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Displaying Results for: Metaneuxs Network | North America

Canada

Forum for Dialogue Between Science and Religion

University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario

In conjunction with the Hindu Institute of Learning and the University of Toronto, this group holds a series of public seminars, lectures, and discussions on a variety of topics on science-faith issues, such as globalization, consciousness, purposefulness, forgiveness, bioethics and justice, from an Eastern perspective. Topics are chosen and explored with an emphasis on “illuminating the present in the light of the past” and exploring the creative encounter between science and religion. A resource library, containing books, CDs, journals and videos with an emphasis on the science-religion dialogue in the context of South Asia, further advances exploration within the community.

Faith and Environment
A Rocha Canada, A Rocha International
Vancouver, British Columbia

This group brings together members of local academic and faith communities to explore “the intersection of faith, science, and the earth.” The society’s activities include public forums and presentations in a variety of church and academic settings on topics in the natural sciences, philosophy, and theological/Biblical studies. Discussions continue through follow-up workshops and the formation of further dialogue groups on specific issues. One of the main goals of this society is the development of alliances with area academic institutions and local environmental education groups.

Vancouver Area Science and Religion Forum

Trinity Western University
Langley, British Columbia

This project brings together members of a chapter of the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation with a steering committee comprised of scientists in a variety of fields, theologians, and philosophers sharing expertise and interest in science and faith. The group holds seminars at both Trinity Western University and the University of British Columbia exploring a broad cross-section of academic disciplines and theological views. Areas of concentration include philosophy and theology of science, cosmology, psychology/neuroscience and environmental studies.

Science and Faith in the New Millennium

Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation
Waterloo, Ontario

The Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation is a national fellowship of scientists, teachers, and members of the public whose goal is that of exploration and education concerning the science-faith relationship, upholding the integrity of both Christian faith as a relevant means of expressing God's love and the scientific method as a means of providing reliable knowledge concerning God's creation. Membership extends from coast to coast in Canada. The project’s core activity has been hosting a nationwide lecture series entitled "Science & Faith in the 21st Century."

Extending the Resource Network for the Science and Religion Dialogue

Hamilton Area Science & Religion Forum
McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario

Formally organized as a local section of the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation, this group engages scientists in medicine, biology, chemistry, physics, with psychologists, theologians, philosophers, and educators with an active interest in exploring and promoting the dialogue between science and faith. The core planners engage in ongoing dialogue and planning to host major internationally known speakers as a catalyst for bringing surrounding religious communities, ministerial groups, academic communities, and interested members of the general public into membership. Regular meetings focus on mentoring for faculty and students in the sciences, generating position papers and policy statements, organizing and planning essay competitions for students, and hosting focus groups for area churches and national church commissions.

Creating Opportunities for Dialogue: Issues of Science and Faith

Southwestern Ontario Chapter
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario

As a local chapter of the Canadian Scientific Christian Affiliation, this group is a professional association of women and men in science who share a common Christian faith and a commitment to the integrity of science. The organizing committee of this effort is comprised of local scientists, theologians, and clergy bringing expertise and scholarly interest to the various topics to be explored. Issues such as cosmology and origins, evolution and creation, bioethics, neuroscience and the soul, stewardship and the environment, physics and philosophy, morality and psychology, and knowledge and belief are at the forefront of the considerations cultivated through group activities. The society offers a combination of public lectures, seminar presentations, and meetings for review and discussion of topics of critical interest to specific target groups. Providing multiple forums for conferences, workshops, seminars and discussions on a variety of themes, the group is targeting high school, college and university students, faculty of local colleges and universities, area clergy, and the local community for outreach.

Mexico

Foro de Diálogo Ciencia y Fe (Dialogue Forum on Science and Faith)

Sociedad Educativa Champagnat, A.C.
Universidad Marista de San Luis Potosí

Located in central México, San Luis Potosí has a long tradition of cultural activity and boasts more than 20 universities and technical institutes. Technology and science have only recently had an impact on education and business in this region and present new perspectives and challenges for this traditionally humanities-oriented culture. The group brings together individuals from Marist University and the Catholic Church along with regional public universities, technical institutes, and professionals in practice. Five fields of issues direct their inquiries: economy, environment, and religion; philosophy and science; health and ethics; creation, evolution, and the universe; and psychosocial reality and faith.

Group Discussion of Science and Religion in Bioethics

Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores, S.C.
(Universidad Anáhuac)
Mexico City

This society brings together academics representing fields of philosophy, ethics, theology, and the sciences with Christian and Jewish clergy and interested members of the community. Topics include broad historic and specific overviews of religious insights into ethical considerations in the field of biomedical sciences to invite a deeper appreciation of the role of medicine, spirituality, and ethics for the wellbeing of humankind.

Seminario Interdisciplinario de Investigación Sobre el Humano: Ciencia, Filosofía y Teología (SIISHCFT) Interdisciplinary Seminar of Research on the Human Being: Science, Philosophy and Theology

Universidad Intercontinental
Mexico City

This group enlists members of local academic and faith communities to explore the intersection of faith, bio-anthropological science, philosophy, theology, and psychoanalysis. Activities include bi-monthly discussions, forums of core members of the society, academic forums for the philosophy faculty and community (students, professors, and investigators), and hosting conferences in partnership with leading institutions in Mexico and Latin America. Additionally, bi-annual symposia bring together members of local and international academic and faith communities to continue considerations in an open and interactive environment. Topics for discussion are chosen twice yearly by a core group of planners, with the goal of promoting transdisciplinary research to promote the understanding of the human being in contemporary culture. Follow-up workshops and the formation of further networking and dialogue groups throughout Mexico and Latin America are planned.

Centro de Estudios en Ciencia y Religion (CECIR)

Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP)

Founded in 2000, CECIR networks with area universities, theological schools, seminaries and interested scholars throughout the city of Puebla and surrounding area. The society explores of a wide variety of historical and contemporary subjects in the science-faith arena including examinations of Mayan and Aztec Cosmology, philosophy, quantum mechanics, evolutionary theory, and neuroscience; deepening explorations as they evolve within group discussion. Programs involve members in a diversity of activities including monthly panels, discussion groups, bi-monthly lectures, and short courses. Some of the proceedings result in the production and development of videos and publications of materials made available and widely distributed in Spanish speaking countries. The goal of CECIR is to develop a cross-institutional network of science-faith scholars to share information and discussion and explore the emerging conversation. CECIR also is fostering the development of a network of scholars of science and faith in Latin America.

United States

North Central Program for Science and Theology

Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools; Science Faith Roundtable
St. Paul, Minnesota

The Minnesota Consortium includes Bethel Seminary, Luther Seminary, St. John’s University, University of St. Thomas, and United Theological Seminary. The Science Faith Roundtable, founded in 1986, represents an independent affiliation of scientists and religious leaders that meet monthly to discuss texts and “promote understanding of the relation of science and religion as a positive and dynamic factor in contemporary culture.” Additions to Roundtable meetings include widely publicized quarterly lectures, designed to enhance local discussion, and regular public offerings on focused topics. Lectures and readers of selected material enhance the development of a network of discussion groups, modeled after the Roundtable. Readers contain materials for six-week discussion sessions. These include self-guided readings and discussion of topics such as human consciousness; evolution and creation; intelligent design theory; faith and ecological crisis; and human cloning. Future goals of the Program include seeking additional sponsorship through area institutions and expanding to include as many colleges and universities in the North Central region as possible. This three-time awardee of the Metanexus LSI supplemental grant has enhanced its programming through extensive outreach, networking and development of materials to support the formation of dialogue groups across their region. Matching funds are provided by Luther Seminary, Bethel Seminary, and individual donations.

St. John’s University
Collegeville, Minnesota

This society brings together monks, students and faculty from the university, the College of St. Benedictine, St. John’s Seminary and the Abbey of St. John the Baptist to form this dynamic and exploratory group. Bi-monthly discussion groups focuses on one or two texts per semester examining topics such as the religious interface with physics and cosmology; evolutionary biology; environmental biology; computer and biotechnology. Coupled with readings and discussions, invited authors spend time at each institution giving public presentations and addressing classes, with informal discussions as an added benefit for society members. Envisioned as a “step toward developing a program in science and religion at St. John’s”, a broader goal includes the ability to leverage and solicit funds, based on the successful reception of the society, to develop an endowed chair in science and religion and the future consideration of a minor concentration in science and religion. This initiative has been awarded two LSI Supplemental grants, in 2004 and 2005, to support the production of roundtable discussions with invited authors for local public television. Matching funds are provided by St. John’s University.

Seattle Initiative in Science and Religion Dialogue

Seattle Pacific University
Seattle, Washington

This Initiative is an effort to broaden and strengthen academic-based dialogue concerning the relationship of science and religion in the Seattle area, with an initial focus on Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, and the University of Washington. The Initiative sponsors structures and events that provide opportunities for students and faculty to gather in interdisciplinary dialogue over issues where science and religion intersect. Among items encouraged and supported are student discussion groups, faculty reading groups, and regular opportunities for prominent figures in the science/religion dialogue to meet with these groups and with relevant classes. While most of the structures are situated on respective campuses, special attention is given to events that foster interaction between the institutions and that invite the larger Seattle area into the dialogue. Dynamic reading groups, bringing together students and faculty in each of the three campuses, are drawn together each semester through authors’ public lectures and informal discussion in smaller settings. Topics for their dialogue include Christian perspectives on origins of life issues, extra-terrestrial life, astrophysics, geoscience, genetics and biotechnology, neuroscience and the soul, and ecology. Matching funds are provided by Seattle Pacific University.

Nebraska Citizens for Science
[formerly the Center for the Advancement of Rational Solutions (CARS)]
Lincoln, Nebraska

The Center for the Advancement of Rational Solutions (CARS) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to engage experts and the public in a spirited dialogue. The Lincoln Forum on Science and Religion brings together an interdisciplinary group, of representatives of various religions and sciences, with the aim of resolving policy conflicts. Among these are origin theories in the public education curricula, public policy on homosexuality, and the boundaries, applications, and implications of the biosciences. The leadership has commitment, a vision for growth, and considerable experience in nonprofit management, organizing forums, and media events. CARS organizes public forums in both Lincoln and Omaha on major issues in its sphere of interest. Ultimately, CARS aims at a reconciliation of religions with science and with each other through an exploration of common ground. It seeks to do so through a variety of engagement strategies, with science presented as the common source of reliable knowledge of the natural world as we find it across religious boundaries. For more information, visit the CARS website. The Associates for Middle East Research, CARS, and other donations provide matching funds.

