The University of Chicago

J. Richard Thistlethwaite, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., University of Chicago Medical School
Susan B. Thistlethwaite, M.Div., Ph.D., Chicago Theological Seminary

The University of Chicago has an excellent track record of fostering public theology and performing cutting edge scientific research. The surrounding Hyde Park area is home to an enormous array of theological seminaries. This combination creates an ideal setting for strengthening the science and religion dialogue. The Thistlethwaites believe that strengthening the basis for how a constructive relationship for religion and science can contribute to the public conversation on new scientific advances, especially in the genetic sciences, is sorely needed in our society today. The course, "Race, Gender, Aging and the Genetic Sciences," is designed to pair scientific and theological anthropology during each week, allowing for concentration by students on the area where they have the least background, and facilitating joint re-examination of both religion and science.

The course begins with an introduction to the history of the relationship of religion and science, and is followed by three modules. The first module is informational, and includes laboratory sessions on genetic identity, gene therapy and cloning. The second module examines the three constructive area (race, gender and aging) in both genetics and theological anthropology. The third module concerns application and will examine genetic selection, stem cells and cloning and gene therapy. 

The working title for the university-wide conference is "Under Construction: A New Model for Public Conversation on Religion, Science and the New Genetics."

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