News  |  Events |  E-News


Thursday, November 17, 2011
Science and Spirit Conference, with Craig Boyd, Joshua Moritz, Thomas Oord, LeRon Shults and Amos Yong
Graduate Theological Union Library, Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA

The Pentecostal movement, considered by many demographers to be at the vanguard of the global expansion of Christianity, has often been thought of as bringing up the rear in terms of intellectual sophistication and engagement with the academic enterprise. Recent developments within pentecostal scholarship, however, suggest openings for theological dialogue, not least at the interface of the theology-and-science conversation. Two recent books in the field – James K. A. Smith and Amos Yong, eds., Science and the Spirit: Pentecostal Engagements with the Sciences (Indiana University Press) & Amos Yong, The Spirit of Creation: Modern Science and Divine Action in the Pentecostal-Charismatic Imagination (Eerdmans) – are suggestive that such an exchange of ideas is already underway. This CTNS event features four respondents to the proposals in these volumes, all of whom are prominent in the theology-and-science enterprise, and a rejoinder by one of the books’ authors. There will also be time for audience interaction with the panelists about the significance of the pentecostal appearance in this field of inquiry as well as about the opportunities and challenges lying at this intersection. This event is free and open to the public.

Event flier

Friday, November 18, 2011
"Religion and Science in Modern America"
Public Forum with Edward Davis
Tucson Room, Church Divnity School of the Pacific, 2401 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA
4 pm

This talk, illustrated with numerous images, shows how Americans have debated the religious meaning of science from the 1920s (the period of the famous Scopes “Monkey trial”) right up to the present day.  Dr. Davis begins with the concerns of William Jennings Bryan and the Protestant fundamentalists of the Scopes era, using cartoons about evolution to show why they so strongly opposed teaching it in public schools.  Then he surveys how liberal Protestants responded to Bryan’s claims, focusing on popular pamphlets about science and religion that were written by leading scientists of the time, such as Robert Millikan, Arthur Holly Compton, and Edwin Grant Conklin.  This is followed by a short look at the current situation, pointing out what has changed and what has not changed since the 1920s.
Edward B. Davis is Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College (Grantham, PA), where he teaches courses on historical and contemporary aspects of Christianity and science.  Best known for studies of the English chemist Robert Boyle, Dr. Davis edited (with Michael Hunter) The Works of Robert Boyle, 14 vols. (Pickering & Chatto, 1999-2000), and a separate edition of Boyle’s subtle treatise on the mechanical philosophy and the doctrine of creation, A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature (Cambridge University Press, 1996).  He has also written numerous articles about religion and science in the United States, including a study of modern Jonah stories that was featured on two BBC radio programs and an article in American Scientist (May-June 2005).  His current project, supported by the National Science Foundation and the Templeton Foundation, examines the religious activities and beliefs of prominent American scientists from the period between the two world wars.

Event Flier

Saturday, November 19, 2011
Science and Religion Hospitality Event at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Conference
Continental Ballroom 1, Hilton Union Square, 333 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA

Join CTNS, IRAS and ZCRS for our 2011 Science and Religion Hospitality Event at the American Academy of Religion Conference.


Sunday, December 11, 2011
God and Creation: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Perspectives on Scientific Cosmology
CTNS 30th Anniversary Conference
Graduate Theological Union Library, Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA

Conference Page

News Announcements


Join or Renew your membership now to receive all four issues of Theology and Science, Volume 9.

CTNS plans 30th Anniversary Conference for December 2011


Barbour Chair Nears Completion

Winners of 2010 Charles Townes Graduate Student Fellowship: Brian Green and Adam Pryor


Closer to Truth Feature Film- Into God- Trailer Released. Click here for more information and to view.

CTNS Receives Matching Grant from the John Templeton Foundation: Double your Gift!

The 2009 Winner of the Charles H. Townes Graduate Sudent Fellowship Announced: Junghyung Kim

Bernard d'Espagnat, the 2009 Templeton Prize winner: Read a recent lecture by clicking here.

CTNS STARS Program Announces the Final Grant Recipient Teams of $200,000 each.

