Elizabethtown College Center for Science and Religion
The Elizabethtown College Center for Science and Religion is devoted to multidisciplinary, public and cross-institutional dialogue on key issues in the field of science and religion. In addition to regular local meetings of core members and campus-wide events, the Center, often in conjunction with other institutions, devotes itself to public lectures and forums. While the Center is concerned with a number of diverse issues, it primarily focuses on the reconciliation between religious and scientific worldviews. Examples of topics include: disciplinary perspectives on theory and explanation – emergence, reduction, philosophy, theology and other fields; evolution and genetics; the nature of self; religion and cognition; physics and theology; and science and value issues, i.e., ethical considerations. The multidisciplinary “core group” includes members from academic disciplines such as philosophy, physics and astronomy, religious studies, psychology, chemistry, and biology. Bi-monthly meetings of the core steering group include review and criticism of papers, book and article discussion, administrative activities, outreach planning, fundraising works and evaluation of effectiveness of programs. Outreach activities, to facilitate dialogue, consist of three yearly, public “faculty forums,” a formal speakers program, and the proposal of an official Minor track or concentration in science and religion. All events are advertised widely in newspapers, local public radio, and relevant listservs. A conference on questions of origins, including debates over Intelligent Design in public education, received widespread local and national attention in March 2005. Brochures have been developed and distributed to area churches, nursing homes, schools, colleges, and other local organizations. Elizabethtown College provides the matching funds for the Center. Plans include regular work to seek funding and support from various sources beyond the three-year term of the grant.