Are the biological sciences and religion in perpetual conflict with one another? Not necessarily, some believe, although the question remains a challenging one. Yet, this did not stop over 400 people who gathered to explore and discuss the topic in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan and online from June 30-July 2 for the Evolution and Christian Faith Conference, the culmination of a 3-year program supported by the John Templeton Foundation.
Subject Philosophy & Theology
Science and Christianity share an interest in understanding how creation works. In different and yet related ways, they both bear witness to the wonders of the natural world and are not necessarily in competition, despite commonly being separated. One way to reconcile this lies in thoughtful and informed dialogue between the two, which recently transpired at the Knowing Creation conference at St Andrews on August 23-24, 2014.
Hope is the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of what happens, argued philosopher Václav Havel, while optimism is the conviction that something will turn out well. But does this really express the nature of these two attitudes and how they differ? Perhaps more importantly, we might wonder how they might be nurtured, and about the benefits and risks of each.
The perceptions that religious leaders have of science often determine how they respond to debates about science and religion. If science is presumed to be a threat to belief, defensive stances may be adopted; if the topic is felt to speak of the wonder of nature, it is likely to be approached with a more open spirit.
It has been a common thought that the future of religious institutions depends upon attracting young people; they are, naturally, the congregations of tomorrow. Consequently, this idea is important in understanding why that generation appears to be not going to churches, synagogues, and mosques.
Monsignor Professor Tomáš Halík, the winner of the 2014 Templeton Prize and the 44th laureate, received his award during a ceremony in St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, on May 14, 2014. The Czech priest and philosopher, who advanced religious and cultural freedoms after the Soviet invasion of his country, was awarded a check valued at £1.1 million (about $1.8 million or €1.3 million).
Is Ultimate Reality Unlimited Love?, a new book published by the Templeton Press, is the culmination of 15 years of dialogue between Sir John Templeton and Stephen Post, founder of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love.
Science is often presumed to be a tricky matter for people of faith. Pew Research has found that Americans can feel uncomfortable accepting scientific discoveries when they are perceived to contradict their religious beliefs. But Scientists in Congregations is discovering that the apparent opposition can be overcome. The project, funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, equips churches to discuss science and religion and is demonstrating that the experience of properly engaging with science is not only informative but empowering.
American evangelical practices of prayer can train the mind to experience God, explains Tanya Luhrmann, winner of the 2014 Grawemeyer Award in Religion from the University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Luhrmann, a Stanford University psychological anthropologist, received the prize after four years of fieldwork in Chicago and Northern California with Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Her research was supported by the John Templeton Foundation.