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This spring, CTNS was awarded a matching grant from the John Templeton Foundation, giving a favorable boost to the Center's Ian G. Barbour Chair Campaign. This grant, which will provide up to $400,000 to match funds raised for the Ian G. Barbour Chair, comes at an important benchmark for the fund, just as it reached $2 million towards the final goal of $2.5 million. The grant has also extended the end date for the Campaign to mid-2012. While the matching funds may not be used towards the endowment of the Ian G. Barbour Chair, they will provide much-needed support for other research, teaching and publications programs of CTNS such as the J.K. Russell Research Fellowship in Religion and Science, the journal Theology and Science, and the CTNS website.
While CTNS still faces challenges in raising the remaining funds, donors have responded very positively to the opportunity to double their gift. So far the matching grant announcement has resulted in an additional $140,000 in gifts and pledges to the campaign. For more information please visit the matching grant page or contribute here.
In early April 2009, Francisco J. Ayala arrived at the CTNS offices in Berkeley, California, taking time out of his incredibly busy schedule to be this year's J.K. Russell Fellow in Theology and Science. This annual fellowship, which was created in 1981 by CTNS Founder and Director Robert J. Russell in honor of his father, has boasted lectures by the leaders of the field of Science and Religion such as Ian G. Barbour (1983) who spoke on a "Theology of Technology"; John Polkinghorne (1990), "The Church and the Environmental Crisis;" and Nancey Murphy (1998-99), "Neuroscience, Mental Causation, and Freedom of the Will." See a full list of past speakers and their topics here.
Ayala, recipient of a list of awards too lengthy to mention, has long been involved in the science and religion dialogue. At the April 4th conference, which happened to just precede the Christian Holy Week, Ayala spoke on "Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion," arguing that beyond simple harmlessness, Darwin's view of evolution via natural selection lends a positive benefit to not only science, but perhaps unexpectedly, to religion as well. Prepared responses were given by Dr. Christopher Doran (Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University), Dr. Oliver Putz (Ph.D. in biology, Freie Universitat, Berlin and current Ph.D. student at the Graduate Theological Union), Joshua Moritz (Ph.D. Candidate at the Graduate Theological Union) and by Robert Russell. The responses touched on subjects such as the proper domains of religion and science, the moral divide between animals and humans, the question of theodicy in the context of suffering love, the role of design and chance in nature, and the current status of theodicy within theology and science. Look for the responses, and Ayala's rejoinder, in a future issue of Theology and Science.
About 40 people attended the conference, which also coincided with a fundraiser for the Barbour Chair. While most of the attendees were from the San Francisco Bay Area, visiting scholar Marty Rice came all the way from Brisbane, Australia, in part to attend the event. $50 bought a boxed lunch with Ayala in a more intimate setting at the Easton Hall of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, just across the street from the conference location. A private event in the Russells' home, where Ayala shared engaging stories from his distinguished career and wines made from his vineyards in California's wine country, raised additional funds for the Chair campaign.
As part of his J. K. Russell Fellowship, Ayala also gave a free public lecture. On a cool rainy night in Berkeley, he spoke to a standing-room-only crowd on the evolutionary grounding of human morality. The event was co-sponsored by the Dominican School of Philosophical Theology (DSPT) and was held on their new, beautifully renovated campus. DSPT President Michael Sweeney opened the lecture with a warm welcome for Ayala and the forum participants.
At the close of the J. K. Russell Research Conference on April 4, 2009, the winner of this year's Charles Townes Graduate Student Fellowship Award was announced. This year's winner, Junghyung Kim, came to the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in 2003 with an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Seoul National University and an M.Div. from the Presbyterian College Theological Seminary (PCTS), South Korea. He has published in Christian Thought and Culture and is working on the Korean translation of three recent books including Can We Believe in God and Evolution? by Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlett. His research interests include science and theology, focused on eschatology in light of biological evolution, and theologies of hope drawing on the works of Jurgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg. His special comprehensive examination at the GTU will bring these research interests together in a very promising fashion. Congratulations Junghyung!
The Charles Townes Graduate Student Fellowship is an annual award given by CTNS with the purpose of publicly recognizing and offering modest financial support to GTU doctoral students who have demonstrated the clear ability to do highly promising research on issues related to theology and science. The award is named in honor of Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Charles Hard Townes, who has been a long-time supporter of CTNS and a member of the center's board of directors. You may contribute to the Townes Student Fellowship Fund here.