Kansas City Religion and Science Dialogue Project

Second Presbyterian Church
Kansas City, Missouri

This Local Society draws its participants from among the members and staff of the Second Presbyterian Church, which is the group’s host institution, as well as from the faculty, staff, and students of Rockhurst University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Saint Paul School of Theology, and the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering and Technology. Plans include increasing outreach efforts to promote further diversification of membership and invite a broader community of interested, educated laypersons, by means of open public lectures, informal discussions, workshops, conferences, and the development of a website. Group activities cover topics such as cloning, cosmology, the Human Genome Project, creation-evolution debate, and genetically modified food--a “topic of special local significance, given the area’s agricultural base.” According to the group leaders, the Dialogue Project “wishes to promote and contribute to the important and interesting dialogue and debate that has emerged in the past several years on the relationship between science and religion.” The goal includes bringing together “religious and scientific leaders in a spirit of mutual respect, dialogue, and humility, so that they may become more informed on key issues in the debate.” Matching funds are provided by Second Presbyterian Church.

Religion and Reason: Unifying Rationality and Spirituality

United Protestant Campus Ministry (UPCaM)
Cleveland, Ohio

With a mutual respect for widely diverse views, Religion and Reason “seeks to open a dialogue between open-minded individuals in Cleveland’s religious and scientific communities, focusing on the shared bond of the awesomeness of life and the world in which we must learn to live with others in ways that are peaceful and just.” Beginning with a diverse core group of scholars and professionals representing a wide range of religious and scientific disciplines, increases in membership are pursued through outreach and invitation. This society hosts regular meetings of issue/book discussion group, guest speakers, and a widely publicized, open annual seminar. The group has created a speakers bureau to help include “a larger community in the discussion.” Critical issues are framed in lay terms to be accessible to those interested who come from outside of the two professional communities involved. The aim of group members is to become “mutually informed” through honest and respectful dialogue. Diverse topics are addressed including more extensive focus on scientific and religious perspectives on altruistic love done in partnership with the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. Matching funds are provided by multiple sources including the Murphy Family Foundation and Case Western Reserve University.

Center for the Study of Health, Religion and Spirituality

Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana

The Center for the Study of Health, Religion and Spirituality was formed in December 2002 with faculty from Psychology, Counseling, Nursing, Life Sciences, and the Terre Haute Center for Medical Education. The mission of the Center is to promote conversation and scholarship regarding the interrelationships between religion, spirituality, values, ethics, meaning making, and physical and emotional health and well-being. The Center advocates that the highest levels of scholarship and methodological rigor should be applied to studying the questions regarding health, religion, and spirituality and that contributions and methods from different fields of inquiry are essential. Similarly, good scholarship requires that viewpoints and insights from diverse religions and spiritual traditions are respectfully considered and used to guide and inform research questions and methods. The Center seeks to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and communication regarding relationships among science, religion/spirituality, and health by 1) supporting research and scholarship; 2) providing a forum for conversation between religious professionals and health care researchers, providers, and consumers; and 3) promoting educational and training opportunities for students and professionals. Specific research and dialogue topics include meditation and health and spirituality and addiction. Indiana State University provides matching funds.

Synodical Task Force on Science and Religion

East Central Synod of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

This project is designed as a prototype format with the aim of serving as a “consultant, presenter, and model” for the other 64 ELCA Synods. The society promotes “literacy” in modern issues in science and religion at all levels and ages within the Synod. Their plan focuses on an in-depth examination of four major areas of concern in the science and religion dialogue: its definition, history, future, and value. The group’s activities include preparing a diverse set of educational materials and teaching tools for clergy and congregational use that lend themselves to updating as scientific progress dictates. The society plans to become an important voice within the Synod at conferences and retreats, as well as to provide consultation in bringing the dialogue to congregants. Additional activities include public forums; the establishment of a science/religion library of books, videos, and other materials; production of a newsletter; and a web site for sharing information widely. Additionally, a plan for broad outreach to the community includes making use of radio, television, newspapers for publicizing the dialogue. Matching funds are provided by the Siebert Lutheran Foundation and the East Central Synod of Wisconsin Endowment Fund.

St. Andrews Presbyterian College
Laurinburg, North Carolina

Monthly gatherings take place during the academic year including faculty, students, community members, and members of area faith communities. The “two-fold aim” of the program includes sustaining an enduring conversation and intimately including students in the discussions. To support these goals, each year, three gifted students are identified to receive a modest fellowship stipend to serve in a leadership capacity within the Roundtable. These students are given the opportunity to attend one or more conferences that address interests in faith and science and are expected to make presentations to Roundtable members. Meetings seek to promote balanced and constructive dialogue to promote a “better, general understanding of issues, rather than any specific consensus”. Core planning society members meet over dinner on a regular basis to discuss and explore program and future planning. Plans include an initial exploration through readings and discussions, while outside speakers, faculty, students and community are also invited to present topics and lead discussions of their choosing. The group’s discussion focuses on general issues involved in facilitating a dialogue between religion and science, with particular attention given to philosophical, historical, linguistic, and practical issues. Outreach activities regularly invite and include others in the explorations through Roundtable Events and the speaker’s bureau. The Roundtable envisions becoming a recognized resource on the subject of science and religion for local community, state, faith communities, businesses and industries as well as other educational institutions. Projected plans reach well beyond the three-year granting term. Matching funds are provided by the gifts of St. Andrews Presbyterian College alumni.

Claremont School of Theology
Center for Process Studies
Claremont, California

The Center for Process Studies was founded in 1973 by John B. Cobb, Jr., and David Ray Griffin to encourage exploration of the relevance of process thought across diverse fields of research, reflection, and action. The goal of the LSI program, “Dialogues Concerning Science and Natural Religion, “ is to encourage dialogue between science and religion using process thought as a bridge between the two fields. Process thought has been extensively used both in the interpretation of science (Birch, Stapp, Waddington, etc.) and in the field of religion (Cobb, Griffin, Suchocki, etc.) It has also served as a tool for linking the two fields, most notably in the work of the founder of the contemporary science / religion dialogue, Ian Barbour, and also in the work of John Haught, Frederick Ferre, Nancy Howell, and others. This program both advances that discussion and opens up the discussion to a wider audience. The program provides one free public conference and at least two additional public seminars each year, touching on topics such as quantum physics, contemporary cosmology, and biological evolution and purpose. Matching funds are provided by the Helios Foundation as well as individual donations and program registration fees.

The Healers Council

The Institute for Religion and Health at Texas Medical Center
Houston, Texas

Bringing together medical scientists, theologians, anthropologists, bioethicists, and healers from a broad range of traditions, this society pursues the development of an ongoing dialogue in the field of medical care that recognizes the importance of spiritual and religious perspectives to health and healing. Core members meet monthly to review and discuss relevant materials in the field, develop student-mentor associations, and plan public events that invite “master healers” for presentations. In addition to a prominent role at Texas Medical Center, the Institute continues to build on alliances with nursing schools, Houston Baptist College, Episcopal Health Charities, and other area institutions. Public events invite practitioners, students of medicine and pastoral care, and members of the public to participate in dialogue on issues related to the spiritual and scientific foundations of healing. A newsletter will further promote and share the work of the Council. Additionally, the group actively seeks collaborative connections with other topically related groups in the LSI network. The Healers Council aims to further the integration of religion and spirituality in the healing process to support healthcare provider wellness programs; promote compassionate healthcare; and provide a nurturing environment for collaborative education and relevant research. The Institute for Religion and Health at Texas Medical Center provides matching funds.

Faith and Science: A Parish Dialogue

Church of the Nativity
Raleigh, North Carolina

Faith and Science: A Parish Dialogue is a parish program bringing together an active core membership representing clergy, professionals in business management, neurology, medical research, biochemistry, and the pharmaceutical industry and includes the wider parish community of physicians, nurses, lawyers, artists, engineers, research scientists, educators and full time parents. Fostering collaborations and support from area academics and leaders, the group undertakes a combination of study and research in specific areas of science and faith; publication of proceedings of monthly meetings to share with the Church and neighboring communities and organizations; and monthly sessions and public forums. The group provides a comprehensive reading list for members that explore the essential concepts in science and religion and their relation to the changing world. The chosen theme for this three year period is: Creation and Evolution - a Dialogue. Their website complements teaching sessions with suggested follow-up readings and a synthesis of the learning and deliberations of the group. Papers emerging from the group will be distributed widely in the Raleigh community, and publicity about programs is sought through local newspapers, radio, and television, and in the diocesan monthly journal. An annual essay competition among parish youth encourages their interest in faith and science. Each year culminates in a Faith and Science Fair celebrating the year’s work in the parish and in the community. In the third year of the funding cycle, the group will implement a community wide education project on the issue of Creation and Evolution. The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, personal contributions of members, and the Church of the Nativity provide matching funds.

SLU Interdisciplinary Science and Religion Study Group

Southeastern Louisiana University
Hammond, Louisiana

This project addresses historical and contemporary issues in religion and science through a variety of events. At the base of its efforts is fostering an on-going dialogue through a multiplicity of venues: discussion groups, public lectures, and faculty research presentations. Beyond dialogue, the society also seeks to educate those who will educate. Southeastern trains future science teachers. In this theologically conservative milieu, teachers frequently avoid issues in science and religion. The society wants to help equip teachers for the constructive engagement of these issues from the elementary through the high school level. This society had its roots in the Luncheon Speaker Series hosted by the Methodist and Presbyterian Student Center. Faculty and students gathered to hear a variety of speakers address topics of concern to the faith community. Eventually, the desire arose to address faith and science issues in greater depth. This desire resulted in the Metheny Lectures (previous speakers included John Polkinghorne). The group meets twice each month for discussion and preparation for upcoming lectures. Society members include faculty and students from a number of disciplines, in addition to representatives of local churches. The society is also developing a book collection for students and faculty. The group’s matching funds are supplied by the university and St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College.

The Healing Initiative

Hellenic College / Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
Brookline, Massachusetts

This society is sponsored by the Institute of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion (IMPR), a non-profit institute established in 2002. The Institute facilitates interdisciplinary dialogue among psychologists, medical doctors, and religious and pastoral counselors through research, publications, and dialogue in workshops and focus groups. The group’s goal is to work towards the understanding of the whole person by addressing the interdependent methodologies of medicine, psychology, and religion. “The Healing Initiative” is a focused discussion group that convenes monthly, with members consisting of doctors, students, professors of various disciplines, and Greek Orthodox clergy. The group explores the practical relationships between physical, spiritual, and psychological health, and hopes to determine how holistic healing can be made manifest in a modern context. Quarterly events are also held to discuss controversial issues in science and religion. Matching funds are provided by the Lilly Endowment and Hellenic College.

Wilmington College Local Society

Wilmington College
Wilmington, Ohio

Members of this society consider issues of science and religion from a Quaker perspective of inquiry. The group addresses particularly the scientific specialties of Wilmington College in agriculture, ecology and biology. Aiming to develop both on campus and community initiatives, membership invites participation from area Quaker meetings and other faith-based organizations. The work aims to develop of tools and techniques for helping individuals determine the best actions for faith-informed sustainability. The society hosts two major public meetings per semester to discuss significant issues at the intersection of science, Quaker belief, and sustainability (such as: What does it mean to have a Friends approach to science?). The group invites leaders and experts in various scientific fields to share insights into the contemporary engagement of faith and science. They will also host an annual retreat for members and other groups in the LSI network focused on issues of science, faith and sustainability to come together to assess the results of their work and make plans for future collaborative work. Wilmington College provides matching funds.

