on a Master's thesis involves a comparison of Christian and Buddhist thoughts on "self" hood as they relate to ethical theory.
 

Andrey Pavlenko
Russian Academy of Sciences
Local Society: God’s Design in Human’s Presentations
Moscow, Russia
Paper Title: Has the Universe been created from “Nothing” or from μη ον?
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in Terrace
 
**Introduction
In this work we undertake a task to show the possible metaphysical consequences connected by “realization” of inflationary cosmology. We try to do it both within the science and beyond its boundaries.
 
**Inflationary Theory
The theory entails the scientific employment of the concept of “inflation”, which describes an exponentially fast increasing of volume of the universe which is taking place in “vaquumsimilary” condition. The speed of increasing of the size of system (at a stage of inflating) for many degrees exceeds the speed of light in vacuum.
 
Independence of both space and time from matter and radiation was installed at early stages of evolution. The stage of inflating in common evolution of the Universe is carried out without matter and radiation. In other words, “empty” space and “empty” time are inflating. They are filled only by scalar field. In this case it is necessary to understand “empty” space and time as the absence of real elementary particles and radiations. The vacuum could contain only virtual particles.
 
For us it is extremely important to emphasize that after the inflating stage the Universe is coming to Friedman’s stage, in which appeared the observable forms of matter and energy. In other words, we can say that our Universe had “unrepeated” life before birth, so called “prenatal stage” (stage of inflation) and “ postnatal stage”(stage of evolution). This model of the Origin of observable Universe received its first empirical verification in 2002. Now, let us address the question whether in history such extraordinary ideas about the origin of the Universe were foreseen.
 
**Plato’s description of the Cosmos’ Genesis
The most complete explanation of the Origin the Cosmos we find in works of Plato. In his dialog “Timaeus” the “cosmological principle” is formulated, in the implicit form, according to which the Cosmos is a living organism andthe Human Being isa connected part of it (an organ) (Tim. 29 e, 30 c, 89 a).
 
According to Plato’ doctrine the observable Cosmos is created by the Demiurge using a divine plan – First Sample (Tim. 30 c-d) from non being ( μη ον) in two basic stages: “he has brought it from disorder into order (… εις ταξιν αυτο ηγαγεν εκ της αταξιας …), believing, that the second, certainly, is better than first”(Tim, 30а). Plato says that earth, water, air, and fire were ordered by Demiurge “by the help of images and numbers”. (Tim, 53 b)
 
What can we conclude from Plato’s words? Cosmos was created by Demiurge in two stages. At the first stage the god creates elements of the world, which for a while stay disordered, and then from these elements Demiurge creates observable things. “Disorder” (αταξια) can be interpreted as “a chaos”. The chaos was understood by Plato as “matter”, but not as “substance” in modern sense, but rather as “nonbeing of substance” - μη ον (absence of any qualities).
 
**The doctrine of the Cappadocians about the origin of the world
According to Plato the Cosmos was created by God from chaos in accordance with First Sample, i.e. with his design (Tim, 28 b - 40d). Chaos was understood as a matter, which from the creative point of view is "nonbeing" – μη ον. The matter as dark, inert and evil basis cannot be created by God. Therefore, if it is not created by God, it is as old as He is.
 
The God of Hebrew tradition has created the world “from nothing” (Θεος εποιησεν ουρανον και γην εξ ουκ οντων) (II Mac. YII.28). This biblical statement preserved it's force untouched within first two centuries of Christianity. However in 2- nd century St. Iustin introduces some new elements of understanding the creation. According to St. Iustin, the world was created by God from "a shapeless matter" – εξ αμορφου υλης (See: lustin philosophi et martyris Opera quae feruntur omnia, lenae, 1876,T.l,cap.lO). Clement Alexandrines thought almost the same, when he asserted the reduction of all things from the condition of “primordial disorder” – παλαιας αταξιας ( See: Klement Alexandrinus. Opera. Berlin-Leipzig, 1909.T.2, Lib.VI, cap. 16). It was Greek influence. But then arises a question: how to reconcile Platonism and Judaism? St. Gregory of Nyssa understood that" at the beginning " by God from nonbeing in being forces of the world (chaos) were brought, and yet in the second act of creation - from connecting of these forces (chaos) in consecutive order the sensible world was made (Opera St.Gregorii, episcopi Nisseni. Edit.Migne in : Patrologiae cursu completo, series graeca. Paris, 1858, T.I, col.770; col. 72d-73a).

**Principle of genetic similarity of Human Being and Universe
Inasmuch as the heuristics of the inflationary theory is addressed to an Origin of the Universe, so it is necessary to search correlation in the field of an origin of the Human Being.
 
In 1994 we have assumed (Pavlenko A.N., Being at its Threshold// Human Being, Moscow, - 1994, - № 1) that “two-staging” origin of the Universe strikingly correlates with a “two-staging” origin of the Human Being. 1) At the first stage the Human Being literally “inflates” in his volume from the size 10 -7 (size of chromosome) up to the size 5·10 -1, that is approximately in 10000000 times! 2) On the second stage, after his “appearing on light” Man is increased far less rapidly - in 3-4 times. This allows us to hold in fairness to the “Principle Genetic Similarity” of Anthropogenesis and Cosmogenesis.
 
**Conclusion
We see that the main direction of European Thought in explaining of the Cosmos’ (Universe’s) origin suggests the common existence of two stages: “prenatal” and “postnatal”.
 
Andrey Pavlenko performs his scientific and research activity at the Department of Philosophy of Science, Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences located in Moscow (www.iph.ras.ru). After Postgraduate studies at Philosophical Faculty of Moscow State University, (Department of Philosophy of Science), Pavlenko defended his thesis "Tendencies of evolution in modern cosmology" (1989). All his further activity has been connected with the Institute of Philosophy. Learning ancient Greek in the "Greco-Latin Cabinet" (1991-1992) allowed him to consider the development of cosmological knowledge in historical perspective. Preparation and defense of his Ph.D. thesis " Reconstruction of the Epistemological Turn in modern Cosmology" (1999) was the result of that research.
 
