Change and continuity—a metaphysical problem as old as thought itself. Heraclitus, famous for holding that "all things pass and nothing abides; you cannot step twice into the same stream," also insisted: "It is wise to hearken to the Logos and to confess that all things are one!" For Heraclitus, change, the "clash of opposites," is essential to the unity and stability—the continuity—of reality.
But the tension between continuity and change is not simply an ancient
philosophical conundrum. It is also at the root of the most pressing questions
of our time. Scientific theories in physics and cosmology; in biology and
evolution; in psychology, neuroscience, and studies of consciousness and
personal identity are all informed by questions of change and continuity. We
wrestle with the tensions of tradition vs. innovation in the law, in religious
thought, and political life. Culture itself is the expression of the tension
between continuity and change. Our daily headlines announce it!
In addition, the pace of change in scientific discovery, religious thought and practice, technological advancement, environmental transformation, and globalized culture is accelerating at such a dizzying rate that our abilities to cope are tested to the limits. But the key to our thriving and flourishing as human beings—perhaps, to our very survival—depends on how we find continuity in the midst of such rapid change.
If Heraclitus is right that change is essential to the continuity of reality, and change is the "clash of opposites," then the constructive engagement of the seemingly "clashing opposites" of science and religion may hold the secret to our well-being and our future.
The Metanexus Institute welcomes you to join over 200 delegates from more than 35 countries at this conference dedicated to fostering an open and exploratory dialogue between science and religion. Attendees bring expertise from a broad range of the natural and social sciences, as well as from various faith traditions and philosophical perspectives. They represent in an ever-expanding international network of scholars, teachers, clergy, and activists who are involved in the transdisciplinary exploration of the foundational questions of humanity, the cosmos, and the divine. All are cordially invited to join the conversation and contribute to expanding our capacity to cope with rapid change, to explore the nature and benefit of continuity, and to pursue wisdom in the service of humanity and our world.