Robert Russell and other Board members featured on new program for TV and web, "Closer to Truth." PBS stations adding programming this fall; click here for more information. (Bob will be speaking on "Can Science Deal with God?", "Did God Create Time?" and "How Could God Interact with the World?")

New Book: Sacred Cells?, by Ted Peters, Karen Lebacqz and Gaymon Bennett.

Check out "The Clergy Letter Project" About-->Links

Bay Area Friends: Donate your vehicle and CTNS "wins". Click here for information.

Respected Voices Respond to Ben Stein's movie, Expelled

Release Date:  
6/20/09 Read the CTNS Spring 2009 E-News
6/17/09 Theology and Science Volume 7, Number 3 (August 2009) now available online
5/1/09 CTNS Receives Matching Grant to Help Complete Barbour Chair
3/2/09 Read the CTNS Winter 2009 E-News
1/16/09 CTNS STARS Program Announces the Final Grant Recipient Teams of $200,000 each.
9/23/08 New book: "Sacred Cells?" by Ted Peters, Karen Lebacqz and Gaymon Bennett
8/15/08 Results of Survey Reveal Religious Believers Welcome Interaction with Extraterrestrials
5/20/08 See Photos from Research Conference, Student Fellowship and CTNS-GTU Graduates via Shutterfly website.
5/19/08 CTNS Press Release: Evolution and Christian Theology are Compatible, Scientists and Theologians Say
3/31/08 The 2008 Charles H. Townes Student Fellows Announced!
3/12/08 Robert Russell's Cosmology from Alpha to Omega is now published

Article: Nature Reports: Stem Cells; Published online: 14 June 2007 | A theological argument for chimeras, by Ted Peters

3/14/08 Robert Russell to give public lecture at The University of Notre Dame, March 27
2/12/08 GTU Students: Call for Applications: The 2007- 2008 Charles H. Townes Student Fellowship in Science & Religion: Applications due March 4, 2008
1/24/08 Dr. George V. Coyne, S.J., The 2008 J. K. Russell Fellow in Religion and Science, March 14-20, 2008
1/24/08 Robert Russell's Cosmology from Alpha to Omega is now published!
1/14/08 Theology and Science, Volume 6, No.1: View Table ot Contents
1/30/08 Korean Institute for Advance Theological Studies/KSA/CTNS Joint Conference February 8, 2008
1/9/08 Inaugural Ian G. Barbour Lecture features Robert John Russell at Carleton College on January 16, 2008
1/9/08 Public Forum: Whitney Bauman, "God:Creation::Culture:Nature: Challenging the Logic of Domination in Creatio Ex Nihilo"

CTNS STARS Program Awards Grants to Five Interdisciplinary Research Teams of $100,00 each

11/20/07 Cosmology from Alpha to Omega by Robert John Russell forthcoming
10/5/07 Robert John Russell to be on panel in San Francisco, October 9
10/5/07 CTNS Public Forum, October 30, "Challenging Free Will: Emergentism as a Viable Metaphysics", Dr. James Haag
9/26/07 Announcement: The Campaign for the Ian G. Barbour Chair Launched
9/19/07 Theology and Science, Volume 5, No. 3: View Table of Contents
6/20/07 Theology and Science, Volume 5, No 2: View Table of Contents
6/15/07 CTNS-STARS Program Awards Planning Grants to Twenty Research Teams (PDF File)
CTNS Announces the 2007 Charles H. Townes Graduate Student Fellows
4/20/07 Theology and Science, Volume 5, No 1 is Published. View Table of Contents here.
4/9/07 CTNS Charles H. Townes Student Fellowship Awards Announced on April 19, beginning at 5:00 pm

April 19, Book Launch & Reception Anticipating Omega by Ted Peters set for 5:00 pm

2/27/07 April 25, CTNS Public Forum,"Divine Action, Natural Science, and the Problem of Evil" with Thomas Tracy Visiting Scholar from Bates College

The 2007 J. K. Russell Research Fellow: Celia Deane- Drummond,, University of Chester: March 24--31

12/8/06 CTNS Graduate Student Fellowship Renamed Charles H. Townes Fellowship

Article by Ted Peters on Now On-Line: "Nano Technology and Nano Ethics; An Introduction"