For several years now, CTNS has had a fruitful working relationship with the Korea Institute for Advanced Theological Studies (KIATS), with joint KIATS/CTNS conferences held in Berkeley in 2006 and 2008. Photos from the February 2008 conference, which was also co-hosted by the GTU Korean Student Association, can be seen here.
This spring, Ted Peters, co-editor of Theology and Science, and professor of theology at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, traveled to Korea to speak at the 2009 KIATS conference. Here are some excerpts from his report:
Last evening I returned from the most spectacular of the events of the week. It was a special evening of KIATS indulgence for Jaehyun Kim, his wife, his staff, and the KIATS constituency. Jaehyun gave a speech about the vision of KIATS. He also ran a PP slide show on the history of Protestantism in Korea. We opened with prayer, heard a solo, and closed with prayer. I delivered my first exploratory presentation on "Christian Worldviews in Transition." Evidently, the small audience of 25 or so found themselves quite engaged. I spent a half hour autographing books.
Three of my books are now in Korean translation, as I may have mentioned. The publisher of one of them asked to have dinner with us, and he paid the bill. He could speak no English, but we got a translator. The book is Science and Religion: The New Consonance, which I edited in 1998...
CTNS looks forward to a continuing beneficial relationship with KIATS.
CTNS members* receive four issues of Theology and Science yearly as well as free online access to current and past issues. Here are the contents of the May 2009 issue (Theology and Science Volume 7, Number 2), and the August 2009 issue is now online!
Theology and Science 7.2 (May 2009)
CTNS welcomes Dr. Oliver Putz as the new book review editor for Theology and Science. Oliver holds a Ph.D. from the Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany, and he has worked as a research biologist in the field of reproductive and evolutionary biology both in Europe and in the United States. Currently working on a Ph.D. in systematic and philosophical theology at the Graduate Theological Union, Oliver is replacing as book review editor, Dr. Nathan Hallanger, who is now Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN.
Scholars wishing to submit articles for consideration to Theology and Science may do so online at manuscript central; or contact Joshua Moritz, Managing Editor, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to Theology and Science, CTNS, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley, CA 94709 USA. Or you may call (510) 848-8152, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm PDT on Thursdays and Fridays.
If you are interested in writing a book review or submitting books for
review, contact Oliver Putz, Book Review Editor, at email@example.com.
Become a member of CTNS and receive all four issues of the peer-reviewed
journal, Theology and Science! Along with the
printed copy, CTNS members have access to the journal online. CTNS
members also receive discounts on conferences and media files, advance
notices on news and events and online access to the CTNS Bulletin archives.
General Membership: $67
Payment methods: PayPal, VISA or MasterCard, checks in US $ made payable to CTNS.
It is with a heavy heart that I'm writing to tell you that Bonnie Johnston's position as Communications and Administrative Director at CTNS is being closed as of June 30. Several major grants which have not come through and the economic downturn have been contributing factors in the downsizing of the Center's administrative positions. I am committed to the long-term stability of our program even though this means that for the near future we must run things with a much smaller staff.
Bonnie's leaving is particularly difficult in light of her 16 years of outstanding service and generous spirit. She has been instrumental in the success of every aspect of our program, from communications, E-News and website development to CTNS Board relations, HR issues, accounting oversight and international membership. She has provided staff support for both our Barbour Chair Fund campaign (2006 - the present) and for our key international programs--the Science and Religion Course Program (SRCP), Science and the Spiritual Quest (SSQ), and Science and Transcendence: Advanced Research Series (STARS). She has gifted CTNS with splendid professionalism, outstanding integrity, and gracious presence in every aspect of her work. She has consistently embodied an unswerving commitment to the mission of CTNS. She will be sorely missed.
Please join me in thanking Bonnie and in wishing her Godspeed as she pursues a position in communications, development, or non-profit management. For those of you who know her personally, she can be found on LinkedIn.
Are you looking for ways to support CTNS? If so, here are some ideas of how you can get involved.