In 1997 Pavlenko’s two Monographs were published: 1) Pavlenko A.N., European Cosmology: Foundation of Epistemological Turnabout - Moscow, INRADA, 256 p.p.(In Russian); 2) Pavlenko A.N., Being at its Threshold, Moscow, IPhRAS, 230p.p. (In Russian). The main results of his researches were accumulated there. In Philosophy of Science, his work includes: 1) a " Stage of Empirical Weightlessness of Theory" in Developing of Natural Sciences of XXth Century (presented in Dubrovnik at the Int. Conf. in Philosophy of Science 1997), Boston (XXth Int. Philosophical Congress, 1998); 2) in epistemological foundations of Modern Physics and Cosmology there is an "Epistemological Turnabout" to standards and norms of scientific knowledge in Ancient Greece. (11th Int. Cong. of Logic, Meth. and Phil. of Science, 1999, Krakow and IVth Congress of Analytical Philosophy, 2002, Lund). In Ontology his work includes: 1) the Being of Modernity suffers transformations which can be demonstrated on example of Aristotle's definition of (Thessalonica, 1997); 2) "Principle of Genetic Similarity (PGS)" of Human Being and Universe. (Int. Conf. in Pyrgos, Greece, 2002). All results were published or are currently in the process of being published. Some publications in English can be found here: http://www.philosophy.univer.kharkov.ua/theology_and_science_e.htm.
 

Carlos Ramos, author and Jamie Castillo, presenter
Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla
Local Society: Centro de Estudios de Ciencia y Religion (CECIR)
Puebla, Mexico
Paper Title: Building Links between Science and Religion in Mexico
Monday, June 7 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM in G17
 
The objective of this paper is to show how the dialogue between science and religion is being built in Mexico. The first part deals with the general relationship between science and religion. The second part highlights the peculiarities, advantages and problems that exist within the Mexican context, and focuses on how socio-economic, religious and cultural factors affect science-religion dialogue. Lack of financial support, and the difference between popular religious tradition vs. real theological understanding are some of the obstacles presented here. The third part considers Mexican culture from historical and educational perspectives, and spurs a discussion of its repercussions on the science-religion dialogue in both public and private universities.
 
Prof. Carlos Ramos was born in Puebla, Mexico in 1969. He received his Bachelor´s degree in Philosophy from Puebla State University (UPAEP) in 1992, and obtained his Master's degree in Philosophy from Atemajac Valley University in Guadalajara, Mexico. Prof. Ramos has collaborated with the Center for Science and Religion Studies (CECIR) at Puebla State University with the papers "Nezahualcóyotl's Way of Thinking" and "Theology and Science in the Galileo Case." He is currently professor of Philosophy at Puebla State University.
 
Prof. Jaime Francisco Castillo is professor of Software Engineering at Puebla State University (UPAEP), in Puebla, Mexico, where he has been teaching for the past 12 years. He obtained his Bachelor's in Information Technology in 1989 from the University of Puebla Valley (Puebla, Mexico), where he also obtained his Master's in Business Administration in 1994. Jaime specializes in software quality assurance and systems development project management. He has directed several educational joint venture projects with San Diego State University and with the University of Central Oklahoma, where he has done postgraduate studies in IT. Jaime is a founding member of the Center for Science and Religion Studies (CECIR) at Puebla State University, and in January 2002, was co-collaborator of the Latin American Workshop of the Science and Religion Course Program and the VI International Encounter of the Centers of Culture.
 

Ramakrishna Rao
Institute for Human Science and Service
Local Society: Center for Study of Science & Religion
Visakhapatnam, India
Paper Title: Towards a Spiritual Psychology: An Indian Perspective
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in G17
 
Spiritual psychology is defined as the study of mind/consciousness at the point of science-religion interface. The paper (i) presents a perspective of spiritual psychology drawing from classical ideas in the Indian tradition, (ii) points out significant differences between it and the prevailing western perspective and (iii) argues that the two perspectives may be seen as complementary rather than conflicting.
 
In the Indian tradition, the person (jiva) is embodied consciousness. Consciousness as such is fundamental and irreducible to brain states. Mind is different from consciousness. Mind, unlike consciousness, is material, albeit very subtle. It is conceived as the interfacing instrumentality between consciousness at one end and the brain at the other. Consciousness in the human condition is clouded by a vortex of forces generated by the mind-body complex, causing the existential predicament of ignorance and suffering. Therefore, the spiritual quest is one of liberating consciousness in the person from the limiting influences of the ego, desire and attachment and thus overcome anxiety, stress, distress, and suffering. Such liberation is possible, it is believed, by restraining and retraining the mind so as to transcend the conditioned existence of the person. There are methods by which such a restraint and retraining may be achieved. These include various kinds of yoga based on knowledge (jnana), unattached commitment and love (bhakti) and selfless action (karma).
 
The Indian perspective differs from the western in three important respects. First, unlike in the western tradition, a distinction is made between mind and consciousness. Second, consciousness-as-such is conceived as nonintentional and devoid of any content. Third, the Indian perspective emphasizes the practical and applied aspects of spiritual psychology, emphasizing the transformation of the person from the conditioned to the unconditioned state as the primary goal. The paper concludes with a discussion of the complementarity of the western and Indian perspectives and the implication and application of spiritual psychology in the areas of education, health, and conflict resolution between individuals.
 