Tradition Confronts Innovation

Hillel at the University of Penn
Orthodox Community at Penn
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

With the wide-reaching support of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, the Orthodox Community at Penn (OCP) opens this project not only to its core constituency but to all members of the university community. This student led society meets monthly to explore spirituality and science as it relates not only to traditional Judaism, but with a welcoming eye on diversifying the conversation through inviting and encouraging comparative perspectives. Monthly meetings are prefaced with a bibliography of published texts and readings, and are moderated by faculty members identified as bringing expertise to the subjects under consideration. Some of the diverse issues to be explored are evolution, euthanasia, stem cell research, origins, animal research and organ transplantation. The entire university community is invited to talks on specific topics. Publicity targets both the Penn campus and the greater West Philadelphia community. Matching funds for this program are provided by the Orthodox Community at Penn.

Campus Chapel / Center for Faith & Scholarship

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Through a combination of study, reading groups, science literacy sessions, seminars, lectures, and a science-religion resource center this project is designed to provide a comprehensive base for informed discussion and exploration. The core group combines a diverse representation of eight area churches and five departments at the University and promotes all activities for open public participation. A series of six-week study groups convene each semester to explore topics such as neuroscience, mind and spirituality; evolutionary biology and divine providence; epistemology in science and religion; physics, causality, and divine action; ecological models and divine rationality. Reading groups determine focus from the growing list of contemporary science-faith books and meet monthly for discussion. Plans also include inviting noted scholars, at least twice per year, to provide public lectures, class presentations, departmental colloquia and interdisciplinary seminars. The long-term goal of the Center for Faith and Scholarship is to maintain an academic presence on the University of Michigan campus well beyond the three-year grant term of LSI. Matching funds for this program, well beyond the required amount, are provided by Campus Chapel Ministries and the American Scientific Affiliation. Plans for application for additional funds from four separate sources will help ensure a thriving long-term society.

Awe Inspiring Experiences: Natural, Unnatural, and Supernatural

University of California, Los Angeles

This interdisciplinary group convenes to explore the many aspects of awe-inspiring experiences with the aim of understanding the human ability to experience awe. The working group, representing scholars of religion, culture, politics, neuroscience, anthropology, psychiatry, psychology, biology, and communication endeavors to develop and present an undergraduate course on their findings, and will present these findings for public discussion. Monthly gatherings bring together members of the group for exploration and research. Thrice-yearly conferences featuring experts in the field, will explore subjects such as evolution; sociology/ human social sciences & complex systems; experimental manipulation, measurement & assessment of awe; neurology; evolutionary biology; economics; and evolutionary psychology are widely publicized and open to the public. Matching funds are provided by UCLA.

McPherson College Center for Religion and Science

McPherson College
McPherson Ministerial Alliance
McPherson, Kansas

This society represents a diversity of professionals in the fields of science and religion including members of the academic community, clergy and the community at large. The group brings together members through a series of dinner discussions and book talks, exploring the bioethical issues at the end of life and other topics at the intersection of health, faith and social justice. The development of a library of resources for exploration of current topics in the science-theology realm, a speakers’ bureau, and a web page outlining upcoming events and current issues under discussion provides further means for outreach to improve the depth of the science and religion dialogue in McPherson. It is anticipated that this program will “foster a stimulating and supportive network of interested persons who meet regularly to engage with the sorts of interdisciplinary questions that life poses” and that members will “recognize the value in sharing their perspectives and insights across typical boundaries, i.e., denominational, professional, and disciplinary.” Matching funds are provided by McPherson College.

Center for the Study of Science and Religion
Columbia University
New York, New York

This three-fold proposal involves Columbia faculty, area faculty, and the surrounding community in bridging “the gap between the academy and the community by facilitating science and religion dialogue on three levels.” The first tier involves the development of an advisory committee, broadly representative of faculties of religion and the sciences, which explores the development of new curricula, “Science and Religion, East and West.” In Morningside Heights, a group of faculty and clergy meets monthly to discuss “Religious Experience and Professional Development” in relation to religious autobiography and professional success. Reading and discussion focuses on practical application and the creation of a “novel community of neighbors from surrounding institutions.” Themes to be discussed are chosen by the group and include science and scriptural traditions, and social, medical, and environmental ethics. In the light of the events of September 11, this plan also involves the development of community education programs, with a focus on prevention and intervention utilizing religion, health education, and psychology to bring together an informed community of clergy and other community leaders. Matching funds are provided by the center for the Study of Religion and Science at Columbia University.

Washington Theological Consortium
Washington D.C.

Comprised of the Science and Religion Faculty Group of the WTC, in consultation with the Gaithersburg, MD, Science and Religion Group, this society is developing a series of “lesson/discussion guides” addressing educated perspectives of the major issues of science and religion to promote interactive group exploration. A series of public events are offered to present these guides as they are developed in order to elicit comment, evaluation, and refinement of the work. Additional outreach efforts include engaging and affiliating with other discussion groups in the area to develop a network for expanding one another’s perspectives and enhancing the creation of discussion guides and topics for review. Matching funds are provided by the Washington Theological Consortium, Friends of the Consortium, private member donations and sponsoring organizations.

Society on Science and Faith at Valley Forge

Valley Forge Christian College
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Launching an “enduring forum for promoting the constructive engagement of issues at the nexus of theology and the natural sciences”, this society invites academics, administrators, teachers, students, professionals, a broad representation of congregations, and the general public to join in public lectures, symposia, workshops, and the use of video and web resources. Development of this interfaith, interdisciplinary forum is supported through invitations to a diversity of local houses of worship, and medical, science, and industry professionals. In this way, the entire society benefits by expanding, and enriching its own view of the science-faith dialogue. A bi-annual newsletter promotes development of membership and outreach to potential members. Bi-monthly meetings of the society include specific topical and book discussions, based on timely developments in science and theology such as quantum mechanics, post modernism and God; evolution and Intelligent Design theory; transformational interaction of science and faith; and scientific and religious perspectives on bioethical issues. Valley Forge Christian College supplies matching funds.

TREES Local Societies Initiative

Theological Roundtable on Ecological Ethics and Spirituality (TREES)
Graduate Theological Union
Berkeley, California

This society seeks to expand the awareness of GTU, UC Berkeley, and the surrounding community to eco-justice issues. Topics covered include scientific and faith based views on population, consumption, economics, global warming, toxicity, genetically modified organisms, and environmental racism. The group endeavors to consider these matters from theological, religious and philosophical perspectives and varying worldviews. Each semester focuses on one particular issue presenting four major speakers, publicized broadly to the general public and surrounding institutions. Supplemental readings are provided to smaller study groups who will meet four times per semester to discuss readings and speaker presentations. A website and forum supplements talks and discussions. Matching funds are provided by Graduate Theological Union and donations of TREES members.

TSF Local Societies Initiative

Torah Science Foundation
Los Angeles, California

This program is focused on promoting “city-wide community activities in Los Angeles devoted to the study and diffusion of religion and science issues,” including academicians, students, members of area synagogues, and the public-at-large. Topics explored include Kabbalah in relation to origins, physics, chemistry, and photosynthesis, with other topics to be identified and explored as the TSF local society grows. Publicized bi-monthly discussion groups, featuring a guest speaker and discussion period, are planned. An annual event, hosting nationally renowned guest speakers from a balanced representation of scientific and religious thought, are widely publicized to attract a large and diverse audience. TSF has a well established website to which a moderated discussion feature has been added, open for society members and international discussion. A larger goal of the initiative lies in the planning of a 3-day conference to bring together TSF members from around the world. Matching funds are provided by a private donation to the Torah Science Foundation.

Baconian Society of Union University

Union University
Jackson, Tennessee

The Society for Science-Faith Dialogue is an organization open to membership by faculty, students, professionals, and others interested in the science-faith dialogue. The Society will encourage, facilitate, and promote the science-faith dialogue within the Union University community, among sister institutions of higher learning, and throughout the broader scientific and religious communities of West Tennessee. In addition to members, the Society also inducts Fellows as a way of recognizing significant achievement or contribution toward the constructive engagement of science and faith. Topical content includes matters such as faith perspectives, legal, and ethical issues of stem cell research; historical and contemporary overviews of major science-faith issues; evolution and ID; spirituality and wellness; and issues in biochemistry, biology, genetics and neurology. The Society hold bi-monthly meetings open to the public during the academic terms and sponsors a major conference, featuring international scholars of note, every other year. All members are encouraged to make presentations at regular meetings and to make presentations for local civic organizations and schools. Union University provides matching funds.

Science and Religion in Dialogue at Yale

The Episcopal Church at Yale
New Haven, Connecticut

Science and Religion in Dialogue is a program aimed at fostering a university and citywide inter-denominational and inter-religious dialogue on the relationships between scientific discoveries and the religious quest. The group meets biweekly to review and discuss topics in the neurosciences, molecular genetics, ecology, theology, ethics and belief. Plans involve bringing together leading scientists and ethicists from Yale and around the world for discussion, debate and dialogue. All meetings are publicized and open to the public. The primary audience includes undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff of Yale University, with concerted outreach to five area colleges, and surrounding communities and congregations. Should the group grow too large for meaningful, interactive dialogue to take place – plans are to develop two or more groups to accommodate effective discussions. A comprehensive reading list and plans to invite participation of experts on specific topics punctuate the plans for this dynamic participatory group. Matching funds are provided by The Episcopal Church at Yale and a grant from the Diocese of Connecticut.

Arizona Forum for Science and Religion

Canyon Institute for Advanced Studies
Phoenix, Arizona

Designed to be a permanent entity within the Canyon Institute, this society promotes a “local network and community of scholars and other thinkers who share interests in exploring and illuminating the working space where religion and science intersect”. Exploring a wide range of topics in contemporary science and faith, public lecture series represents a diverse array of perspectives from professional and university organizations and community-based speakers. Informal discussion groups follow all presentations to maintain the momentum of the topics presented. All lectures are recorded onto videotapes and audio CDs, made widely available to the public. Additional outreach via the society website, radio advertising and talk shows, newspaper articles, and semester readings for small group discussion, supplement lecture activities. In addition to the Canyon Institute, the society brings together membership from Grand Canyon University, Arizona State University, and the Maricopa County Community College system, as well as members of the general public. Matching funds are provided by the Canyon Institute.

