Mission and Ministry

Reflecting on the Inagural Year

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    Reflection on 2010-2011 Catholic Heritage Lecture Series by Fr. Peter Ely, SJ, Vice President for Mission & Ministry

    The Catholic Heritage Lectures began on October 28, 2010 with Dr. Kenneth Miller’s brilliant presentation to a packed Pigott Auditorium audience. Brown’s lecture, “Darwin, God, and Design: America’s Continuing Problem with Evolution,” made a strong case for the compatibility of science and faith. As both a scientist and believer himself, Professor Brown argued forcefully against the attempts of the Intelligent Design movement to develop a pseudo-scientific position. Intelligent Design, says Brown, Professor of biology at Brown University, is neither good science nor good theology.

    Dr. Holmes Rolston III, philosophy professor emeritus from Colorado State University, delivered the second lecture on February 10, 2011, “Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life, Mind.” Rolston, well-recognized scholar in the fields of philosophy of science and of environmental studies, argued that evolution in its three crucial phases of matter-energy, life, and mind is entirely compatible with the belief in an intelligent cause.

    The final speaker, a theologian, De. Ilia  Delio, OSF, of the Woodstock Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., explored a question the other speakers had addressed only indirectly: “What kind of God does the theory of evolution suggest?” If evolution is a valid explanation of the way the universe has developed, how should we think of God. Using the thought of Jesuit anthropologist, Teilhard de Chardin, Delio argued that God lies not only at the beginning of creation but is the future toward which everything is drawn. God is the God of the whole. The Incarnation of Christ takes place not just to save people from sin but to bring creation to its fullness.

    Taken together, these three lectures gave a wonderful account of the relation between religion and science as seen from a Catholic, Christian perspective. 

    Kenneth MillerKenneth Miller, Ph.D.
    Professor of Biology, Brown University

    "Darwin, God, and Design: America's Continuing Problem with Evolution"
    October 28, 2010 | Pigott Auditorium

    Holmes Rolston III Holmes Rolston III, Ph.D.
    Professor of Philosophy, Colorado State University

    "Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life, Mind"
    February 10, 2011 | Pigott Auditorium

    Ilia Delio(1)Ilia Delio, Ph.D.
    Senior Research Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University

    "Theology After Darwin: Towards a New Religious Future"
    April 14, 2011 | Pigott Auditorium

  • Go forth and set the world on fire.

    ― St. Ignatius of Loyola Founder of the Society of Jesus