Professor K. Ramakrishna Rao is the Founder President of the Institute for Human Science & Service. He studied at Andhra University and received his Ph. D. and D. Lit. degrees in philosophy and psychology respectively. He attended the University of Chicago as the Smith - Mundt Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the Rockfeller Foundation and later carried out research at Duke University. Dr. Rao's academic appointments include Professor and Head of the department of Psychology & Parapsychology, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, and Director, Institute for Parapsychology, Durham, NC. He has served as Vice-Chancellor, Andhra University; Advisor on Higher Education, Government of Andhra Pradesh; Chairman, Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education; and Vice- Chairman, Andhra Pradesh State Planning Board. Professor Rao has taught at Andhra University, California Institute of Human Science, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has served as the Editor of the Journal of Parapsychology and the Journal of Indian Psychology and has published over 100 research papers and 12 books, the most recent being Consciousness Studies: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (McFarland, 2002). Dr. Rao is also Chair of the LSI grantee Center for Study of Science & Religion.
 

Matt Rossano
Southeastern Louisiana University
Local Society: SLU Interdisciplinary Science & Religion Study Group
Hammond, Louisiana, USA
Paper Title: On Not Leaving Your Brain at the Church House Door: Religion the Devout and the Skeptic Can Agree On
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in G17
 
This paper attempts to articulate a set of religious ideas that could potentially be held in common between the devout religionist and the scientific skeptic. The goal is to identify a set of religious notions that preserve the compelling texture of traditional belief systems without unduly straining rational sensibility. To achieve this aim the paper goes through the following logical steps: (1) it defends the value of this endeavor by arguing that in both the history of science and religion progress has been made by synthesis, and this challenge is another example of the need for synthesis, (2) it identifies the definition of religion as a key issue for the success or failure of synthesis, (3) it identifies compromises that both devout religionists and scientific skeptics must make if synthesis is to be successful.
 
Matt Rossano earned his BA and MA degrees in Psychology from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, in 1984 and 1986 respectively. He earned a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology in 1991 from the University of California at Riverside. He is currently Professor of Psychology at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. Matt has broad scholarly interests having published articles on spatial cognition, artificial intelligence and ethics, the evolution of consciousness, and a textbook on Evolutionary Psychology. He lives with his wife and many daughters in the small town of Independence, Louisiana and invites everyone down to the annual Italian Festival held there every year on the last weekend in April.
 
Rossano chairs the SLU Interdisciplinary Religion and Science Study Group, a grantee of the Local Societies Initiative.
 

Noel Sheth
Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth
Local Society: Jnanam Discussion Group
Pune, India
Paper Title: Buddhism and Science
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in Gallery
 
Although Buddhism was initially against speculation concerning the origin of the cosmos, and although it no doubt has its share of myth and legend, it has generally been open towards Science, and many of its doctrines and beliefs have echoes in Science.
 
After briefly outlining the history of the relationship between Buddhism and Science, the Paper will bring out some salient parallels between them, both in method and content. With regard to methodology, the Buddha urges people not to accept things merely on his authority. Buddhism emphasizes personal verification, which accords well with the scientific outlook, which does not accept things from dogma but pays attention to the verification of hard facts. One of the cardinal doctrines of Buddhism is that of Dependent or Conditioned Co-production (pratitya-samutpada), according to which no being or event arises without a conditioning factor. One of the principles on which Science operates is universal causation: all material things are caused.
 
Coming to content, according to Buddhism the cosmos consists of thousands of spherical worlds or cakkavalas. In each world system there are thousands of suns, moons, earths, etc. This understanding bears a close resemblance to the modern understanding of the universe with its galaxies. Similarly, it is asserted that evolution (as opposed to creation) is in accordance with Buddhist thought. However, some go to ridiculous lengths, imaginatively finding all types of parallels. E.g., the mention of a “lion’s mouth” in describing the cosmos is said to be a reference to the black holes that devour everything into their gravitational pull.
 
The Paper will highlight also the similarities between the Buddhist doctrine of emptiness and the Quantum Theory, between the Buddhist understanding of “no-self” and evolutionary biology and developmental psychology, between the Buddhist concept of mind and the cognitive sciences, between the Buddhist idea of emptiness and the mathematical concept of zero, and so and so forth.
 
On the other hand, Buddhism and Science differ in many ways. For instance, Science concentrates on the external world, while Buddhism pays attention to the inner world of the psyche and to inner peace. Buddhists also critique the scientific method and the objectivity of its results. The idealistic schools of Mahayana Buddhism argued that reality outside was actually a construct of one’s own mind. In Buddhism each being is a series of momentary beings, each one similar to the previous being in the series. Hence, since the observer and the things observed are in constant flux, it is difficult to maintain the objectivity of scientific observation. However, the Buddhist view has also been compared to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, according to which one cannot simultaneously pinpoint the position and the speed of the subatomic particle. Buddhists are also generally wary of organ transplants and developments in genetic engineering, such as cloning.
 
The Paper concludes with some suggestions for the future dialogue and complementarity of Buddhism and Science, as both continue to explore the laboratory of life.
 
Prof. Dr. Noel Sheth, S.J., is the President and Professor of Indian Philosophy and Religion at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, India's only national institution for the training of Catholic priests and religious leaders. A reputed scholar in Sanskrit and Pali, his name is in the Who's Who of Sanskrit Scholars of India. He stood first in his M.A. (Sanskrit-Pali) in the University of Pune, India, and won several prizes and scholarships. He holds a doctorate in Sanskrit from Harvard University, U.S.A, where he was awarded a full scholarship. He also holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Philosophy and in Theology. On several occasions he has chaired sections of the World Sanskrit Conferences. He has published widely in India and abroad, both on Indian religions and comparative theology. His book, The Divinity of Krishna, is mentioned in the Bibliography under "Krishnaism" in the prestigious Encyclopedia of Religion edited by Mircea Eliade. He is a member of several learned bodies. He teaches several courses in Hinduism, a course on Buddhism, and an introductory course on Religions in India, that includes Zoroastrianism, Jainism and Sikhism. He is a member of the Rectors' Committee and of the Administrative Board of the International Federation of Catholic Universities.
 