Science & Religion Discussion Group of Northwest Pennsylvania

Mercyhurst College
Erie and Meadville, Pennsylvania

The Science and Religion Discussion Group of Northwestern Pennsylvania consists of primarily three separate discussion groups. Each group meets monthly and ranges in size from 7 to 20 people. Moreover, each group is centered in one (or two) houses of worship in the Erie area. The intimate size of each group and the common religious background of group members have encouraged and facilitated individual participation by group members. The three discussion groups are: 1. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Erie, with the Temple Anshe Hesed; 2. First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant (Erie); 3. Mount Saint Benedict (Erie). These discussion groups meet jointly at larger venues throughout the year as well. During the 2004-2005 year the groups met collectively to hear noted speakers, watch science and religion movies, and to network with one another along common interests. Despite the busy schedules of participants, the society has attempted to maintain “regular” meeting times with each group. Attendees come with high levels of motivation and sophistication in discussing matters important to the science and religion debate. Groups meet to hear talks and explore readings and discussions on topics in contemporary science and faith considerations such as articles from Science and Nature; Haught’s Responses to 101 Questions on God and Evolution; overviews of contemporary works in Quantum physics. Public relations, which include announcements for our special events and for publicizing the meeting times of each group through the appropriate local news sources, are handled by the Director of Public Relation and Publications at Mercyhurst College. Matching funds are also provided by Mercyhurst College.

Baranzano Society

DeSales University
Center Valley, Pennsylvania

This Local Society is geographically situated in a region where healthcare is a major industry. The Baranzano Society is composed of university faculty representing the natural sciences, healthcare studies, philosophy, and theology. In addition, the group includes regional healthcare professionals as well as students of biology, chemistry, nursing, and those studying to be physician assistants. This society meets monthly to discuss current issues in bioethics from a theological point of view, exploring the interplay of scientific knowledge and religious insight. The society’s comprehensive plan features meetings, book discussions with ongoing follow-up through an electronic bulletin board, and outreach activities that include public forums and an annual publication. The group has also designed a thorough plan for measuring the effectiveness of its programming and outreach in order to ensure long-term viability beyond the three-year term of the grant. The group takes its name from scientist and scholar, John Anthony Baranzano (1590-1622). Baranzano, a priest ordained by St. Francis de Sales, was friends with Kepler, Francis Bacon, and Galileo. The controversy surrounding a book of his lectures on astronomy, Uranoscopia, seu de coelo (1617), which taught Copernican theory as well as some ideas of Galileo, contributed to establishing the autonomy of science and other academic disciplines without contravening the dictates of the faith. More information can be found at the group’s website. Matching funds are provided by DeSales University as well as other gifts and grants.

Religion and Medicine Interest Group

University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Dallas, Texas

In conjunction with The Church of the Incarnation and represented by a diverse group of medical and academic professionals, this discussion group began in the summer of 2000. The group hosts quarterly meetings with members presenting their work in the area of religion and science. Three extensive conferences were held to address issues related to spirituality and healing, human consciousness and the soul, scientific enquiry and the question of religious experience as scientifically measurable. All conferences were advertised locally and regionally to ensure outreach within the community. Topics explored include: medicine, evolutionary biology, end of life issues and other considerations at the intersection of health and spirituality. Matching funds are provided by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

Ethics at the Edge: Exploring Contemporary Issues in Science, Technology and Health South Dakota Coalition for Spirituality and Healing

Center for Ethics and Caring at Sioux Valley Hospital / Augustana College
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

A threefold outreach, via graduate and undergraduate programs, faculty development, and community discussion was undertaken by this project to explore the broad range of the "unique tensions that exist between technology, science, religion, and health". Local physicians, clergy, and academicians from the Center for Ethics and Caring at Sioux Valley Hospital, Augustana College of the Evangelical Luthern Church, the University of South Dakota School of Medicine Section of Ethics and Humanities and the \ take part in presentations of nationally recognized figures during lecture series, public forums, round-table discussions and an annual day-long conference. In 2001-2002, the thematic focus was on science, technology, and health. The following year, the emphasis was on “the ragged edge of death and dying in the technological age, with an emphasis on spirituality, personhood, and healthy in the continuum of chronic illness through the end of life”. The third year focused on reproduction and the family. The Center for Ethics and Caring at Sioux Valley Hospital provides matching funds as well as institutional and administrative support. Forging ahead, to continue programs beyond the three-year LSI grant term, members formed the South Dakota Coalition for Spirituality and Healing, a coalition of local academic, religious and healthcare institutions that has emerged from the original society.

Genetic Frontiers: Challenge to Humanity and Our Religious Traditions

National Conference for Community and Justice
Detroit, Michigan

In 1986, the Muslim, Christian, Jewish “Trialog” Leadership Forum was formed to “promote understanding and education amongst all races and religions of the metropolitan Detroit area through year-long discussions and an annual symposium.” Topics for discussion are chosen yearly; however, the topic of “Genetic Frontiers”, being a diverse and expansive one, will take place over a three-year period. The theme for 2002 was “Challenge to Humanity and Religion: Human Genome Project;” for 2003, “Environmental Engineering;” and for 2004, “Transgenic Issues: Human Genes in Plant and Animal Research.” Comprised of laypersons, clergy, and scholar’s groups meeting throughout the year to discuss the chosen topic, the discussion culminates in the symposium – which joins together these groups to share each religion’s viewpoint. Speakers during the symposium represent each of the religions of the “trialog”. Matching funds are provided by the Detroit chapter of NCCJ.

Silicon Valley Women's Group (SVWG) and Retreat Program for Women in Academics

Institute for Social Responsibility, Ethics and Education (ISREE)
Women in Religion, Ethics and the Sciences (WiRES)
San Jose, California

Two programs are planned in this innovative initiative to bring together professional women in unique opportunities for discussion and mutual insight. The first, aimed at the wide array of local women in scientific industry in the Silicon Valley area meeting once per month to discuss the personal faith issues arising from the work that they do, with the aim to “provide a space for spiritual growth and intellectual stimulation”. The second arm of the project brings together women academics from religion, ethics, and the sciences as well as those from industry, in a shared yearly retreat aimed at providing a safe space for scientists to explore their religious commitments and for women in religion to increase their understanding of scientific issues. Future goals include expansion of programming to include several different groups, addressing various issues of concern with the ultimate aim of coming together on a national level. Matching funds are provided by the Institute for Social Responsibility, Ethics and Education (ISREE).

Zygon Center for Religion and Science
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

In addition to the religion-and-science option in the Ph.D. program, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago has introduced a new religion and science emphasis for students in Masters programs. As a complement to this emphasis, LSTC offers activities in order to expand the breadth of the students’ education by preparing them to take an active and effective role in the dialogue between religion and science. To this end, this new society is open to students interested in science and religion studies from all of the Hyde Park theological schools and institutions of higher learning, including the University of Chicago, to engage in extracurricular opportunities to augment their experiences of interdisciplinary learning and discussion. A key focus of this society is to instill in the next generation of science and theology scholars, as a supplement to their academic studies, the skills and experience necessary for organizational administration, resource management, and network building in this growing field. Students in fields of astrophysics, zoology, electrical engineering, philosophy, and theology provide the core forum for discussion. The goal is to educate young scholars in the field of religion and science, toward making an impact on academic teaching as well as education within religious communities. The society meets twice per month during the academic year and actively participates in professional religion and science conferences by means of scholarships provided by the society. Reading groups study and discuss contemporary articles and texts in science and faith. Each student is provided with a subscription to Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and Theology and Science. Topics include the question of cognitive science and religion, as well as other historical and contemporary issues. Further themes are decided based on based upon the emerging interests and growth of the society. Public lectures, featuring renowned speakers, are also offered to interested students and faculty from neighboring academic institutions and local faith communities. Matching funds are provided by the Zygon Center for Religion and Science.

State University of New York, Oneonta
Oneonta, New York

The goal of this Local Society is to promote, on a formal and regular basis, a dynamic dialogue on the interaction of religion and science using yoga and meditation as a model. Studies on contemplative practice are readily available for discussion and debate and are instrumental in carrying on a vital exchange regarding the effects of yoga and meditation on the human personality and implications for the spiritual strengthening of the individual and society. Activities open to the public include regular Society meetings to engage in discussion of books, articles, or other research dealing with specific topics in this field. In addition, the society holds more formalized seminars featuring distinguished visiting scholars, as well as weekly guided yoga/meditation sessions. Topics for discussion include scientific research on yoga, meditation and spirituality; meaning and significance of life; globalization; consciousness; the individual and society; and nature. Information is shared and disseminated through the creation of a resource library, including videotapes that will be broadcast on public access television to reach the wider community. Meetings and events will be advertised through on-campus publications, local newspapers, and church, synagogue and mosque newsletters, A website will be developed and maintained by a student Society member. Distinguished speakers and contributors will be invited to submit manuscripts for publication of a special annual edition published by the Oneonta Philosophy Studies, a scholarly series that promotes exchange concerning traditional and contemporary issues in philosophy. Matching funds are provided by SUNY Oneonta.

New Horizons: A Society for the Study of Science and World Religions

Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy
Hendrix College
Conway, Arkansas

With an advisory board of academicians from Hendrix and other area institutions representing the fields of biology, religious studies, psychology, epidemiology, physics, mathematics, along with an Imam from the Islamic Society of Little Rock, New Horizons explores “the theoretical and practical intersection of science and religion as they jointly shape the minds and actions of citizens in central Arkansas, with special attention to students considering science as a vocation.” The planners “offer students and citizens opportunities to think critically about science and religion without being shaped by the politically charged atmosphere.” Nine monthly discussions per year present relevant themes and hold open discussions on issues in science, world religions, and sustainability. Two interested or identified students who have chosen science as a vocation (health care, environmental research and other ‘hands on’ application of scientific methods) are awarded internships to work with the New Horizons program to encourage the development of spiritual sensitivity. The society also hosts eight monthly ecumenical book study groups, inviting students and citizens for dinner to consider contemporary books in science and faith. The Steel Center sponsors an annual, public religion-and-science lecture focusing on topics especially relevant to society in Arkansas. To support this effort and broaden outreach into new scientific and faith communities, a website focused on science, religion, and sustainability will be launched. The site will be specifically tailored to provide access for public school teachers and college students to issues pertaining to Arkansas and links to the many pre-exiting science-faith sites. Some planned topics include altruism in biology and religion, Big Bang theory and creationism, how science influences images of God, mystical states and neurobiology, psychological studies faith in relation to health, Buddhist images of consciousness, karma and determinism, quantum theories and implications for understanding the universe, meditation and health, language of religion and language of science, and mindfulness and science “accepting reality on its own terms.” Matching funds are provided by the Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy and the Career Services Office of Hendrix College.

Grand Valley State University
Allendale, Michigan

An outgrowth of a faculty discussion group founded in 1997, composed of faculty from departments of physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, philosophy, history and campus ministry at Grand Valley, this effort now invites participation through an inter-institutional advisory board to expand programs with partner institutions in the area. Religious backgrounds of core participants include the Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu faiths. This society pursues a two-fold program agenda, both internal and external. The internal agenda expands the original bi-weekly reading discussions, bringing to campus one of the authors of the books or articles being discussed to introduce students and the public to the ideas presented in the reading through public lectures. The author also meets with the local society group in a weekend seminar to explore views and ideas more deeply. A summer seminar is sponsored to provide an extended effort and develop ideas into publication or curriculum offerings. The external agenda engages other institutions in addressing issues in science and religion to create a broad “grand dialogue” for the Greater Grand Rapids Area, encouraging various traditions and faith communities to share their insights and refine their ideas in an interfaith, interdisciplinary dialogue. Grand Dialogue acts as a nucleus for the development of an inter-institutional structure in science and religion that encourages both specific religious and disciplinary focus, while facilitating the cross-pollination of faith and community perspectives. Outreach targets nine area institutions of higher learning and several faith-based and civic institutions. An advisory board representative of the broad scope of the program has been developed. Matching funds are provided by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Grand Valley State University.

