Welcome to the (virtual) religion and science dialogue

As we are all tired of hearing it, but 2020 has been one long (and unprecedented) year. But those interested in faith and science are quickly finding out they are not alone, despite our COVID lockdown-driven isolation. 

For those in science and religion circles the “new normal” has led to a productive year. The conversation has expanded not only to a wider audience thanks to formats such as Zoom and YouTube, but has also blossomed into a new topics that cater to a variety of interests whether it is within the history of science, astronomy, ecology or physics.

Even the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology has hosted its own Zoom series earlier this year on “What’s So Amazing that Keeps us Star Gazing?” Steering committee member and retired ELCA Pastor Bruce Booher shared in three sessions with a large national audience how marveling at the night sky can inspire spirit-filled faith and awe.

Thanks to the web, outreach possibilities seem endless, but so are the hours of viewing time. So with that in mind, Covalence is providing a beginners’ guide of sorts to some of the more popular events of recent months that have been recorded and are freely available.

We know that there are more events in the offing even as we post this list, so we will happily share more videos as and when we come across them. Some of the videos can be watched right here, but in some cases you’ll need to go to another website.

Enjoy!

ELCA Presiding Bishop: Science is a Gift from God

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton offers a friendly reminder of the reliance on science at this time of pandemic. The video was filmed in late October and she reminds the church of the advice of scientists for disease mitigation and how the church can be an example to other communities in respecting science and trusting God.


Dr. Francis Collins: Harmony – Life at the Intersection of Science & Faith

“You get the chance once in a while as a scientist to discover something that no human knew before but God knew it so it’s a little glimpse of God’s mind!” said Dr. Francis Collins in this mini-documentary about his life and work presented in recognition of his winning of the 2020 Templeton Prize. He even speaks a bit about COVID-19 in wearing his hat as director of the National Institutes of Health.


Wartburg Seminary Event – Creation in Crisis: Science and Theology Respond

The one-day digital event originally happened in April 2020 and hosted by the Iowa-based ELCA seminary, but for those interested in snippets of the dialogue — the plenary lecture from Dr. Nalini Nadkarni is available for free viewing. She discusses her work in the Costa Rica rain forest that was featured in the 1988 PBS Series, The Second Voyage of the Mimi.

Watch on the Wartburg Seminary website


Three Part Webinar Series on Creation Care from Varying Faith Perspectives

Creation Care from Varying Faith Perspectives was hosted by Gulf Coast Creation Care is a faith-based climate alliance with a mission: to focus the Gulf Coast communities moral attention on the climate crisis and mobilize all people to just action. The event was moderated by Rev. Dr. Bob Dunnell of All Saints Episcopal Church. The interfaith panel for the September event that was broadcast live on Facebook:  Candice Dunston, Universal Unitarian Fellowship of Mobile, Alabama; Dr. Stephen Wilson, Department of Theology at Springhill College; Imam Kamal Saleem, Mobile Masjid of Al Islam; Rev. Ellen Sims, Open Table United Church of Christ in Mobile; and Glenn Mutchinick of Congregation Sha’arai Shomayim, Springhill Avenue Temple.

Watch on Facebook


IRAS Sessions: Navigating Crises and Bridging Cultural Divides with Citizen Science

Grace Wolf-Chase, astronomer and promoter of citizen science, gave her insights on the importance of the work of citizen science in September 2020. If you missed it, the whole program has been made available by the event’s host – IRAS. She gives a first-hand experience of her work as a scientist and the interactions between people who hold complementary and diverse ideas and experiences.

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