T.D. Singh
Bhaktivedanta Institute / Vedanta and Science Educational Research Foundation
Local Society: Bhaktivedanta Institute’s Science and Religion Group of Kolkata
Kolkata, India
Paper Title: The Science and Religion Dialogue: Issues, Obstacles and Insights
Monday, June 7 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM in G17
 
If scientists take seriously the role of God in the world and if the Fatherhood of God can be understood by all religious communities many of the problems of the world can be solved and we can all live peacefully. Thus a good platform for a serious dialogue about science and religion is to discuss the origin of life and the universe including their purpose.
 
In order to sustain the science and religion dialogue and the local groups formed by LSI beyond the grant period, it seems to be very essential to have a regular dialogue between the LSI groups of a country. An annual National Conference jointly organized by all the LSI’s of a particular nation could be a significant step in this direction. Other than that, we can plan from today to have a Global meeting every 3 years of all the LSI’s all over the world after the grant period is over.
 
For a long-term promotion of science and religion dialogue, the non-profit host institutions of LSI groups could invite local candidates for doctoral thesis on Science and Religion. The degrees could be given by these Institutes in collaboration with the Metanexus Institute. Some of the students in the group might be interested to study further in this direction. When the individuals will make an effort to incorporate elements of spirituality/religion in their own specific area of work, it will ensure a deeper and lasting commitment for the integration of science and religion.
 
Another aspect for the sustainability of the science and religion groups is that LSI groups’ must have publication as an important part of their group activity.
 
One of the important tips we found to please all the group members is to sing a prayer in local language. After all, those who are coming for the group meetings are working hard in their own fields. When they come for such a dialogue and get some peace, they feel enthusiastic to further participate in the dialogue. Thus, to have a few minutes of peace/spiritual prayer in every group meeting could be put as a guideline for all the LSI groups.
 
Science and Religion are very crucial aspects of world peace. So, the scientists should be an integral part of any peace making process. Many religious leaders are already involved. Since the LSI members are expert in both in science and in religion and are also from different religious backgrounds, their efforts towards interfaith dialogue and world peace will be of great effect.
 
Metanexus Institute could also collaborate with the United Religions Initiative (URI) for a better contribution of science and religion dialogue towards interfaith understanding. URI was started only a few years back. It is very actively promoting interreligious dialogues all over the world. It has now ‘Cooperation Circles’ (CC’s), similar to our LSI’s all over the world.
 
LSI and world peace - interfaith understanding: The Science and Religious dialogue can play a very important role in the issues of world peace and interfaith understanding. Indeed the two are synonymous. The idea of ‘globalization’ is also a key factor in this equation. As the major powers try to direct a global market economy, undercurrent religiously motivated violence continues to plague society. We can all benefit from interfaith dialogue to help facilitate peace. LSI can play a crucial role in this process. Our scientists are the designers of sophisticated weaponry and sometimes some fanatic religious groups may misuse. Both of these groups could be influenced in a positive way towards peace by the Science and religion dialogue. Religion is typically the purveyor of ethical standards. Science is the force behind our technological advancements. Which in turn is a major influence behind our global economy.
 
T. D. Singh (1937-): An extraordinary combination of a scientist, a spiritualist, an active promoter of world peace, an interfaith leader, an educationist, a poet, a singer, and a cultural ambassador. He is well known for his pioneering efforts for more than thirty years to interface between science and religion for a deeper understanding of life and the universe. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine in 1974. He has contributed many papers in the Journal of American Chemical Society and the Journal of Organic Chemistry in the field of fast proton transfer kinetics in model biological systems using stopped-flow technique and NMR spectroscopy. He also worked on gas phase reaction mechanisms using Ion Cyclotron Resonance (ICR) spectroscopy. He underwent Vaishnava Vedanta Studies (1970-77) under His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupäda and was appointed as Director of the Bhaktivedanta Institute (1974-), which is a center to promote studies about the relationship between science and vedanta. He has organized three International conferences on science and religion - First and Second World Congress for the Synthesis of Science and Religion (1986 & 1997) and First International Conference on the Study of Consciousness within Science (1990) where a galaxy of prominent scientists and religious leaders including several Nobel Laureates participated. He is also organizing "Second International Congress on Life and its Origin: Exploration from Science and Various Spiritual and Religious Traditions" in Rome, Italy from November 12-15, 2004. He has authored and edited several books including What is Matter and What is Life? (1977), Theobiology (1979), (Ed.) Synthesis of Science and Religion: Critical Essays and Dialogues (1987), Thoughts on Synthesis of Science and Religion (2001), and Seven Nobel Laureates on Science and Spirituality (2004). He is the Editor-in-chief of the journal of the Bhaktivedanta Institute entitled, Savijnanam: Scientific Exploration for a Spiritual Paradigm (www.savijnanam.org).
 
Dr. Singh is a founding member of the United Religions Initiative (URI). He is president of its Manipur (Northeastern India) Cooperation Circle and instrumental in starting its Kuala Lumpur Cooperation Circle. He started a network of schools in Northeastern India where about 4000 students receive education centered on spiritual values. He is the founder and Director of "Ranganiketan Manipuri Cultural Arts Troupe" which has approximately 600 performances at over 300 venues in over 15 countries. He guides over a thousand of his students around the world in the techniques of spiritual life. His poems inspire introspection and his beautiful singing of prayer at the opening of various global peace and interfaith meetings is a much-awaited sacred moment.
 