Furthering the Integration of Religion, Science, and Technology (FIRST)

Southeastern College
Lakeland, Florida

A recently formed organization, FIRST is dedicated to “furthering the understanding of the interplay between faith and science through development of web resources, promotion of written materials, hosting seminars, workshops, conferences, student video nights, book discussions, and community outreach to reach into the evangelical Christian community and beyond.” This group represents a joint project of the departments of natural sciences and religion to “provide a safe environment within which faculty, students, and members of the surrounding community can explore questions and broaden their understanding of both science and theology through constructive dialogue.” Combining core members representing the departments of natural and social sciences and religion, along with local clergy, the society reaches beyond its own academic community to invite faculty from surrounding colleges, high schools, other local clergy, and scientific and medical professionals to join in the conversations fostered by FIRST. Through holding widely publicized events, developing a web-based forum, founding and encouraging student-led initiatives, and conducting regular evaluations of project progress, the leaders of FIRST hope to better define and refine their work. Some of the topics to be explored include overviews of historic and contemporary issues in science, philosophy and faith; modes of engagement; quantum mechanics, postmodernism and God; and mind and spirit. Matching funds are provided by Southeastern Colleges.

Delaware Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (D-DoSER)

First Unitarian Church (First U) and the Community for Integrative Learning (CIL)
Wilmington, Delaware

The Delaware Dialogue initially includes members of CIL, First U and its ministers, scientists from area science-based companies such as DuPont and Astra Zeneca, several teachers from the Academy of Life Long Learning at the University of Delaware and professors of genetics and evolutionary biology from the University of Delaware. This new effort builds on an existing discussion group at First U, examining the ethical dimensions of climate change research and response and five presentations that were sponsored by CIL on “Faith, Reason and Revelation: The Search for God and Reconciliation with Science.” Modeled after the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) program, D-DoSER meets twice monthly for a Sunday evening lecture series and conducts an annual workshop/conference involving a broader audience. Topics include astrobiology, biotechnology, genetics, evolution, Alzheimer’s disease, and nanotechnology. The Dialogue reviews various faith perspectives and concerns on these topics in addition to exploring the underlying relation between science and religion in the modern world. Texts that provide fodder for these considerations include Wilber’s The Marriage of Sense and Soul, Scott’s Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction, James Miller’s An Evolving Dialogue: Theological and Scientific Perspectives on Evolution, and Lockwood’s Grasshopper Dreaming: Reflections on Killing and Loving. In addition, “Joys of Science” videos from the Teaching Company and summaries of the AAAS Dialogue sessions support further reflection. Support for outreach activities (website, program announcements, brochures, and publications) is provided by the Publicity Committee of First U. Matching funds are provided by First U and the donations of individual D-DoSER members.

Department of Physics
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, Missouri

This initiative joins a core membership of local leaders in religion and the sciences in a spirit of mutual understanding and humility to raise the level of scientific understanding in religious communities and increase cooperation between academic fields. To encourage a greater appreciation of the spiritual significance of science, the group hosts monthly exploratory meetings to discuss issues or relevant books. Outreach efforts aim to expand the membership by inviting faculty and students in religion, philosophy, and the sciences from area colleges, professionals in the surrounding community, and members of area religious congregations, as well as members of the general public. The group also seeks to fulfill the obligation of higher education to provide critical insight for the community by specifically including questions of intelligent design and other science and religion issues that arise in the socio-political debates of our time. Extensive publicity, open symposia on controversial issues, a website, and the development of a library further promote outreach in the wider community. The group also plans to pursue additional funding resources in order to extend the viability of the Forum beyond the three-year period. Matching funds are provided by Central Missouri State University.

Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia

This society provides a public forum for citizens to dialogue openly, critically and creatively about issues in science and religion. Bringing together individuals with diverse religious and scientific perspectives, the Community Forum promotes cooperative learning, mutual understanding, and the development of informed positions on such things as stem cell research, cloning, assisted reproduction, genetic engineering, the understanding of human nature, health and illness, death and dying, and the human relationship with nature. The core planning advisory committee of 23 members from within and outside of VCU hail from disciplines in medicine, religious studies, psychiatry, life sciences, bioethics, humanities, pastoral care, ethics, psychology, and geriatrics, as well as clergy representing multiple faith and interfaith perspectives. In addition to meetings for in depth topical discussion and planning, the Forum will host a series of public lecture-discussion events. Each presentation introduces and explores the topics in science and religion deemed as most accessible and socially relevant to Central Virginia citizens. Plans are in place for a comprehensive evaluation plan to assess response to and effectiveness of program activities. By taking note of website hits, local media attention to events and topics introduced, degree of participation, funds and donations gathered, and qualitative measures of audience satisfaction, the group is able to adjust programs to audience trends, as needed. The Forum reaches out to established organizations for partnering and supplemental funding to ensure growth and vibrancy well beyond the three-year grant term. Matching funds are provided by Virginia Commonwealth University.

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin

A network of scientists, scholars, religious leaders, students and interested community members, this society has launched a ‘two-fold mission of outreach and scholarly entrepreneurship’ to encourage thoughtful, informed and balanced exploration of issues in science and religion. With a combination of local talent and distinguished visiting scholars, the Society offers at least two public lectures each semester. Public events are advertised through media, an email listserv, strategically placed posters, and announcements on local Public Radio. Several focused reading groups, specifically designed for students, faculty, or groups with the community encourage further public discussion and foster concentrated deliberation around issues identified by each group. Group leaders and their active members select the subject matter for consideration, as group interests emerge through discussion. The Society’s website will serve as a venue for distribution of questions and thoughts prior to group meetings, as well as a resource for materials of interest. The Isthmus Society Internship is encouraging new scholarship in science-faith studies through naming an advanced graduate student to act as managing director of the Society – managing logistical and promotional operations, maintaining the website, and facilitating a reading group. Subjects considered for discussion and presentation are evolution and intelligent design; science and Islam in historical perspective; neuroscience on the frontiers of the mind; biotechnology, transhumanism and faith traditions; machines with souls; and ecology, environment, and the Abrahamic traditions. Matching funds are provided by the Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Society for Religion, Science, and Technology Studies at Yale

Initiative in Religion, Science & Technology
Yale University Divinity School
New Haven, Connecticut

As a Local Societies Initiative grantee, beginning in 2006, the Initiative in Religion, Science & Technology (IRST) will reach beyond the Divinity School to promote exchange with scientific, technological, medical, ecological, theological, ethical professionals and pastoral services as a membership society. Current active members include faculty and students from the Divinity School, the Yale Interdisciplinary Bioethics Project, departments of religious studies, forestry, epidemiology and medicine, Yale clergy, faculty from nearby universities, and interested members of the greater New Haven community. The society will offer public lectures and small group dialogues featuring national authorities; a graduate/faculty forum, presenting works in progress on science-religion topics; programmed working groups focused on the production of original and collaborative academic works; and the development of a website into a comprehensive portal of resources for worldwide access. Subjects for consideration include areas such as consciousness and neuroscience, bioethics, and ecology. Outreach efforts invite participation from the Yale academic community and adjacent areas and institutions to increase and diversify society membership and potential for collaboration. Matching funds are provided by Yale Divinity School and the Initiative in Religion, Science & Technology.

Chico Triad on Philosophy, Theology, and Science

Bidwell Presbyterian Church
Chico, California

The Chico Triad “seeks to present responsible academic scholarship into mainstream ecclesial discussion.” The society brings together a core membership from fields of philosophy and physical sciences, clergy, and parish members for bi-monthly meetings to consider seminal texts and readings in the field of science and faith. Members of the Triad consider the concept of beauty as a source for mutual insight into science, philosophy and faith. Formal colloquia with consulting members invite advanced expertise from fields not represented in membership into the discussions. Members actively engage in identifying potential communities for outreach to expand the perspectives and scope of the group – including local scientists, medical professionals, and clergy. To further strengthen outreach efforts, the Triad also hosts yearly classes and lectures in church and academic settings, inviting broad public participation. A website and published materials generated by participants in the dialogue of the Chico Triad in scholarly journals will further advance reflections and public discussion. Matching fund contributions are provided by Bidwell Presbyterian Church.

UIC Society on Science and Spirituality

University of Illinois at Chicago

With a planning committee consisting of members of the student body, diverse faculty members of humanities, medicine and sciences at UIC, and a member of the Parliament of World’s Religions, this society supports a multitude of activities. Events are open to the public and well publicized within the larger community. Monthly meetings incorporate talks and invited speakers with discussion and exploration of the many sides and significant issues present in science-theology discourse. With the addition and exchange of faculty members, and students drawn from humanities and sciences, a bolstering of coordinated, interdisciplinary offerings will be added to the academic landscape of UIC. Additionally, an annual conference, to address important, emerging topics in the science-theology dialogue serves as a major catalyst for continued outreach. Matching funds are provided through a grant form the Institute for the Humanities, the Office of the Provost, the Dean of LAS, the Student Activities Fund, and the Beuttler ICR Account of UIC and the Illinois State Institute for the Humanities.

North Berkshire Center for Religion and Science

Williams College
Williamstown, Massachusetts

This Center combines membership from Williams College faculty and student body with local church and synagogue congregations, as well as the interested public in Williamstown and its environs. Through "constructive discussions," this society means to promote interaction in which participants learn with each other and from each other, to increase their own understanding of religion and science, enrich their religious experience, and increase their understanding of other religious points of view. The group begins by offering seminars involving faculty and local clergy to develop materials for effectively presenting up-to-date science to non-scientists and making religion and science literature conveniently available to residents in the Williamstown area. As faculty and clergy develop interest and expertise, the group is promoting additional public discussions and seminars. The group also takes a lead in encouraging additions to the college curricula and that of the local adult education courses offered by the Berkshire Institute for Lifelong Learning. The society plans to share experience and materials through a NBCRS web site. Topics for exploration include origins of religion, continental philosophy’s approaches to religion and science questions, evolutionary biology, quantum physics, and issues in religion and science from multiple religious perspectives. Matching funds are provided by the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Chaplain’s Office of Williams College.

Florida Southern College
Lakeland, Florida

The Florida Center for Science and Religion began its work with the participation of students and members of faculty from FSC in religion, biology, philosophy, chemistry, clergy representatives, a representative from local public schools, and members of the surrounding community. In addition, the Center has formed a consortium with institutions throughout central Florida with an eye on the entire state. The society offers a website, a quarterly electronic newsletter, monthly meetings for planning, reading and discussion, and featured “member lectures” to stimulate dialogue. Each year the Center sponsors two events - a public weekly lecture series and an annual meeting devoted to a deep exploration of selected topics in science and religion and designed to promote discussion among students, the community, and the academy in central Florida. Lecture series concentrate on a fourfold plan including foundational issues, case studies and illustrations, theological and ethical perspectives, and panel discussions. To increase diversity and membership, the yearly meeting invite papers from academic researchers and students, as well as professionals in healthcare, counseling, education, and clergy. Topics for consideration include stem cell research, mental illness, cosmology, spirituality and wellness, evolution, and euthanasia. Matching funds are provided by the Office of Academic Life, the Office of Advancement, the Division of Natural Sciences, the Humanities Division, the Department of Biology, and the Department of Philosophy and Religion of Florida Southern College.

