Training Catholic Educators to Engage the Dialogue Between Science and Religion
University of Notre Dame du Lac
The purpose of this grant is fivefold: (1) to continue and expand the Science & Religion Initiative that began with the exploratory grant (#39339) and was continued and extended by a second grant (#60471); (2) to introduce teachers in Catholic high schools to the dialogue between theology and science; (3) to assist them in incorporating that material into their courses; (4) to provide continuing education opportunities and pedagogical resources to teachers and administrators; and (5) to assess, develop, and share the results. We will accomplish these goals through a combination of seminar programming, media development, and the publication of educational material. Catholic schools constitute the largest private educational system in America and a large potential audience (1200 high schools with 579,605 students). We believe education should inspire wonder and foster inquiry into the mysteries of the world and this should be institutionalized in the entire school systems. Unfortunately, the academic and the spiritual have too often been separated, even within Catholic schools. Our program aims to rectify that. We have developed this program within the context of the church’s 2000-year intellectual and spiritual tradition. The church encompasses numerous cultures, languages, and philosophical traditions, attempting to integrate them into a whole. Development of its tradition occurs slowly and discerningly, growing organically out of the historical tradition even while incorporating scientific and philosophical insights. Our initiative will bring elements of the tradition into dialogue with scientific research.