Web: www.bvinst.org
 

T.D. Singh
Bhaktivedanta Institute / Vedanta and Science Educational Research Foundation
Local Society: Bhaktivedanta Institute’s Science and Religion Group of Kolkata
Kolkata, India
Paper Title: Life and Spiritual Evolution
Monday, June 7 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in Terrace
 
The issues in Biology and Evolution can be discussed in regard to the very definition of ‘life’. According to the popular scientific concept, life is defined as the product of systematic and complex molecular reactions. It should mean that all deeper and finer principles of life such as love, humility, forgiveness, truthfulness, respect, etc., could also be explained in terms of molecular reactions. But what will be the chemistry of truthfulness or humility? Is there any specific molecule responsible for truthfulness or humility? A similar reasoning we can also ask is whether there is any specific molecule responsible for life. Will DNA or RNA molecule possess all the properties of life? Modern biology does not have answers to these questions. Similarly, one can ask whether chemical evolution such as amino acids to protein molecules, nucleic acids to DNA, etc. lead to the production of living cell in the test tube. Why can’t we create life in the laboratory although we have all the biomolecules? Something that animates the complex molecules is missing.
 
Similarly Darwinian evolution based on the fossil records cannot define ‘life’. Natural selection, survival of the fittest, and chance mutation of genetic materials are not enough to explain the mysteries of life. In fact, Darwin was deeply troubled whenever he saw the eye of peacock’s tail because he cannot explain how such an intricate pattern from his theory of evolution. It is quite clear that we need a new science in order to explain life, its meaning and purpose. Maybe the whole material paradigm or reductionistic paradigm of life is totally wrong. We may have to conceive a new science in which spirituality or spirit soul or life particle (spiriton) could be an important partner.
 
The incredible improbability of the evolution of a living cell from a cosmic molecular soup against many odds of known laboratory chemical reaction conditions (for example, maintaining an optimum pH, reaction time, proper concentration of reacting molecules, reaction medium (solid or liquid phase), overcoming the thermodynamic barrier, isolation of reaction products, and so on) forces us to consider with utmost seriousness about an alternative paradigm of life. Besides that, the insurmountable difficulty of even imagining how a living cell would be generated from a combination of readymade cellular chemicals, such as DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids, etc., compel thoughtful scientists to look for alternative paradigms beyond the existing molecular paradigms of life.
 
According to the spiritual tradition of Vedanta, Life is fundamentally a divine entity. In the Bhagavad-gita 7.5 Supreme Lord Sri Krishna explains that life is a superior divine energy of Him.
 
Similarly natural selection and survival of the fittest are some concepts of Darwinian evolution but, nature is working under the perfect direction of the Lord. If the survival of the fittest is true, we wouldn’t have had unselfish love (which offers benefit to others even if that causes self destruction) in human beings who are supposed to be the most advanced species in the evolutionary scale. According to Vedanta, it is the spirit soul (consciousness) which evolves through different bodies.
 
T. D. Singh (1937-): An extraordinary combination of a scientist, a spiritualist, an active promoter of world peace, an interfaith leader, an educationist, a poet, a singer, and a cultural ambassador. He is well known for his pioneering efforts for more than thirty years to interface between science and religion for a deeper understanding of life and the universe. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine in 1974. He has contributed many papers in the Journal of American Chemical Society and the Journal of Organic Chemistry in the field of fast proton transfer kinetics in model biological systems using stopped-flow technique and NMR spectroscopy. He also worked on gas phase reaction mechanisms using Ion Cyclotron Resonance (ICR) spectroscopy. He underwent Vaishnava Vedanta Studies (1970-77) under His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupäda and was appointed as Director of the Bhaktivedanta Institute (1974-), which is a center to promote studies about the relationship between science and vedanta. He has organized three International conferences on science and religion - First and Second World Congress for the Synthesis of Science and Religion (1986 & 1997) and First International Conference on the Study of Consciousness within Science (1990) where a galaxy of prominent scientists and religious leaders including several Nobel Laureates participated. He is also organizing "Second International Congress on Life and its Origin: Exploration from Science and Various Spiritual and Religious Traditions" in Rome, Italy from November 12-15, 2004. He has authored and edited several books including What is Matter and What is Life? (1977), Theobiology (1979), (Ed.) Synthesis of Science and Religion: Critical Essays and Dialogues (1987), Thoughts on Synthesis of Science and Religion (2001), and Seven Nobel Laureates on Science and Spirituality (2004). He is the Editor-in-chief of the journal of the Bhaktivedanta Institute entitled, Savijnanam: Scientific Exploration for a Spiritual Paradigm (www.savijnanam.org).
 
Dr. Singh is a founding member of the United Religions Initiative (URI). He is president of its Manipur (Northeastern India) Cooperation Circle and instrumental in starting its Kuala Lumpur Cooperation Circle. He started a network of schools in Northeastern India where about 4000 students receive education centered on spiritual values. He is the founder and Director of "Ranganiketan Manipuri Cultural Arts Troupe" which has approximately 600 performances at over 300 venues in over 15 countries. He guides over a thousand of his students around the world in the techniques of spiritual life. His poems inspire introspection and his beautiful singing of prayer at the opening of various global peace and interfaith meetings is a much-awaited sacred moment.
 
Web: www.bvinst.org
 

Arnold Smith
Pari Center for New Learning
Local Society: The Pari Dialogues on Religion and Science
Grosseto, Italy
Paper Title: Science, Boundaries, and Love
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in G17
 
In this paper I talk about the need for us to find and tell new stories about the world-about who we are, what kind of a world this is, and how it all holds together. I talk mostly about science, though it is really more about the worldview that is primarily informed these days by scientific views.

The goal of science as an enterprise is to help us to interpret and make sense of our experience of the world. In part at least, this is also exactly what each of the major religious traditions claims to do. And yet, at least as perceived by many scientists, and by defenders of some religious viewpoints, there is an obvious demarcation line between the two. In fact it can be felt as much more than a line-a fence perhaps that keeps things and people apart, or a rift, or even a chasm.