11/1/06 Theology and Science Vol 4, No. 3, Table of Contents Announced
11/1//06 Read the CTNS Friends Fall E-News
7/6/06 Neurology and Spirituality: CTNS Public Forum with Andrew Newberg October 4, 2006
5/31/06 "New Frontiers in Research on Infinity" will gather scientists, philosophers and theologians to explore the concept of Infinity.
4/4/06 Plan to attend: CTNS 25th Anniversary and the 2006 J. K. Russell Research Fellowship, September 14-16, 2006 in Berkeley
2/15/06 IBS, CTNS, and TREES Event on March 8: "Can Buddhism Respond to the Environmental Crisis?"
2/2/06 CTNS to Co-Host Conference with Korean Organization on February 24
1/16/06 STARS: Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series Launches Website with detailed conference grant application criteria
12/9/05 New article: "Theistic Evolution: A Christian Alternative to Atheism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design", by Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlett (Type: evolution topic in the search field)
12/6/05 STARS begins recruitment stage for promising applicants in the USA and world
9/20/05 Joint Science & Religion Hospitality Suite at AAR/SBL Meetings, November 19
8/23/05 Report on Russell Lecture at Kyoto Science & Religion Conference

A New Collaboration on “Scientific Perspectives on the Problem of Evil in Nature”

8/10/05 Order Fifty Years in Science and Religion On-Line
7/14/05 Reach for the STARS! CTNS Awarded Four-Year Grant!
4/14/05 Festschrift honoree, Ian Barbour attends the Book Launch. Photos from event!
3/30/05 CTNS Hosts Public Forum on April 27 in Berkeley
3/23/05 Bridging Science and Religion now translated into four languages, with three more forthcoming
3/22/05 Robert Russell to lecture at Allegheny College, PA on 4/10
3/22/05 Ted Peters, CTNS Board Member, to Lecture at Michigan State U. 4/17-18
3/9/05 CTNS Congratulates Board Member, Charles Townes, the 2005 Templeton Prize Recipient
2/25/05 Update: Position has been filled 6/8/05. Check back for information on the Project. Program Director - Science and the Quest for Ultimate Reality: Science and Theology Advanced Research Series
2/24/05 Robert J. Russell, Speaker at Annual Conference on Science and Religion, Goshen, Indiana
2/7/05 April 1: Panel Discussion and Reception to Celebrate New Book edited by Robert J. Russell. Ian Barbour will be present at the Event!
1/19/05 Fifty Years in Science and Religion: Ian G. Barbour and His Legacy now published
1/19/05 Thirteen years of The CTNS Bulletin is now online for CTNS Members
12/15/04 CTNS Journal Moves to Three Issues Per Year
12/13/04 Table of Contents Preview: March 2005 Theology and Science 3.1
11/19/04 View a Free Online Sample Copy of CTNS' Journal, Theology and Science Before you join CTNS
11/10/04 "Theology and the Sciences in Search of Meaning: Wolfhart Pannenberg's Theology and Philosophy of Science" by Nathan J. Hallanger
10/27/04 AAR/SBL Joint Reception November 20, 7:00 pm in San Antonio
10/11/2004 Graduate Student Fellowship Recipients Announced
9/15/2004 CTNS Announces Graduate Student Fellowship Fund. Donate now!
8/10/ 2004 Preview of Vol. 2, No. 2 (October 2004) Theology and Science journal
6/18/2004 Niels Henrik Gregersen, the 2003-2004 J. K. Russell Fellow, to Lecture in Berkeley October 5-15, 2004 (10-15-04- Photos from Conference available)
6/2/2004 Fund for Annual Research Fellowship Established in Arden Russell's Memory
5/18/2004 Pre-order Fifty Years in Science and Religion, a Festschrift Honoring Ian G. Barbour
4/1/2004 Issue No. 1 of Theology and Science, Volume 2, Now Published
2/10/2004 CTNS Congratulates Colleagues on ESSSAT Prize, Announces English Version of Online Encyclopedia
2/1/2004 CTNS/GTU Student Coedits Major Volumes
11/5/2003 SSQ II Program Principal Investigator Philip Clayton writes about the past 8 years in Science & Religion
10/27/2003 SSQ Program Co-Originator Mark Richardson, Reflects on Conclusion of Successful Eight-year Program
10/1/2003 The Evolution Controversy: A New Book in the Making by Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlett
10/1/2003 Ian Barbour's book translated into German
7/14/2003 International Workshop: "Sciences, Philosophy and Theology: At the Search of a Worldview," August 20-22, 2003
5/1/2003 "Embryos from Stem Cells?" by Ted Peters
9/1/2002 SRCP Concludes Successful Program
4/15/2002 The 2002 Course Prize Winners (Final year)
4/15/2002 The 2002 Science and Religion Course Fellowships (Final year)