Financial SupportDouble your impact! Any contributions (up to $400,000) to the Ian G. Barbour Chair Fund from January 2009-July 2012 will be matched by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. Your gift will support research and teaching of graduate students in the field of science and religion at the Graduate Theological Union, and the matching funds will help support CTNS's infrastructure costs including support of Theology and Science, the CTNS E-News, the CTNS website, (www.ctns.org), public events and more. Visit the Campaign's website for more information and to give. If you prefer, you may also support one of CTNS's other funds, the 2009 General Fund, the Charles Townes Student Fellowship, or the J.K. Russell Research Fellowship Fund. See the CTNS donor page to choose among these funds. Also, under the terms of the matching grant from the Templeton Foundation, some of these gifts may also be eligible for the match. Address questions to: Barbour Chair Campaign, CTNS, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709. Thanks for your support!
Proceeds from Book Sales Support CTNSOrder From Cosmology from Alpha to Omega by Robert John Russell using the CTNS-Amazon portal, where a small portion of the purchase price of this volume and any others ordered at the same time will be donated to CTNS.
Bay Area Friends: Donate a Vehicle and Help CTNS
CTNS has partnered with Volunteers of America's Bay Area Charity Connection to receive tax-deductible funds from your vehicle donation! If you live in the greater San Francisco Bay Area (potentially as far south as San Jose and as far east as Sacramento), this "turn-key" system takes care of the paperwork, while helping CTNS and the donor by providing the "leg work" and a tax-deductible donation.
Here's how Charity Connection works: The automobile donor notifies Charity Connection of their donation. Charity Connection arranges for pickup of the donated vehicle (or the donor may request to drive the vehicle to the Oakland yard) and the paperwork to accept title. Charity Connection then provides the donor and the public charity (CTNS) with a receipt for the vehicle, and assumes responsibility for its transportation, storage and sale. The title is not transferred until the vehicle is sold, and all administrative tasks are handled by Charity Connection.
If you would like more information on this fund-raising program, or if you would like to donate an automobile and name the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) as your charity, please visit www.voaba.org and click on "Donate Your Vehicle,"or call Charity Connection at 1-800-559-5458.
NOTE: Towing is free for the donor, but will be charged to the beneficiary (CTNS). Therefore, if possible, please drive donated vehicles to the Oakland yard.
Use GoodSearch and Raise Money for CTNSHave you heard about GoodSearch? It is a search engine powered by Yahoo which allows you to raise money for the nonprofit organization of your choice. Just enter "CTNS" into the "Who do you Goodsearch for?" box, hit verify, then do a word search as you would with any other search engine. Check it out at: www.goodsearch.com.
VolunteerWith the staffing changes occurring at CTNS, there are more opportunities for volunteer involvement. If you live in the Bay Area and would like to consider spending some time in our Berkeley offices supporting the mission of CTNS, please write to Bob Russell with your interest, at CTNS, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709. Thank you!
Spread the Word
CTNS always welcomes new members who support or are simply intrigued by the mission of the organization--the creative mutual interaction between religion and science. If you know someone who might be interested in CTNS membership, please forward them this E-News, request that we send them a membership brochure, or giving them a gift membership!
This section is provided as a service to CTNS members and friends.
The Ian Ramsey Centre Oxford International Conference, "Religious Responses to Darwinism 1859-2009: Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's 'Origin of Species,' " will be held at St Anne's College, Oxford, UK, July 15th - 18th, 2009. For more information please see http://users.ox.ac.uk/~theo0038/Conferenceinfo/General.html; for booking click here.
The 10th Annual Metanexus Conference, "Cosmos, Nature,
Culture: A Transdiciplianary Conference" will take place July 18-21, 2009,
August 20-23, 2009. Hosted by the Department of Theology & Religious Studies in Limerick, the 2009 Congress of the European Society for Catholic Theology, Limerick, Ireland. The ESCT brings together many theologians from among the different countries of Europe. Its members work at theological institutes, universities, academies, seminaries, and within both Church and society. Accordingly, this European society is an international membership organisation in which both national and regional sections also exist, from Lithuania to Malta, and from Ireland to Slovakia. As a society, and as individual members, we are firmly committed to ecumenism and many of our activities have a deliberate ecumenical dimension. To register and book lodging, visit http://www.mic.ul.ie/theology/ESCT/Conference.html. Visit the Department website for info on conferences in 2009 and the Public Lectures Series: http://www.mic.ul.ie/theology/news.htm.
The International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) requests proposals from institutions of higher learning to receive complete libraries of major works in the field of science and the human spirit.
The ISSR, the world's leading learned society in the field
of science and religion, will create a foundational library of central texts in
the field. This library will consist of approximately 250 books spanning all
important areas and disciplines as well as key international and intercultural
Thank you for reading the CTNS-ENews.