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