The Rosalie Rendu Roundtable on Religion and Science
Vincentian Center for Church and Society
St. John’s University
Jamaica, New York
Initially comprised of individuals from the Vincentian Fellows Program, faculty experts in service at the United Nations, and local faith-based organizations, this society formalizes and continues discussions initiated by the Vincentian Center through a science-faith lecture series (2000-2004) on “what it means to be human.” The group is “establishing an ongoing dialogue to relate religion and science through the prism of the philosophical and theological concepts of social justice.” Members are drawn from relevant and specialized expertise in fields of food security, genetics, biology (cell, physiology, microbiology, environmental), chemistry, public policy, religion/theology, law, medicine, physics, pharmacy, philosophy, and psychology. The group expounds on and promotes an open dialogue for the consideration of the theological implications of topics such as: GMO’s, nutrition and health; environmental standards; e-literacy; potable water resources; medical concerns; attitudes and social justice teachings of various religions; and the scientific endeavor, research and practice. Bi-semester meetings, semi-annual public lectures and biennial conferences promote ongoing active engagement among natural and social scientists, philosophers, theologians, graduate students, clergy and members of faith-based and other area nonprofit development organizations. Outreach to engage the general public “bridges the University and the community in a dialogue on religion and science to promote social justice” and includes a website, periodic mailings to academic, religious and development organizations, and the production and broad dissemination of educational brochures promoting the Roundtable. Members form a steering committee for development of ongoing initiatives, well beyond the three-year grant term. The Vincentian Center for Church and Society provides matching funds.