Collegiate Peaks Forum Series
Buena Vista, Colorado

The Collegiate Peaks Forum Series began in 2003, bringing together local educators, theologians, lawyers, doctors, accountants, homemakers, scientists, consultants, students, and professionals to explore the challenging questions raised by the interrelationship of philosophy, religion, and science, and their ethical implications. The Forum Series offers the community thought-provoking lectures and discussions on contemporary and alternative viewpoints from a variety of theological perspectives in subjects including ecology/environment, purpose and personal change, biochemical processes, technology, the biology of belief, genetics, and population ethics. Outreach within Buena Vista and surrounding population centers focuses on increasing the long-term benefit of activities to the area through special invitations to individuals of interest to each lecture. Advertising the public series targets area educators, students, members of the general public, and policy makers into the conversations. Future plans include the possibility of developing a program within the local Colorado Mountain College, which is now partnering with the Forum Series in the creation of programs. Matching funds are provided through individual donations and pledges of the members of the Collegiate Peaks Forum Series.

The Baylor Society for Conversations in Religion, Ethics and Science

Baylor University
Department of Environmental Studies
Waco, Texas

This group consists of Baylor faculty and students, along with interested professionals and students from regional churches, hospitals, industries and other educational institutions. The Society actively recruits undergraduate and graduate student members and involves them in planning and organizational roles. Membership is open to all faiths, and the Society actively seeks to diversify its dialogue by inviting voices from other area religious communities. The Society engages in three types of activities: dinner and planning meetings for members, semester-long seminars on selected topics, and outreach to other educational institutions to encourage co-sponsorship of future programs in religion, science, and ethics. Monthly seminars are open to the public and advertised to local religious congregations and the general public through bulletins, local newspapers, a campus-based website, posters, and the Baylor calendar. Seminar formats vary with speakers and panel discussions. Each semester features a different planning team of seminar organizers to incorporate both applied and basic sciences with religious ethics on topics such as cloning and genetic the revolution, aquatic systems and water management, pollution and toxins. Other topical material includes explorations of Christianity and contemporary cosmology, environmental science, and Kuhn, theology, and scientific revolutions. Matching funds are provided by Baylor University.

Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, California

Core planners and participants of this group represent fields of theology and the natural sciences. Membership and outreach is open to scholars, clergy, campus ministries, and students in science and theology, denominational bodies, and interested community members. The society meets monthly during the academic year to study and discuss issues such as religious cosmologies, physics and ecology, scientific studies of religious experience, health sciences as common ground for impact of science and faith, quantum physics and neuroscience, and end of life issues. Discussions build upon and extend the pioneering works of leading thinkers in science and faith and will focus on an inter-religious orientation, engaging Judaism, Christianity, and Islamic perspectives. Additional perspectives are also welcome to join in the conversations. Matching funds are provided by the Center for Religion and Spirituality, the Department of Natural Sciences, the Jesuit community, the College of Engineering and Science, the Center for Ignatian Spirituality, and the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University, as well as by the Loyola Marymount Extension and private contributions.

GOODSTAR (Growing Open Oklahoma Dialogue in Science Technology, and Religion)

Oklahoma City University
Wimberly School of Religion and Graduate Theological Center
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

With matching funds provided by the Wimberly Center for Continuing Education and the Wimberly School of Religion, the society brings together members of local churches and faith groups, universities, and scientific-technological institutions for monthly symposiums and ongoing web-based discussion. Events consist of a moderated symposium, with lectures addressing a specific topic followed by a panel discussion and a questions-and-answers session. Further discussions are fostered via intranet and Internet follow-up sessions. The society explores genetics, environmental influences, and free choice in the determination of human behavior, and will used the shared insights from religion, biology, physics, and computer science to explore the future, evidence of divine influence, altruism and selflessness, creation and origins, genetic engineering in agriculture and medicine, and artificial intelligence. Regular meetings of a broadly representative board, responsible for guidance, planning and administration of activities and outreach, will evaluate and adjust planning as group and community needs are identified.

Messiah College
Grantham, Pennsylvania

The Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science (CPFRS) builds on the decade-long involvement of Messiah College with the local community in providing programs that explore science and religion. The goal of the forum is to foster a deeper understanding of how religious beliefs interact with the natural sciences, medicine, and some aspects of the social sciences while also being helpful to religious believers in central Pennsylvania, through education about the role of religion in the lives of believers. The Forum sponsors a variety of programs, including book discussion groups, public lectures, and a major annual event consisting of several related events in a short space of time. Most activities take place on Messiah’s campus, but some take place at other local venues, such as churches and synagogues, community centers, other colleges, and public auditoriums. In its lecture series, the Forum features Messiah College faculty (several of whom have expertise on aspects of the science/religion dialogue) and internationally and nationally known speakers from a variety of disciplines and religious perspectives. Matching grant funds are provided by Messiah College. 

Chippewa Valley Dialogue on Science and Religion

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and UWEC Foundation
Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Bringing together a diversity of academics, clergy, medical and educational professionals this society facilitates a rigorous, broad-based and productive discussion of science and religion. The group works to address the currently polarized atmosphere surrounding various issues in science and faith, and to foster respectful and informal dialogue. The Society engages local faculty, students, medical professionals, educators, faith leaders, and the general public in discussion of three areas: biology and the soul; spirituality and modern medicine; and the meaning of nature. Activities of the group include regular meetings, reading groups, presentations to local organizations, hosted lectures by nationally recognized speakers, programs for local media, a website and round table discussion forums. Outreach in the local area includes local centers of faith, schools, civic groups, and healthcare centers – seeking to enhance courteous engagement of diverse faith and disciplinary views. Primarily interested in encouraging a depth of exploration that leads to research, the group also hopes to stimulate greater appreciation of the religious and spiritual implications of scientific discovery. The Society also seeks collaboration with existing LSI groups in the region. The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and the UWEC Foundation provide funds and resources well over the required match.

MacLaurin Institute
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The goal of this society is, in the words of its Chair, to “provide an on-going framework for members of the faculty…to explore the theoretical, academic, and policy implications of Intelligent Design theory.” This Society is committed to exploring issues and exchanging perspectives with two other regional LSI groups – the North Central Program for Science and Theology and the Society at St. John’s University and Seminary. In addition to ongoing meetings of the core group of faculty to discuss and review current theory and issues, the group hosts three formal annual faculty and graduate student “conversations,” and an annual campus lecture and roundtable presenting both pro and con perspectives on ID-related topics. Drawing from the faculty of the University of Minnesota, and in conjunction with members of other regional LSI groups, the society provides a broad consideration of current empirical research, philosophical and methodological assumptions, and theological perspectives on Intelligent Design theory and its alternatives. Topics include: the role of metaphysical assumption in the establishment and perpetuation of scientific theories; the possibility that intelligent design is a testable hypothesis; intelligent design vs. theistic evolution; the status of intelligent design as a consideration in conversations in science and theology; and policy implications of intelligent design theory for teaching of science in public settings. Events are promoted through existing email lists, postcard mailers, and advertisement in the campus newspaper and web-based events calendar. The MacLaurin Institute provides all matching funds.

Au Sable Institute Graduate Fellows Program

Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies
Grand Rapids, Michigan

This initiative seeks to raise up “a generation of leaders for a new century to help meet the challenges of humankind’s growing power in and over creation”. The LSI expansion of the Au Sable Graduate Fellows Program includes a science and religion dialogue project, with outreach to three additional major research universities, augmenting the Institute’s integrative approach to science, religion and ethics by extending participation to graduate students. Graduate Fellows are chosen through a competitive application process. Once chosen, Fellows lead and participate in discussions groups with other graduate students and supportive faculty at regular meetings within their own institutions. Fellows receive a small stipend for book purchases and participate in multi-university stewardship retreats with other Fellows for discussion, presentations, and fellowship. Public lectures are sponsored at each participating campus to include topics related to faith, science, and environmental stewardship for the purpose of community outreach, recruitment of potential Fellowship candidates and further public and university educational opportunity. Au Sable Institute provides matching funds for this program.

Pathways to Flourishing: A Dialogue of Science, Religion and Politics at Middlebury College

Middlebury College
Middlebury, Vermont

With membership initially drawn from faculty, staff, and the local clergy association this group seeks to encourage student participation and reach beyond the campus into the surrounding community of church members, scientists, local physicians, artists, and other area colleges and universities. The society facilitates dialogue between science and religion in response to the following question: What are the prospects for global human flourishing in the 21st century? Focusing on the practical benefits of the interaction between the disciplines of science and religion members consider the visions, notions, convergence, and divergence in the concept of human flourishing through the lens of scientific and faith-based perspectives. The society supports invited speakers, reading groups, theatrical performances, a web site and related newsletter, and associated publicity and social events to support growth and cohesion. All events will be digitally recorded and made available on the website. A variety of topics such as philosophy of science, epistemology, cosmology, evolution, neuroscience, and environmental science inform the central question articulated. The society actively seeks collaboration with other area LSI groups. Matching funds are provided by Middlebury College.

Society for Philosophical Study of Religion, Science and Asian Thought (SPSRSAT)

West Chester University
West Chester, Pennsylvania

The core-planning group of SPSRSAT consists of members from faculties of philosophy, physics, communication, peace and conflict studies, and ethnic studies of West Chester University, as well as members of the faculties of history and sociology of science, Chinese, and the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Dialogue plans cover a variety of themed topics: “Origins”—using contemporary texts as a guide, with an emphasis on cosmology and myth in a cross-cultural analysis of the origins of humanity in relation to divinity; approaches will include theism, monotheism, creation, myths of origin, scientific evolution, deism, process thought, and existentialism. “Processes”—questioning how the universe operates from theological and scientific perspectives to identify laws and principles of quantum mechanical inter-relatedness and the notion of free will; contemporary texts used will cover a broad range of philosophical, theological and scientific perspectives. “Futures”—considering the future of humanity in the face of enormous scientific advances in biotechnology and the implications of globalization in relation to theological, philosophical, and scientific interpretation. In addition to students, faculty and staff of the universities, outreach will invite high school educators, local clergy and religious leaders, and retirees from the surrounding area. Matching funds are provided by the Office of Sponsored Research, the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of Physics at West Chester University, and additional support is provided by the WCU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Faculty Development Committee of DeVry University
New Brunswick, New Jersey

The issues raised in consideration of technology, society and culture are particularly relevant to the DeVry community since it specializes in technology education with a general education component. Faculty of DeVry University, North Brunswick, NJ, drawn from fields of philosophy and theology, information sciences, mathematics, education, physics, chemical engineering, and business management, have organized with faculty members of the Initiative’s “Affiliated Dialogue Partner,” Seton Hall University, further representing the fields of theology, sociology, education, English, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and physics. The aim is to bring a broad and exploratory exchange to the programs being designed. Plans include an in-house schedule of monthly discussion and development meetings; Fall and Spring “Public Dialogue Days,” offer faculty and student papers in a public setting; printing, videotaping and archiving to promote campus research resources; design, construction and maintenance of a website devoted to publicizing the work of the Initiative. Extensive public outreach and development includes sister DeVry campuses in Fort Washington, PA, and Long Island City, NY, with an eye to expanding the initiative to the national / international DeVry University system. The creation of an external “Guest Speaker Program” serves to further these expansion and outreach plans. Group’s activities began with a consideration of the definitions of terms within the planned dialogue, and range through the many religious and cultural implications of technological advancement in light of faith. Special emphasis is placed on the implications and interpretations of biotechnology in nature, culture, religious, and philosophical thought. Matching funds are provided by DeVry University, New Brunswick.