CTNS Friends E-News Current Issue:

Spring 2011

Recent Past Issues:

  Winter 2009
  Fall 2008
  Summer 2008
  Spring 2008

Recent Past Events

Friday, September 9, 2011
"Icarus' Second Chance: Ethics as New Frontier for the Space Enterprise?" with Jacques Arnould
Dinner Board Room (2nd Floor, GTU Hewlett Library, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA), 11:10am to 12:30pm

Jacques Arnould is an ethicist working at the National Space Centre in Paris and the author of God vs. Darwin (Adelaide: ATF Press, 2009). He will be speaking on his work on ethics and the exploration of extraterrestrial life. This event is free and open to the public.

April 14, 2011: Public Forum with Joshua Moritz on "Chosen from Among the Animals: The End of Human Uniqueness and the Election of the Image of God": 7pm, Graduate Theological Union Library, Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley (free and open to the public)

What does it mean for human beings to be created in the ‘image and likeness of God’? In both popular opinion and the minds of many scientists and academics, the idea of human uniqueness and human superiority has been linked to the Christian doctrine of the imago Dei. Among Christian philosophers and theologians the connection between the unique nature of humans and the divine likeness has similarly been assumed and even systematically argued for. Pursuing what is called the comparative approach to theological anthropology these philosophers and theologians have asked, in what ways is human nature different from the nature of animals and, therefore, like the nature of God? In contrast to these scholars, Moritz questions any concept of the image of God that equates the imago Dei with some characteristic or capacity which presumably makes humans unique—in a non-trivial way—from other animals. He concludes that the image of God is—exegetically and theologically—best understood in light of the Hebrew theological framework of historical election. Viewing the imago Dei as election incorporates the findings of contemporary biblical studies and takes seriously scientific understandings of both evolutionary continuity and the psychosomatic unity of the human person.

February 24, 2011: Public Forum with George Ellis on “Cosmology and Ultimate Causality,” 7pm, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Tucson Room (free and open to the public)

The deep issue in both cosmology and human life is what underlies the existence of the laws of nature, which define the possibility space within which the universe and life comes into being. Is the ultimate reason pure chance, probability, necessity, or purpose? Is their nature prescriptive or descriptive? The possibility of meaning and ethics has to have been built into the foundations that gave physical existence its structure, suggesting a higher intention is realised through physical reality. The kind of ethics that is compatible with this view is a kenotic (self-emptying) ethic that invokes a respect for the freedom and integrity of others as a basic principle underlying the nature of existence. As a result, two kinds of causation: intentional and impersonal, which undoubtedly both exist, occur in an intertwined way. 

George F. R. Ellis is Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics, University of Cape Town, South Africa. His research has focused on on relativity theory and cosmology and complexity studies.  His books include The Large Scale Structure of Space Time, with Stephen Hawking (1973), Flat and Curved Space-Times, with Ruth Williams (1988, revised 2000), The Dynamical Systems Approach to Cosmology, (Ed), with John Wainwright (1996), On The Moral Nature of the Universe: Cosmology, Theology, and Ethics with Nancey Murphy (1996), The Far Future Universe(Ed) (2002), and Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will (2009) (Ed) with Nancey Murphy and Timothy O'Connor. He was a participant in the Vatican Observatory/CTNS series of meetings on "Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action", 1991 - 2000, was CTNS's J.K. Russell Fellow of Science and Religion in 1994, and took part in CTNS's first Science and the Spiritual Quest project (1998/1999). He was a founding member of the International Society of Science and Religion (President, 2004-2006) and in 2004 he was awarded the Templeton Prize.