In this paper I want to look at this at the consequences of maintaining this division. It needs healing, because over time-over centuries and perhaps millennia-it has gradually become more and more of an open wound. But it won't heal until individually and collectively we feel it and see it and acknowledge it, and until we have learned to appreciate and care for what lies on both sides. Actually, I happen to believe that both science and religion will inevitably change as we heal the rift, though in this paper I address that issue indirectly rather than predicting exactly how they will change.

In a way the line between science and the spiritual splits our world. Of course it is hardly a new thing, and many people have been aware of it, since at least the time of William Blake. In turn it is associated with many other dualities, such as between heart and mind, between rationality and intuition, between masculine and feminine. Nevertheless we must be wary of naming the gap too quickly, and assuming that it's old hat. The only way to appreciate this fissure properly is to slowly come to know it directly and personally, in a way that is prior to labels and concepts. Simply by virtue of being here, in this world and in this society, we all carry it as a wound. So for each of us the task of coming to know it, attending to it and healing it is a personal one. The alternative is to ignore it and in doing so, to be weakened by it.

 
Educated at Harvard and Sussex universities, Arnold Smith has spent several decades in computer science and artificial intelligence research, and recently has been working also in complex systems. For the last ten years he has been a research scientist at the National Research Council of Canada, but is moving in May of 2004 to Tuscany as associate director of the Pari Center for New Learning (with which he has been informally associated for the last year).
 
In parallel with his work in computer and cognitive science, Smith was for a long time a student of Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, and has gained some familiarity with spiritual traditions from other parts of the world as well. In recent years (more in talks than in writing so far), he has been exploring what we can learn if we bring more than one of these perspectives to the table. In the process he has gradually become convinced that our worldview is in the midst of a shift whose depth and significance are hard to overestimate. Although a growing number of people are devoting themselves to exploring the nature and implications of this change, the explorers are still for the most part lone individuals, and the field of exploration cannot yet really even be named. But it is to this exploration and to this adventure that, in moving to Tuscany, Smith is devoting himself full-time.
 

Vladislav Soskin
Ufa State Institute of Service
Local Society: Quest for Modern World Views
Ufa, Russia
Paper Title: On the Role of Philosophy in the Dialogue between Religion and Science

 
Contradictions between religion and science are important, but not overriding. Rapprochement, multi-faceted integration of religion, philosophy and science, as an embodiment of faith, thought and cognition are quite possible.

Dialogue is carried on not exclusively at an intellectual level, it is realized primarily as an existential matter wherein understanding is in the condition of the soul (consciousness). My existential world there is brought together with that of another.

Faith is a manifestation of man’s spirit per se, reason is the same spirit in action or creativity. Thereby emerges a harmonious concord or agreement among religion, the fundamental acquisition of spirit, and science within holistic human being; such agreement can be effected by philosophy.

Science strives for precision, religion for faithfulness. Philosophy is a test of both faithfulness and precision. If the universe is the foundation of reality, God is the quintessence of all that is ideal. Thereby, man, his holistic self, is empowered to have that unity between religion and science as representing reality and ideality. Science is action in the realm of reality, religion – in actuality. Philosophy is the passage that permits back and forth movement. Hence, philosophy may be instrumental in making religion and science complement each other.

No matter how acute they are, conflicts between religion and science are not tragic; confrontation between theology and philosophy is more pointed and profound. If science is concerned with truths, philosophy and theology deal with the Truth. Given that theology has already found, discovered and obtained the Truth, philosophy is still searching for it, creating it. To put it more cogently, philosophic truth is unlimited and prone to change. The One can reveal itself only in the capacity of the transcendental. Surpassing all exists, the One is. That is why philosophy is capable of acting as a Third Party facilitating a voluntary agreement between «religion» (Truth) and «science» (truths), cultivating mutual understanding and strengthening trust between them.

Science is the sanctuary for knowledge, religion is the domain of wisdom. Knowledge without wisdom is destructive, wisdom deprived of knowledge is a fiction. Philosophy plays a complementary role in the relations between religion and science, philosophy is looking for a religion that would be commensurate with science, it is also in pursuit of a science congenial to religion.

A religion displaying kinship with science is not the same religion that is born in a mythical revelation at the dawn of culture, philosophy helps faith negotiate the tortuous path leading from Tertullian’s «credo quia absurdum est» to Anselm’s «credo ut intelligum».

Limitations of science impel its progress in special fields, limitations of theology provide stability to spiritual structures. Theology is tantamount to continuity of spiritual experience, philosophy is the s u m total of concentrated experience of doubt, it creates a potential for innovation in culture. Reconciliation between religion and science is possible if religion opens itself to creativit y and if scientists become fully aware of the fact that the very existance of science and its axioms are rooted in religious tradition.

All the fruits of our activity are nurtured by a single faith of undivided, holistic man, man as creator and creation of culture as studied by philosophical anthropology. It is precisely philosophical anthropology that is the locus where all the nodes and knots of theology, science and philosophy (viewed as human pursuits) are tangled together, philosophical anthropology is an area of solidarity of religion with science.

The emergence of science and philosophy marks a transformation of faith, but that primeval faith-veritas perceived as self-identity of human being or the abode of Truth is always in us. That is why philosophy and science cannot and will not ever lose their religious nature.

Certainty and relativity, unavoidable particularism of religions and sciences are transended by philosophy regarded as a universal religion inherent to creative intelligent humanity, philosophy considered to be the queen of all sciences. In that case, the goal of philosophy is to resuscitate religion as a supreme science whereby man can acquire actual and active, genuine and real active knowledge about transcendental unity of all traditions. Then abstract rational self-cognition is superceded by a faithful mentality that preserves feeling and meaning in their unity.

Religion and science represent two types of mankind’s fundamental experience. Wherever there is unity between religion and science, it is more expedient to pay heed to religion, it is abundantly richer. When they are in discord, it is better to turn to science as it is more reliable.
 
