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Science and Religion

SU launches lecture series around Catholic heritage

SU Magazine staff

2010 Fall Science and Religion Large

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This fall Seattle University unveiled the Catholic Heritage Lectures, a series of lectures with notable academic and religious scholars who discuss topics related to the interface between religion and science. The lectures are tied to SU’s Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, an academic collaboration between Academic Affairs and Mission and Ministry that is slated to launch next fall. The institute aims to connect established programs such as the Arrupe Seminar, Catholic Studies program and the Summer Seminar in Catholic Social Teaching with new initiatives such as faculty research grants and this new lecture series.


“I am delighted that we launched the Catholic Heritage Lecture series,” says Provost Isiaah Crawford. “The intellectual tradition of Catholic social thought has a great deal to contribute to our understanding of the challenges that confront contemporary society.”


Peter Ely, vice president for Mission and Ministry, says the Catholic Heritage Lectures “can provide a forum for exploring Catholic thought in relation to the most crucial issues of our time.”


Seattle University’s Catherine Punsalan, assistant professor of theology and religious studies, organized the selection of speakers for this inaugural season. While Punsalan is on sabattical this academic year, Sharon Suh, associate professor and chair of the theology and religious studies department, will oversee the program. Suh is also the director of the Academic Salons.


“It is our hope that the lectures will provide the university community with an exciting and interesting opportunity to pursue one of the themes at the heart of our Catholic Jesuit tradition—the integration of faith and reason,” Provost Crawford says.

Upcoming speakers include:

February 10, 2011/7-9 p.m. @ Pigott Auditorium

Holmes Rolston III, distinguished professor of philosophy at Colorado State University

Topic: Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life, Mind

Rolston has authored several books involving science, religion and environmental issues, including Biology, Ethics, and the Origins of Life and Science and Religion: A Critical Survey. His work has been published extensively and he has been a guest lecturer at universities in the United States and abroad.

April 14, 2011/7-9 p.m. @ Pigott Auditorium

Sister Ilia Delio, senior research fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University

Topic: Theology Beyond Darwin: Reclaiming the Book of Creation as the Book of God
Prior to joining Woodstock Theological Center Sr. Delio was chair and professor in the spirituality studies department at the Washington Theological Union, where she also served as director of Franciscan studies. Currently her research interests are in the field of science and religion, including divine action, emergence, evolutionary theory and artificial intelligence. Sr. Delio has written several books including Christ in Evolution, Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth and Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love. In 2000 she was the recipient of the Templeton Course Award in Science and Religion.

The talks are free and open to alumni. For more information, visit Seattle University’s Mission and Ministry at www.seattleu.edu/missionministry/.



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