2010 J.K. Russell Research Fellowship in Religion and Science with Thomas F. Tracy

Conference: Scientfic Vetoes and the "Hands-Off" God: Can We Say that God Acts In History?
Saturday, October 16, 2010

Public Forum: When we Say that God Acts, What Do We Think God Does?
Friday, October 15, 2010

Three Breakthroughs in STARS Research: A Two-Day Event Exploring the Frontiers of Science and Religion

  • Are we alone in the universe? How the search for ET can, and should be, ramped up.

  • How complex life evolved by interpreting its environment and how that ability offers humans an openness to its 'environment,' the transcendent.

  • What neuroscience can teach us about human values and their transcendent source.

"Humanity stands at the crossroads of destiny. STARS is the most exciting initiative yet on confronting the challenge of who we are and how we fit into the great cosmic scheme."
--Paul Davies

"STARS" is CTNS's new ground-breaking research program on science and transcendence. Its goal is to sponsor research by small teams of scientists and humanities scholars on the ways science, in light of philosophical and theological reflection, points towards the nature, character and meaning of ultimate reality. "STARS," shorthand for "Science and Transcendence: Advanced Research Series," builds on CTNS's three decades of cutting-edge programs in the interdisciplinary field of theology and science through local and international research, teaching and public service. Now STARS is breaking new ground, moving beyond familiar questions by funding creative and innovative interdisciplinary research.

You are invited to a special two-day event celebrating STARS research on April 23-24, 2010 in Berkeley, California. You will meet Paul Davies, internationally acclaimed physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, and STARS keynote lecturer, who will tell us how the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) can succeed. You will also meet two of the outstanding STARS teams and hear the latest results of their work on virtue ethics in light of the neurosciences and on how a capacity for interpreting the environment helped enable the evolution of life and undergird human openness to transcendence. STARS is funded through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

All proceeds from this event will support the fund for the Ian G. Barbour Chair in Theology and Science at CTNS/GTU and will be matched by the Templeton Foundation.

Schedule (tentative):

Friday, April 23rd, 7-9pm Paul Davies Lecture, "Are We Alone in the Universe? How the Search for ET Can, and Should Be, Ramped Up"

Saturday, April 24, 10am-12pm STARS Research Conference with Christopher Southgate and Andrew Robinson, on "Information, Evolution and Transcendence: Science, Philosophy and Theology in Creative Interaction"

Saturday, April 24, 1pm-3pm STARS Research Conference with Warren Brown and Michael Spezio, on "Virtue Ethics, Neuroscience and the Transcendent: New Insights from the Interaction between Neuroscience, Psychology, Philosophy and Theology"

For more information please visit the conference website, contact conference coordinator, Melissa Moritz at melissam[at] or call the CTNS offices at (510) 848-8152.

Past Events

The 2008-2009 J. K. Russell Research Fellowship in Religion and Science with
Dr. Francisco Ayala
April 3-8, 2009

Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion
-- Celebrating the Darwin Year 2009
Saturday, April 4 -- the Research Conference held at the Graduate Theological Union Board Room, Berkeley, California (Registration begins on March 5) and
Whence Morality: Biology or Religion?
Fellow's Public Forum, Tuesday, April 7 at 7:00 pm
Classroom 1 of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (Free and open to the public)

Public Forum & Book Launch: "Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and
Believe in Evolution" by Karl Giberson, February 6, 2009.
Free and open to the public.

Professor LeRon Shults -- CTNS Public Forum November 5 on his book -- Christology and Science with a response by Professor Robert Russell. Join us at 7 pm in the GTU Board Room.

Public Forum: Book Launch Lecture by Dr. Christopher Southgate, Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 7:00 pm, GTU Board Room, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA
Click here for details.