Dr. Vladislav A. Soskin, a citizen of the Russian Federation, was born on April 13, 1974 in Klaipeda, Lithuania. He received a degree in history from Bashkir State Pedagogical Institute in Ufa, in 1996-1999 he took a post-graduate course in philosophy at Bashkir State University and in 2000 depended his thesis: "Philosophic Concepts of Man's Relation to the Absolute: Methodological Analysis." Later Dr. Soskin was employed as a teacher of aesthetics and Oriental spiritual doctrines, junior lecturer in philosophy at different institutions of higher education in Ufa, and guest lecturer at Moscow State University of the Humanities. In 1998-2001, Dr. Soskin attended a course at the Judaist Religious University - Torah Khaim (Life of the Torah) near Moscow and subsequently taught the Talmud at the Academy of Religious Studies in Moscow (in 2000-2001). Since 1997 Dr. V.A. Soskin has been taking part in numerous conferences, winter and summer schools organized by the Sefer Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization.

Currently Dr. Soskin is a senior lecturer in philosophy at the Ufa State Institute of Service, and a member of the Russian Philosophical Society. He is the author of such papers as: "Anthropotheism as a Teaching about the Correlation between Man and the Absolute" (Ufa, 1999), "On the Possibility of Accord between Religion and Science, Religion and Philosophy" (Archangelsk, 2002), "Philosophy as an Intermediary in the Dialogue between Theology and Science" (St. Petersburg, 2002), and "Metaphysical Anthropology of Vl. Soloviev in a Modern Perspective" (Moscow, 2003).

Yi-Jia Tsai
Fu Jen Catholic University
Local Society: Center for the Study of Science and Religion
Taipei, Taiwan
Paper Title: Religious Healing and Science: Enemy or Friend? —Two Cases in Taiwan
Monday, June 7 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM in Gallery
 
There are at least three co-existing medical systems in Taiwan: Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine and folk/religious healing. Each system proposes its own etiology, classification, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and prevention of disease. Their relationship can be characterized as either conflict, competitive, cooperative, or complementary. In Taiwan, ever since the rising and domination of Western Medicine around 1899 during the period of Japanese occupation, folk/religious healing has been marginalized by the dominant discourse. While the Western Medicine is regarded as modern and progressive, the folk/religious healing is considered backward and superstitious. Nevertheless, even though folk/religious healing is not accepted by the dominant discourse, the “magical discourse” of folk/religious healing is still spread by mouth in the everyday conversation of people’s daily life. And the folk/religious healing is still embraced by people who seek for the “alternative” treatment, especially those patients who are unable to be cured by the treatment of Western Medicine or Chinese Medicine. Although the practices of folk/religious healing are not accepted by the scientific discourse, very few of folk/religious healers consider their practices un-scientific. In a modern society like Taiwan, every kind of folk/religious healing faces the issue of coming to terms with the scientific discourse. This paper tries to examine the complex relation of spiritual healing and science through two cases in Taiwan: one spiritual healer of the “medicine of soul and body,” and one group of healing prayer formed by Catholics.
 
For the spiritual healer of the “medicine of soul and body,” the cause of disease might be associated with invaded foreign spirits or karmic entanglement. For the Catholic healing group, disease might be the consequence of evil power or sin. Both propose their own spiritual models of etiology based upon their understanding of spiritual realm. Both develop their own techniques of spiritual healing, e.g. the appeasement of spirit, repentance, or the inner healing. Although the understanding of spirits and spiritual realms, and the communication and negotiation with spirits constitute one of the most important aspects of their healing practice, they try to incorporate the scientific perspective represented by Western Medicine into their system. For the spiritual healer of “medicine of body and soul,” the scientific natural law only explains the mechanism of disease but it could not answer the ultimate question of “why.” Nevertheless, the religious healing needs to appeal to the scientific investigation to validate its effectiveness. Scientific validation therefore constitutes a powerful instrument for the religious healing to be accepted by the suspicious public. As to the Catholic healing group, the relationship between spiritual healing and science is not less complicated than the first case. The efficacious treatment of Western Medicine used to go hand in hand with the missionary process as the representation of “magical” power of Christianity. In the healing discourse and practice of the Catholic healing group, nevertheless, the role of science is diminished. Science represented by Western Medicine only offers partial explanation and partial solution to the people in affliction. Through the exploration of the relationship between religious healing and sciences by these two cases, this paper tries to offer an understanding that transcends the dualistic dichotomy of “demystifying” discourse of Western Medicine and the “magical” discourse of folk/religious healing.
 
Yi-Jia Tsai is the post-doctoral fellow of Fu-Jen Catholic University, Center for the Study of Science and Religion in Taiwan. She received her Ph.D. degree from Rice University, Department of Religious Studies in 2003. She also has two Masters degrees of psychology from Duquesne University and National Taiwan University. Her major research interest is religion and contemporary culture. Her doctoral thesis "The Reformative Visions of Mediumship in Contemporary Taiwan" explores how spirit mediums in contemporary Taiwan engage themselves in the complicated project of modernity. Right now she is conducting her post-doctoral research: "The Spirit Which Is Not One: A Preliminary Comparative Study of 'Spirit' and 'Spiritual Healing' between the Charismatic Movement of Christianity and the Spirit Modulation of Folk Religion in Taiwan."
 


Colleen Turner
Department of the Air Force
Local Society: Awe Inspiring Experiences: Natural, Unnatural, Supernatural
Los Angeles, California, USA
Paper Title: Religion: Catalyst for War or Peace?
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in Gallery
 
Major religions are frequently viewed as holding a promise for peace on earth and the sacredness of life. Yet in reviewing the sacred texts of these same religions, one can frequently find divinely inspired justification for violence, especially against those who do not share the same belief system. If the texts justify violence, then how can they be a basis for peace? These two prominent ways of thinking about religions thus represent opposing outcomes. Eugene Taylor of Cambridge, Massachusetts has struggled to understand and resolve this paradox through the development of three distinctive streams of thought influenced by William James. Taylor is an internationally recognized scholar in the life and work of William James, a historian of psychology, a psychologist of religion with a background in Asian studies, and a philosopher of the martial arts.