Highlands Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought (HIARPT)
Highlands, North Carolina

Since 1990, HIARPT has been engaged in dialogue between classical American philosophy, particularly pragmatism, and religious thought. Growing out of the American Journal of Theology & Philosophy, scholars have gathered each summer to work, meet and discuss core topics during seminars and conferences. Over the years, science and religion has become a central theme as programs expanded to year round periodic events reaching out to the surrounding community. Weekly forums, with an increased emphasis on scientific themes, have been developed to augment the year round program. Weekly forums often discuss materials in advance of the summer seminars and include discussions of key popular and academic books and papers as well as movies. Themes addressed in the past include feminist and political thought as well as the sciences, the “Chicago School” of theology, and naturalism. The annual summer programs include speakers such as Langdon Gilkey, Wentzel van Huyssteen, Ursula Goodenough, and Martin Marty. The program reaches out to local faith communities and residents, while maintaining its ties to the national community of scholars and residents that gather annually over the summer. Matching funds are provided by the contributions from HIARPT’s membership of local and summer residents.

The University of the South (Sewanee)
Sewanee, Tennessee

Members of the University’s School of Theology, as well as Biology, Chemistry, Economics, and Physics Departments comprise the core group of this society, acting as a working “prototype” for Province of Sewanee dioceses. The society is hosted by the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Theology at Sewanee. Science and religion concerns are examined from three perspectives: Reflection, Education, and Action. All activities are designed to enhance cooperation among scientists, lay and religious leaders, and members of faith communities. Regular meetings of the group to plan specifics of an annual conference meant to attract faculty, students, educational institutions, and interested people from the surrounding community. ENTREAT examines the religion/science interface in the area of environmental ethics with particular emphasis on local issues. The themes for the three years are "Ethics and the Environment", "Environmentally Sustainable Practices" and "Ethics and Water Quality". Matching funds are provided by The University of the South and Province IV of the Episcopal Church, USA.

Greenville Religion and Science Society

Greenville College
Greenville, Illinois

The Steering Committee of this society includes faculty from the departments of philosophy, chemistry, biology, theology, psychology, and mathematics. Each year, the committee selects one text, as the foundational reading and catalyst for monthly meetings and discussion sessions for society participants. At least once per semester, a local clergy member is invited to present materials. Yearly themes include the historical encounter between the Copernican worldview and the traditional religious views on the cosmos; the implications of Darwinism for Christianity; and the significance of quantum theory from historical and contemporary perspectives. A wide spectrum of faculty, students, local religious leaders, and any interested others will be invited to join the group to develop a “new community of collaborative learners and an invigorating exchange across age, denominational and cultural divisions” in the Greenville area. In this spirit, presentations and other programs offered are open to the public and advertised widely in local newspapers and radio stations. In addition to scheduling invited speakers to present at public programs, a presentation at the College’s chapel service is also scheduled, serving approximately 600 students in the morning in addition to both afternoon and evening lecture sessions. Planning includes topical considerations and fund resources well after the three-year grant term. Greenville College is providing matching funds for this Society.

Ignatian Residential College Local Society

Fairfield University
Fairfield, Connecticut

This society invites faculty, staff, students, and community partners to come together to enhance science and religion dialogue on the Fairfield University campus and surrounding area. The society is housed within the Ignatian Residential College, a community of scholars, students, and citizens with a strong conviction of the importance of examining life’s purpose and meaning based on the Jesuit reflection model. Meetings and activities are grounded in the Jesuit and Catholic traditions but are open to diverse and varied viewpoints. Monthly gatherings, an annual keynote speaker seminar program, and public lectures bring together people with diverse academic disciplines and educational backgrounds to consider advances in the sciences that provoke theological and religious reflection. In addition to society meetings, student discussion groups and local high school outreach programs aim to demonstrate that scientific and religious viewpoints need not be mutually exclusive but can be balanced to provide a greater understanding of ethical and moral standards as they are applied to current issues and technological advances in the public arena. Book and journal readings inform the discussions to establish a common ground for conversation. Topics in 2004-2005 included science and religion typologies, philosophical constructs in science and religion, and evolution. The featured speaker for 2004-2005 was Dr. John Haught of Georgetown University. Matching funds are provided by Fairfield University.

Elizabethtown College Center for Science and Religion

Elizabethtown College
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

The Elizabethtown College Center for Science and Religion is devoted to multidisciplinary, public and cross-institutional dialogue on key issues in the field of science and religion. In addition to regular local meetings of core members and campus-wide events, the Center, often in conjunction with other institutions, devotes itself to public lectures and forums. While the Center is concerned with a number of diverse issues, it primarily focuses on the reconciliation between religious and scientific worldviews. Examples of topics include: disciplinary perspectives on theory and explanation – emergence, reduction, philosophy, theology and other fields; evolution and genetics; the nature of self; religion and cognition; physics and theology; and science and value issues, i.e., ethical considerations. The multidisciplinary “core group” includes members from academic disciplines such as philosophy, physics and astronomy, religious studies, psychology, chemistry, and biology. Bi-monthly meetings of the core steering group include review and criticism of papers, book and article discussion, administrative activities, outreach planning, fundraising works and evaluation of effectiveness of programs. Outreach activities, to facilitate dialogue, consist of three yearly, public “faculty forums,” a formal speakers program, and the proposal of an official Minor track or concentration in science and religion. All events are advertised widely in newspapers, local public radio, and relevant listservs. A conference on questions of origins, including debates over Intelligent Design in public education, received widespread local and national attention in March 2005. Brochures have been developed and distributed to area churches, nursing homes, schools, colleges, and other local organizations. Elizabethtown College provides the matching funds for the Center. Plans include regular work to seek funding and support from various sources beyond the three-year term of the grant.

Treasure Valley Science-Religion Institute

Northwest Nazarene University
Nampa, Idaho

A faculty-based initiative, this society’s steering committee is composed of faculty from Northwest Nazarene University, as well as Albertson College of Idaho. Both institutions are located near the Treasure Valley of southwestern Idaho – the most heavily populated region of the state. The committee represents a range of disciplines including theology, philosophy, chemistry, counseling, history and political science, English, physics, art, religious studies, biology, psychology, environmental studies, and psychology. The institute sponsors events that provide opportunities for students and faculty to gather in interdisciplinary dialogue over issues in which science and religion intersect. Plans incorporate science-and-religion discussion groups, faculty reading groups, and regular opportunities for prominent figures to meet with groups and relevant classes. Special attention is given to events that foster interaction between other institutions and faith communities to promote a larger, more diverse public dialogue. Themes for consideration include: stem-cell research, history of creation-evolution controversy, altruism, Wesleyan contributions to science, contributions of process thought, biology and purpose, evolutionary psychology, creatio ex nihilo and the Big Bang, the problem of evil and the natural world, methods and frameworks for thinking about science and religion. Outreach includes releases to newspapers, radio and television; and email listings. Matching fund commitment is made by Northwest Nazarene University and the Wesley Center.

Cohering via Co-hearing: Conversations in Science and Religion

Westmont College
Santa Barbara, California

Inaugurated in 2003, this project is committed to facilitating corporate “hearing” within scientific and religious disciplines and within cultural communities through a series of luncheon forums, public colloquia, inter-institutional, and intimate, invitational settings. Dialogues are cultivated in the academic community in “faculty forums”, with faculty and students of diverse disciplines, between the college and its religious constituency, and between the evangelical community and the diverse surrounding culture both on and off campus. Readings, resources, and speakers in science and religion consider topics such as: emergence & mind, evolution & theodicy, the science & theology of love, biblical & ecological perspectives on stewardship, and an open and balanced consideration of Intelligent Design Theory. Books for reading groups as well as an ever-growing science-religion library collection are available to members. Regular opportunities to attend regional conferences and lectures series are extended to faculty or student members. Events are comprised of a combination of core-group meetings, all-campus lectures, reading groups and luncheon forums, and invitational workshops and retreats. Matching funds are provided by Westmont College.

Midwest Religion and Science Society (MRSS)

Goshen College
Goshen, Indiana

Goshen College has hosted the Goshen Conference on Religion and Science (GCRS) since 2001. MRSS was formed with a core planning group of the regular participants from four church-affiliated institutions in geographic proximity to one another: Goshen College, Bethel College, the University of St. Francis, and Bluffton University. These institutions are considered “charter members” of an ongoing effort in outreach and diversification throughout the Upper Midwest region (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana). The steering committee of MRSS consists of academics in physics, Old Testament, mathematics, philosophy, and biology from the charter institutions. Primarily, this is a research and discussion group, with meetings facilitated by members to review and discuss books and journal articles. Books considered for the group include titles from Willem Drees, George Ellis, Niels Henrik Gregersen, John Haught, Nancey Murphy, Arthur Peacocke, Ted Peters, John Polkinghorne, and Holmes Rolston. Regularly scheduled business meetings to focus on subjects and speakers for GCRS as the key event and catalyst for providing additional forum, member recruiting and outreach to other area institutions and the surrounding community. Individual membership is not limited to faculty and students, but open to all persons interested in engaging in the dialogue between science and faith. MRSS also supports a College program providing speakers and programs to chapel services or similar programs of member institutions, and a Youth Program for high school students and provides stipends for students to attend the yearly conference. Matching funds are provided by charter member institutions and the Miller-Jeschke Program for Christian Faith and the Natural Sciences at Goshen College.

Calvin College Initiative for the Study of Christianity and Science

Calvin College
Grand Rapids, Michigan

The long-term goal of this initiative is to launch two fairly specific investigative team efforts each year, intended to move from an initial, Calvin-based formal discussion group through a number of expanding stages and on to a broader dissemination of results. The two themes planned are the role of hermeneutics in shaping scientific investigation and the concept of nature: what is natural? what is “unnatural”? The group provides space for broad, interpretive analysis of science involving issues in the relation of religion and science, the question of normativity, the status of humans, concepts of nature and more. The initial study group consists of members of Calvin’s departments of chemistry, philosophy, biology, geology, mathematics, engineering, and astronomy. At least twice yearly, established scholars are invited to dialogue and share their work with the study groups and to provide public lectures. The group also initiates e-discussions, hosts a webpage, presents at professional conferences, and publishes in appropriate venues. The Initiative addresses and serves various audiences, sponsors conferences, lectures, seminars and workshops to share the work already accomplished. Matching funds are provided by Calvin College.