The Annual J. K. Russell Research Fellowship in Religion and Science, Berkeley, CA, March 14 - 20, 2008.
Dr. George V. Coyne, S. J., former Director of the Vatican Observatory. (Click here for Details)
Saturday, March 15, 2008, Research Conference, 10:30 am to 5:00 pm:"Twenty Years After the New View from Rome: Pope John Paul II on Science and Religion"

Fellow's Public Forum, Tuesday, March 18, 2008: "Dance of the Fertile Universe",
Co-Sponsored with Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley (JSTB).


CTNS/GTU Conference and Celebration; December 8, 2007,1-5:00 pm,
Assessing the Work of Robert John Russell:
"God’s Action in Nature’s World: Creative Mutual Interaction from Alpha to Omega
and Celebrating the public Campaign for the Ian G. Barbour Chair in Theology and Science.

CTNS Fall 2007 Public Forum:
Tuesday, October 30, 7:00 pm(James Haag, Ph.D.) Click here for details.

Book Launch & Reception April 19, 2007
Anticipating Omega by Ted Peters

The Charles H. Townes Student Fellowships will be awarded at this Reception.

CTNS Public Forum April 25, 2007
"Divine Action, Natural Science, and the Problem of Evil"
with Thomas Tracy Visiting Scholar from Bates College
7:00 pm GTU Richard S. Dinner Board Room

The 2007 J. K. Russell Research Fellowship
March 24-April 1, 2007, Berkeley, California

Dr. Celia Deane-Drummond

September 14-15, 2006
CTNS Annual J. K. Russell Research Fellowship, Berkeley

September 16, 2006
CTNS Twenty-fifth Anniversary Celebration, Berkeley
2:00 pm; Celebrating the history and achievements of CTNS while looking forward; Celebrating "God's Action in Nature's World", a festschrift in honor of Robert John Russell (edited by Ted Peters and Nathan Hallanger). .
Location: The GTU Board Room, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley.
(No charge) 6:00 pm. Dinner and program celebrating twenty-five years of scholarship, teaching and public service including a special surprise announcement.

October 4, 2006, 7 pm
CTNS Public Forum with Andrew Newberg

Robert Russell Speaker at Annual Goshen Conference:
The Fifth Annual Goshen Conference on Religion and Science,
Goshen College, Goshen, IN, March 18-20, 2005
March 18- 20: Public Lecture, "The role of philosophy and theology in relativity and cosmology." Discussion with Professor Robert John Russell and conference participants.
Public Lecture, "Evolution, natural theodicy and ‘new creation' eschatology."
Lecture, “Eschatology and Cosmology: Guidelines for their mutual interaction."
Conference participants include pastors, and interested lay persons, as well as academic scientists, mathematicians, theologians, and students.

AAR/SBL Hospitality Event
November 20, 2004, 7:00 pm-11:00 pm
San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter - Conference Room 8. Saturday, November 20 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature for a reception sponsored by the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS), the Institute for Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS), and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science (ZCRS).

2004 J. K. Russell Research Fellowship: Niels Henrik Gregersen, the J. K. Russell Fellow for 2003-2004, is Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Copenhagen.

Nov. 23, 2003
Theology and Science Journal Launch Reception at AAR/SBL

On behalf of Taylor and Francis, a division of Routledge, join us for a reception on Sunday, November 23 from 7 - 8.30 pm in the Cobb Room of the Hilton Atlanta and Towers Hotel. The new CTNS journal's co-editors, managing editor, publisher and others will be present to greet you.

October 6-13, 2003
Reductionism and Emergence Lecture Series and Conference

CTNS is pleased to co-sponsor a research conference with University of San Francisco and the Vatican Observatory October 7-11, 2003.
Three Public Lectures are offered to the community:

October 6: "A New Kind of Science? Complexity Studies and Religious Reflection"
7:30 p.m. Lone Mountain 100. Lecture by Niels Henrik Gregersen. Part of the "Reductionism and Emergence" conference. For more information, please call (415) 422-6174 or email

October 9: "Emergence of Human Mental Abilities: Not Simply 'Evolution as Usual'"
7:30 p.m. Maraschi Room. Lecture by Terrence Deacon. Part of the "Reductionism and Emergence" conference. For more information, please call (415) 422-6174 or email

October 13: "Reductionish or Emergence? An Introdution to a New Paradigm?"
7:30 p.m. Lone Mountain 100. Lecture by Philip Clayton. Part of the "Reductionism and Emergence" conference. For more information,please call (415) 422-6174 or email

October 8–11: Conference: Reductionism and Emergence: Implications for the Science/Theology Dialogue
9 a.m.–6 p.m. Lone Mountain 148. Dialogue among 25 leading thinkers in the field. Participation is by invitation only.

