Chicago-based Lumen Christi wins grant to broaden dialogue on science and religion

Lumen Christi Institute in Chicago will be holding seminars, courses, podcasts and other events as part of a $235,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation that runs through January 2020.

The Science and Religion: A Dialogue of Cultures project kicks off with a March 13 event at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. The theme is Science and Wonder, featuring four speakers: evolutionary biologist Michael Coates (University of Chicago); poet Eric Elshtain (Field Museum); astrophysicist Robert Scherrer (Vanderbilt University); and environmental ethicist Lisa Sideris (University of Indiana).

The panel will look into questions such as: How is science related to mystery? What role does wonder play in inquiry and discovery? Has scientific inquiry become itself a kind of religious practice?

The Lumen Christi overall science and religion program plans on engaging with students, faculty, Catholic scientists, and the general public on the “pressing topics at the intersection of science and religion.”

The three domains of the program are university, the Society of Catholic Scientists, Chicagoland High Schools.

The university program is set to include lecturers, a symposium, non-credit courses and podcasts on topics such as human nature in science and religion, biotechnology and moral theology, cosmology and creation and Darwin and God.

A series of summer seminars will be held in partnership with the Society of Catholic Scientists to offer undergraduate and graduate students a facility to discuss key scientific and religious topics, according to Lumen Christi.

A cultural forum promises to bring insights from the “academy to the general public” including outreach to Chicagoland high school students with a Saturday seminar.

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