This month we take another look back at how the ELCA participated in early faith and science dialogue in an ecumenical effort to answer how the church should respond to scientific and technological developments in our world.
Covalence Theological Editor George Murphy writes in “Being the Church in the Only World We Have” of a renewed effort to construct a dialogue that forty years ago was dominated by the question of evolution and presentations that were often apologetic in nature.
Thanks to ramped up computing power in recent years and powerful advances within microbiology, such as genetic engineering, the questions facing the church are even more impactful to our daily lives these days. With this in mind, Murphy cites John Mangum’s early observation that a world “flailing about in a sea of technological developments” needed ethical guidance from the church.
These rapid advancements in turn have led people to wonder aloud whether science ultimately will be able to explain everything and that the need for religion will go away. Bruce Booher, retired pastor and avid amateur astronomer, in this month’s commentary illustrates how such a notion misunderstands the role science plays as well as religion.
Of course a number of new efforts are emerging that take new approaches to understanding faith and science. Researchers at Arizona State University, for example, plan to explore how we make sense of the relationship between humanity’s radical technoscientific advances and the search for spirituality. The project, “Beyond Secularization: A New Approach to Religion, Science and Technology,” is backed by a $1.7 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust.
Be sure to check our calendar this month, as new events are being added including a lecture at Elmhurst College from Father John Francis Kartje, rector of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, who will speak on Nov. 13 on “How to Engage Mystery: Advice from a Scientist for Nones, Nuns and All.”
Susan Barreto, Editor