October 3-5, 2003
The Past and Future of the Science-Religion Dialogue: 
Celebrating the Work of Ian G. Barbour

Berkeley, CA

Ian Barbour's pioneering writing in the 1960s and 1970s helped to create the field of science and religion, and his ongoing work over the past forty years has explored almost every aspect of it. On his eightieth birthday we will honor his contribution and look to the future of the dialogue.

The conference sessions deal with methodology; God and nature; theology and physics; theology and biology; ethics, technology and the environment; and perspectives from process theology, Roman Catholic theology and Buddhist thought. Presenters will explore a variety of theological visions of the field s wider dimensions and its frontier challenges. Each speaker will assess what has been accomplished in the past and help us envision what lies ahead as we look toward the coming decades in the light of the legacy of Ian G. Barbour.

Click here for more information about the conference.

June 14, 2003
Gaia and the Sacred: Religion, Science, and Ethics
Church Divinity School of the Pacific

GAIA AND THE SACRED is a one-day conference made possible by the CTNS Fellowship program at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Graduate Theological Union. This conference will explore the ways in which religion, ethics, and the sciences play into our understanding of who we are, as humans, within the natural world. Topics to be addressed include: Religion and Animals, Theological Ethics, Ecology and Economics, and World Religions and Ecology.  For more information, visit the TREES website.

May 31-June 5, 2003
"Works of Love: Scientific and Religious Perspectives on Altruism" Conference Co-Sponsorship

Science and the Spiritual Quest, a program of CTNS, is pleased to co-sponsor the public conference "Works of Love: Scientific and Religious Perspectives on Altruism" to be held May 31 - June 5, 2003 at Villanova University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Organized by the Metanexus Institute on Religion and Science and the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, the conference will explore altruism in an interfaith and interdisciplinary context. SSQ will provide conference sessions and host a reception. For more information and registration, visit or call 215-789-2200.

PLTS Spring Theological Conference
Friday, April 25, 8:30am to 12:30pm
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA
"Evolution, Evil & the Cross: The Theological Importance of Race and Genetic Inheritance"

Speakers include Robert J. Russell, Martinez Hewlett, Peter Nash, Alan Padgett, Gary Pence, and Marty Stortz.
The 2003 Spring Theological Conference will address the concept of genetic inheritance, the DNA evolution has bequeathed to us. Among the many things we inherit, we would like to draw out the theological implications of two. First, if we have a genetic predispositon to what we might call “sin” or anti-social behavior or for exacting suffering on other beings, we want to ask the theodicy question: why would God create us this way? Second, we want to ask the scientific question regarding the degree to which racial differences might have a genetic basis and then pose the question: what are the ethical implications? Our mission is to prevent possible misuse of genetic science and the concept of inheritance.
For registration information, please visit the PLTS website.

April 23, 2003
Kirk Wegter-McNelly, Ph.D Candidate, "Living in a Tangled World: Quantum Clues for Contemporary Theology"

Kirk Wegter-McNelly has recently completed his doctorate in systematic and philosophical theology at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. He also holds a B.A. in physics from Central College and an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Among other CTNS projects to which he contributed while at the GTU, Kirk served as co-editor for two CTNS publications: the most recent volume of the CTNS/Vatican Observatory research series, Quantum Mechanics: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (CTNS/VO, 2001), and the SSQ volume, Science and the Spiritual Quest: New Essays by Leading Scientists (Routledge, 2002). This fall, Kirk will join the Religious Studies Department of Manhattan College, New York City, teaching primarily courses focused on the relation between religion and science. Call 510-848-8152 for more information or via email:

April 1, 2003
William Dembski, Ph.D., "Intelligent Design: Making the Task of Theodicy Impossible?"