A major focus of Taylor’s scholarship has been on what William James called examples of lifetime spiritual practice, "the moral equivalent of war." By this phrase, James meant the development of both our inward spiritual nature, as well as the outward form of our personality in the natural environment. In considering the roots of violence to exist within the person, James called for the practice of spiritually oriented disciplines as a way to rechannel destructive impulses toward higher, more peaceful and enlightened ends. Taylor illustrates James’s outward form of spiritual development within the context of groups. A number of well-known international figures who were inspired by this idea of James's and consequently developed a range of impressive responses are reviewed. Taylor then illustrates William James's phenomenology of the internal spiritual life of each person as described in The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) through an investigation of a non-Western method of conflict negotiation drawing on the philosophy of Aikido. Aikido means “the way of harmony with energy”. It is a non-violent Japanese martial art with the broad goal of universal disarmament in addition to self-defense that includes saving the attacker from injury. Taylor then turns his attention to James's call for a science of religions. By this James meant the exploration of spiritual states of consciousness across cultures in terms of how individuals experience them. Within this context, James focused on the resolution of conflict within each person since he viewed an individual’s inner conflicts as a root cause of the outer manifestation of violence and war around the globe.

The convergence of these different streams of thinking about the issues surrounding religion, violence, and world peace suggest how Westerners can more effectively understand the religious voices of other cultures and appreciate their unique gifts. How this might be accomplished, Taylor suggests, begins with James’s concept of overcoming the mind of discord within one's self and the cultivation of what the Buddhists call loving kindness towards others.
 
Colleen Turner is a management consultant and trainer specializing in communication for breakthrough results. Her client range includes Vista Disney, The California Endowment, the U.S. Army Tank Command, UCLA’s interfaith University Religious Conference, and inner city gang members. She holds a Ph.D. from UCLA in Social Welfare and her research efforts have included the California Task Force on Self-Esteem and Personal Responsibility, a major diversity project honoring the bi-centennial of the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Air Force's pilot empowerment program, and the cross-cultural exploration of spiritual experiences vs. madness.

 In the sport of volleyball, she helped lead UCLA to its first national championship (#44 jersey retired) and was a member of the USA women's team. She is the author of a small book entitled Communication for Transforming "No Way" into "Way to Go!" that blends proven winning methods from a variety of arenas. A Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, she has recently served as a Senior Programs Advisor at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles. She has served on the faculty of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U.S. Air Force Academy and is currently being sponsored by the Institute of National Security Studies to research methods by which Americans might behave in ways that enhance their image around the globe. While serving in the Mediterranean during the TWA hostage crisis, she was responsible for developing and evaluating a comprehensive range of terrorist defense scenarios.


 

Allen Utke
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) East Central Synod of Wisconsin
Local Society: Synodical Task Force on Science and Religion
Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
Paper Title: 104.5° And 180°: Two Critical But Unsung Cosmological Constants
Monday, June 7 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in Terrace
 
“Our finely-tuned Cosmos,” as characterized by a series of numerous, interrelated, intricately-balanced, mathematical, cosmological laws, principles, forces, fields, equations, and constants, is usually one of several major themes to be found today at the heart of any discussion of the relationship of science and religion. And, within that theme, the late 20th century renascence of natural theology and the argument from design, are usually key sub-themes.
 
However, “the new cosmological story” now being told by increasing numbers of people in the science/religion community, and elsewhere, is invariably being told today predominantly from the pointed perspectives of “the new physics,” astronomy, biology, neurological sciences, and genetics. Inexplicably, the role of chemistry, the oldest of the sciences, is usually underemphasized or even absent in that new story.
 
The author of this paper, a chemist, views such “oversights” as being extremely unfortunate. For, he contends that chemistry also has a major, contributory story to tell, and thus a key role to play, in defining the unfolding nature of “our finely-tuned cosmos”.
 
In the paper, in support of such provocative contentions, the author begins by succinctly summarizing “the new cosmological story” as it is usually being told today. He then identifies what he maintains are usually “the missing chemical dimensions in that story, dimensions involving the critical but largely-unsung roles of electron configurations (patterns), the periodic table, chemical periodicity, chemical bonding, and the roles of carbon (C), water (H 2O), and carbon dioxide (CO 2) in the formation and sustaining of life in the Cosmos. After briefly explaining how “the missing chemical dimensions” can be added, to dramatically-expand and enhance” the new cosmological story”, the author offers some personal observations and conclusions about what the contributory role of chemistry in that story may mean.
 
Dr. Allen R. Utke is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. However, over the last 38 years or so, beyond his accomplishments in chemistry, he has extensively centered his professional activities, whenever and wherever possible, on using an interdisciplinary (re)unification of scientific, religious, philosophical and futuristic thought to help mold and even save the future. Overall, Dr. Utke's accomplishments as an interdisciplinary scholar have included authoring three international books, 22 articles, and 40 papers (many in foreign countries); developing 14 new interdisciplinary courses; making 80 radio and television appearances and giving more than 600 professional and public presentations; receiving two distinguished teaching awards, extensively based on his interdisciplinary teaching and research; and being the 1999-2000 President of the International Society for the Study of Human Ideas on Ultimate Reality and Meaning, centered at the University of Toronto. In 1995 and 1996, Dr. Utke received three Templeton Foundation Awards for the development of the first science/religion course and first science/religion speakers series at his university, and for the article titled "Michael Faraday's Concept of Ultimate Reality and Meaning," judged to be one of the best recently-published articles on science and religion. Dr. Utke is co-chair of the LSI granted Synodical Task Force on Science and Religion, a project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), East Central Synod of Wisconsin.