Meet the nine volunteers who make up the Steering Committee of the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology.
Dr. John R. Albright is Visiting Professor of Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. John retired in 2004 from Purdue University Calumet, where he was Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics since 1995. Prior to his position at Purdue, he spent 32 years at Florida State University, where he was Professor of Physics and Associate Chair of the Physics Department, with a special joint appointment in the Humanities Program. In that connection, he taught religion and science courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels, both of which were recognized in international competitions by the John Templeton Foundation. Also at Florida State, John was nominated by his students and was given a major teaching award at commencement. He has published more than ten articles and book chapters in religion and science and more than fifty articles in physics, and also co-authored a textbook, Introduction to Atomic and Nuclear Physics. John and his wife, Carol Rausch Albright, served as regional co-directors for the Science and Religion Course Program funded by the Templeton Foundation, first in the Southeastern United States, and then in the Midwest. He served on several governance committees for the Lutheran Church in America, has been a featured speaker at regional church gatherings, and helped design the Lutheran Book of Worship.
Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran, Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter and for Covalence. In addition to her work on the steering committee, Susan is also a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science that is the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also works with the Rheticus group that hosts ongoing discussions on science and faith at the Lutheran Campus Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after recently moving to Urbana from Chicago. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson. Susan’s interest in science and God’s creation can be traced back to growing up on a farm in Northwest Illinois.
Bruce Booher is a retired pastor whose last call was to First Lutheran Church of Plano, Illinois. His particular interest is the role of mystery, awe and wonder in both faith and science and he has a website dedicated to exploring this role – www.mysteryandawe.com. He has been an avid amateur astronomer for 50 years and leads retreats, workshops and presentations. Bruce studied physics and astronomy at MIT as an undergraduate and worked as a computer programmer before becoming a pastor.
Dr. Karl Evans is a geologist, now retired from the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado. His field studies have concentrated on the geology of central Idaho, with occasional research forays into New Mexico and Colorado. He also has laboratory experience in U-Pb geochronology, a method which uses the mineral zircon to determine the age of the host rock. He is pleased to support the alumni associations of Franklin & Marshall College (A.B.), the University of Southern California (M.S.), and Pennsylvania State University (Ph.D.). As a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, Karl has taught adult-learning classes on the dialogue between science and Christian faith, where his fellow parishioners seem to revel in asking questions completely outside the field of geology.
Ida Hakkarinen, a member of Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in College Park, Maryland, is a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She fell in love with the study of weather when she did a unit about it in the 5th grade. Ida received the B.S. cum laude in physical sciences and an M.S. in meteorology from the University of Maryland. She is part of the team developing the next generation of U.S. geostationary weather satellites, GOES-R (www.goes-r.gov). The joint NOAA/NASA project is based at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Ida has served on both the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod Council and the ELCA Church Council. Her interest in the faith/science interchange derives from the exercise of her daily ministry in the scientific community. A part-time M.A.R. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, her studies have included systematic theology and preaching. Ida thinks she’s likely the only meteorologist among the 2,000 attendees at the Festival of Homiletics conferences (www.goodpreacher.com).
Lea F. Schweitz
Dr. Lea Schweitz is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology/Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. Her research interests focus upon early modern philosophy of religion and science and revolve around the question of what it means to be human. This question is uniquely illuminated by conversations between religion and science. Asking good questions is at the heart of her vocation as teacher, researcher, and director. She traces this passion back to her childhood when her dad would ask: “Did you ask any good questions today?”
Lou Ann Trost
Lou Ann Trost teaches at San Jose State University in Comparative Religious Studies and Humanities, and in the Humanities Honors Program. She has served as a parish pastor in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and (on an interim basis) in Chicago and Berkeley. She has also served as a program director at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley and as editor of the CTNS Bulletin for several years. She also taught at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and Augustana College in Sioux Falls. Her interest in Religion and Science began when she first learned of Lynn White’s critique of religion and the environment while a student at Michigan. She switched from an English major to Natural Resources & Environment, and has studied, taught, and written about various topics at the interface of religion, science and the natural world ever since. Her degrees are from the University of Michigan, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and the Graduate Theological Union. Her doctorate is in Systematic and Philosophical Theology.
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