According to Edward Oakes, intelligent design makes the task of theodicy impossible. As he sees it, intelligent design is committed to an interventionist account of divine action in which God periodically has to nudge things along when things cannot quite get along by themselves. This, of course, raises the question why God does not intervene to prevent evils before they take root. Oakes is not alone in this concern. Howard Van Till refers to intelligent design as punctuated naturalism: nature does just fine most of the time, but then needs to be punctuated with divine interventions. Kenneth Miller regards intelligent design as progressive creationism by another name. Edward Oakes memorably characterizes intelligent design as "deism under a stroboscope."

March 22, 2003
The 2002-2003 J. K. Russell Research Conference: Paul Davies, Ph.D.
10:30 to 4:30, Library, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA.

Paul Davies "Multiverse and Anthropic Fine-Tuning: Philosophical and Theological Implications"
Scientists have long known that if the laws of physics were only slightly different, then life (at least as we know it) would be impossible. Some theologians have suggested that this biological fine-tuning (often misnamed anthropic fine-tuning) is evidence for a Cosmic Designer. But many scientists prefer to explain the ingeniously bio-friendly nature of the universe as a selection effect, by appealing to the idea of a multiverse. This theory envisages an infinite array of universes manifesting an infinite variety of laws. Only in those universes where the laws are, by accident, bio-friendly, will there be observers such as us to marvel at the contrived nature of their world. But how scientific is the multiverse? Does it really explain the facts? And is this theory any more convincing than a divine selection?

March 21, 2003, 7:00 pm
Fellowship Forum. Pacific School of Religion Chapel, 1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA, featuring Paul Davies, Ph.D., The CTNS 2002-2003 J. K. Russell Fellow. "ET and God: Theological Implications of the Search for Life Beyond Earth?"

Note new location. Free and open to the public.

March 11, 2003, 7:00 pm
John Haught, Ph.D., of Georgetown University.
"The Suffering of Sentient Life: The Theodicy Problem in Evolutionary Theism."

Free and open to the public.

This Forum, part of the theodicy series linked to a CTNS-sponsored course at the GTU, is made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

March 9, 2003, 9:30 am
CTNS Forum; San Francisco. John Haught, Ph.D., Georgetown University

Discussion with Dean Alan Jones of Grace Cathedral. 9:30 am in Gresham Hall at Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street, San Francisco, CA. Free and open to the public. Live webcast at

February 24, 2003, 7:00 pm (note new date)
Michael Ruse, Ph.D., "The Problem of Suffering in Neo-Darwinian Biology and Christian Theology"

Dr. Michael Ruse from Florida State University presents "The Problem of Suffering in Neo-Darwinian Biology and Christian Theology." There is a common opinion among Darwinians that Darwinism not only makes Christianity redundant, but with the emphasis on a struggle for existence makes Christianity positively false. It is argued that a process that has at its heart an ongoing cruel method of elimination could not possibly be compatible with the good god supposed at the heart of Christianity. Ruse examines this claim, starting with the supposition that the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection is not merely true but by far the chief cause of evolutionary change. Free and open to the public.

February 11, 2003, 7:00 pm
René Girard, Ph.D., "Violence and the Cross."

Dr. René Girard, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, author of several works on literary criticism, anthropology and Biblical exegesis, presents "Violence and the Cross." In this lecture/discussion, Girard expounds the idea that the salvific value Christians confer upon the Cross prevents them from exploring the anthropological significance of the crucifixion, and because of this, anthropologists are left to this task. Yet these anthropologists conclude that Christianity is only mythology—overlooking the crucial idea that the Bible rejects the very violence that the archaic myths silently reflect. Girard presents the thesis that a truly scientific approach in comparative religions would not deny Judaic and Christian claims to unique truthfulness. Free and open to the public.

Call 510-848-8152 for more information or via email:

This Forum, part of the theodicy series linked to a CTNS-sponsored course at the GTU, is made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

back to top

2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709-1212 •   Tel: 510-649-2564 Fax: 510-649-1417 • •   Site Map  •   Search