The perception of fundamental conflict between religion and science remains an impediment to young people who feel compelled to opt for one over another. It is also an obstacle to scientific and religious inquiry, inhibiting a richer mutual engagement. How might we more effectively convey the fruits of the ongoing dialogue of Catholic thought and scientific inquiry in ways that deepen our reflection on both? How might we help address this perceived rift among emerging adults? How might we form students to transform the culture surrounding the cultures of science and religion? The Lumen Christi Institute’s program, Science and Religion: A Dialogue of Cultures, engages with students, faculty, Catholic scientists, and the general public on pressing topics at the intersection of science and religion.
Our program will comprise three domains.
1.) Our University Program will include lectures, a symposium, non-credit courses, and podcasts on topics like human nature in science and religion, biotechnology and moral theology, cosmology and creation, and Darwin and God.
2.) Our intensive summer seminars partner with the Society of Catholic Scientists to offer undergraduate and graduate students intensive formation in key scientific and religious topics. We will reach undergraduates in a period when these questions are vital, and improve the pipeline of future faculty, ensuring continued impact on future students.
3.) Finally, our cultural forum brings these insights from the academy to the general public, including outreach to Chicagoland high school students with a Saturday seminar.
Overseeing all of this, evaluating our efforts, and marking out future directions in the dialogue of cultures will be our Educational Council, consisting of theologians and scientists who are expert participants in the dialogue of science and religion.
The result is a robust program of public engagement that can help transform the dialogue of the cultures of science and religion.