Conversations: A Forum for Spirituality and Science at Jefferson

Department of Pastoral Care and Education
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“Conversations” hosts a number of activities within and extending beyond the Jefferson campus. The highlight of the group’s activities is a daylong symposium with an internationally or nationally known keynote speaker and breakout groups. Other activities include bi-monthly “Spiritual Care Grand Rounds” presentations, addressing topics such as educating healthcare professionals in the art of empathy and spiritual development, religion and the life sciences, spiritual practices and their psycho-neurological effects, and the ethical implications of emerging technologies. A Community Speaker’s Bureau makes discussions on these topics available to local churches and other institutions, thus expanding the participation in the dialogue. Additions to these major activities include a Jefferson-sponsored webpage, listserv, and book discussion groups. The listserv and webpage announce forthcoming activities and archive past events. The book discussion groups provide an opportunity for small groups to explore specific topics, facilitated by interested members of the core organizing group. Voluntary contributions and dues help to leverage support of the group beyond the full matching funds provided by Jefferson University Hospital.

EnlightenNext and What Is Enlightenment? Magazine
Cambridge & Lenox, Massachusetts; New York, New York; and London, England

With wide-ranging outreach to the general public, the Voices from the Edge network provides opportunities for public lectures, roundtable discussions, learning symposia, workshops, conferences, discussion forums, and advanced reading groups for the readers of What Is Enlightenment? Magazine (with readership of over 75,000 worldwide) and members of locally based organizations in four geographical regions. Topics explored include a multitude of faith perspectives on subjects such as evolutionary models, human evolution and the future; contemporary studies on meditation and the brain; theories of everything; bio-technology; myth and modern science; natural selection; scientific views of the nature of consciousness; and spiritual evolution. Each center within the network of learning centers of the Voices program develops its own unique programming, while sharing their inquiries and developing programs with other member groups and with societies within the LSI network as a whole. Supported by a strong advertising and publicity campaign, the series also offers audio recordings of events, and an Internet Learning Center to keep membership engaged and promotes further outreach. Outreach and advertising plans also include the pursuit of radio interviews for speakers prior to each event. By partnering with other organizations such as the Fetzer Institute, Generon Consulting and The Graduate Institute the program continues to build networking capacities for the long-term, well beyond the three-years of LSI granting. Matching funds are provided by private donation.

Vincentian Center for Church and Society
St. John’s University
Jamaica, New York

Initially comprised of individuals from the Vincentian Fellows Program, faculty experts in service at the United Nations, and local faith-based organizations, this society formalizes and continues discussions initiated by the Vincentian Center through a science-faith lecture series (2000-2004) on “what it means to be human.” The group is “establishing an ongoing dialogue to relate religion and science through the prism of the philosophical and theological concepts of social justice.” Members are drawn from relevant and specialized expertise in fields of food security, genetics, biology (cell, physiology, microbiology, environmental), chemistry, public policy, religion/theology, law, medicine, physics, pharmacy, philosophy, and psychology. The group expounds on and promotes an open dialogue for the consideration of the theological implications of topics such as: GMO’s, nutrition and health; environmental standards; e-literacy; potable water resources; medical concerns; attitudes and social justice teachings of various religions; and the scientific endeavor, research and practice. Bi-semester meetings, semi-annual public lectures and biennial conferences promote ongoing active engagement among natural and social scientists, philosophers, theologians, graduate students, clergy and members of faith-based and other area nonprofit development organizations. Outreach to engage the general public “bridges the University and the community in a dialogue on religion and science to promote social justice” and includes a website, periodic mailings to academic, religious and development organizations, and the production and broad dissemination of educational brochures promoting the Roundtable. Members form a steering committee for development of ongoing initiatives, well beyond the three-year grant term. The Vincentian Center for Church and Society provides matching funds.

Grove City Society for Science, Faith and Technology

Grove City College
Grove City, Pennsylvania

Composed of faculty from departments of biology, engineering, religion and philosophy, physics, and psychology, the Steering Committee selects one book each semester to serve as the foundation for the semester’s discussions. With participation from students, faculty, and community members, the Society is facilitating an understanding of the science/religion/technology connection, not only on the Grove City campus, but on neighboring campuses (both secular and private) as well. The Society is also seeking to develop a campus-wide interest in science and religion corresponding with a new (Fall 2006) General Education curriculum requirement of a course on Faith, Science, and Technology. Topics explored include questions such as: “What does it mean to be human?”; the role of technological advancement in matters of faith – i.e., robotics, nanotechnology, AI, and restorative medicine; and a broad and balanced exploration of Intelligent Design theory. In addition to a discussion of foundational texts, activities include public lectures and classroom speakers. All events are advertised locally and on neighboring campuses. Matching funds are provided by Grove City College.

Eastern Nazarene College
The Historical Society
Quincy, Massachusetts

A faculty based initiative; the Polkinghorne Society includes membership from Eastern Nazarene University, Boston University, Gordon College, and Harvard University. A variety of disciplines are represented in the initial core membership including theology, astronomy, physics, history, chemistry, English, religious studies, education, and biology. The society sponsors programs and events for faculty, students, and the public to engage in interdisciplinary considerations and promote dialogue between science and religion. The faculty reading group meets monthly to discuss the works of such seminal thinkers in the field as John Polkinghorne, William Shea, and Ernan McMullin. The authors are then invited to meet the society members in person, lead classroom discussions at the college, and present widely publicized public lectures. Outreach includes newspapers, radio, television, email lists, and a resource website. Matching fund commitment is made by Eastern Nazarene College and the Historical Society.

Human Nature Project: Religion, Medical Science, and Human Being

Boston Theological Institute
Newtown Centre, Massachusetts

The Human Nature Project is dedicated to the discussion of what it means to be human in light of advances in biological and medical science. This focused discussion of bioethics, whole-body healing, and the role of faith and spirituality in human being invites participation from the wide array of medical and research institutions in the greater Boston area as well as the general public. The three main components of the group’s work include: public meetings and plenary sessions, symposia, and student contests. Each plenary session is prefaced by the distribution of reading material to familiarize participants with the subject matter planned for discussion. Sessions are followed by the distribution of a summary of the proceedings to promote further discussion. Drawing on the expertise of individuals in the field symposia provide the opportunity for the general public to take part in the work of the group and to join as a member. SStudent contests give young scholars the opportunity to prepare original works and presentations as well as an additional occasion to present in open sessions. Some topics for consideration include violence as a medical health issue, artificial intelligence, and end of life issues. Matching funds are provided by the Boston Theological Institute, a non-profit consortium of nine theological schools in the Boston area.

Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The LSU Collegium for Science and Religion was formed in the fall of 2003 when several professors began to talk about issues in science and religion. The Collegium includes more than 160 faculty, staff, student, and community members and hosts open lectures at LSU. The LSI project complements, expands, and extends the conversations fostered by the initial efforts. The SRSD is a new part of that effort to stimulate student exchange through small discussion groups, large group meetings, forums, field trips, and public lectures to inquire into multiple facets of the sciences from a variety of religious perspectives. Some of the topical material envisioned includes subjects in the philosophical perspectives of mind, body and faith, scientific reconsideration of the central dogma of evolution, science as a generator of moral and religious questions, spiritual transformation in youth, and AI and ethics. The effort also aims to “build a coterie of students who passionately pursue knowledge and who hope to apply their understanding of future research, writing, and collaboration with others.” The Collegium supports the continuation ongoing faculty efforts, while the SRSD focuses on one theme each year in topics such as classic science and religion dialogue; physics, the ‘hard sciences’ and evolutionary genesis; and neuroscience and belief. Additionally, the Student Forum hosts panel discussions and supports collaborative research projects with faculty members. Matching funds are provided by the department of philosophy and religious studies and the School of Coast and Environment of Louisiana State University. Additional funding will be sought through proposal generation, private donors, and continuing outreach efforts.

Shepherd University
Shepherdstown, West Virginia

An interdisciplinary group comes together from a broad base of interest in relation to religion, spirituality, and philosophy among Shepherd faculty, bringing discussions to bear on seminal thinkers in religion, science, and philosophy and reaching out to local libraries, churches and religious institutions, and colleagues from universities in the greater Washington D.C. - Baltimore region. Areas of concentration include roles of scientific and religious thought in contemporary culture; historical interaction of religion and science; roles of religious thinking in scientific concept formation/scientific thinking in religious concept formation and the role of science and religion in each other’s evolution; science and religion on the geopolitical stage; western medicine and alternative modes of healing; cosmology, science, and religion; and religious and scientific concepts of humanity. Focused efforts promote integration of perspectives, interdisciplinary approaches, and informed scholarship among society members. Society activities include a series of monthly book meetings; quarterly public lectures and discussions, “book walks” – taking advantage of the many beautiful trails for classic walking discussion; and film events with discussion. Events are publicized through four area libraries, local churches, and to colleagues in surrounding institutions of higher learning. Matching funds are provided by Shepherd University.

Science and Spiritual Transformation Working Group
Institute for Noetic Sciences
Petaluma, California

The purpose of this society is to develop a new working group of IONS researchers, extended faculty, and collaborators at affiliated academic and religious institutions. The Bay Area Science and Spirit Dialogues focus on creating a forum for thoughtful, dynamic dialogue and ongoing collaboration between scientists, religious teachers, scholars, practitioners and students. Working Group members include scholars in fields of psychology, anthropology, medicine, religious studies, as well as local clergy. Topics for discussion include: conceptualization of religious or spiritual ideas; operationalization of religious or spiritual outcomes, and development of new measures, methods and study designs, and focus on subjects such as Buddhist and scientific views on compassion, the art and science of spiritual transformation, science and practice of prayer and healing, and the science of mindfulness. Free and open to the public, each gathering features an unusual pairing of a scientist and a religious scholar/spiritual teacher who will respond to a series of questions intended to catalyze dialogue about the interface and science and religion. Audiences are encouraged to engage in dialogue during a question and answer period. Video and audiotape of all proceedings are made available at cost to individuals and organizations. The Institute of Noetic Sciences provides matching funds specifically for this societal effort.

The Science and Religion Colloquium at Carthage

Carthage College
Kenosha, Wisconsin

This society brings together a consortium of faith communities and academic institutions in southeastern Wisconsin that are committed to providing a source for educational information and a forum for civil discourse on some of the most critical issues facing society today. The core planning/steering committee is composed of scholars in sciences and the humanities, along with religious leaders of the community. The society focuses on three major issues: Origins—cosmology, evolution, and creation stories; Endings—scenarios of destruction and apocalyptic literature; and Bioethics—the interface of scientific research with religious based moral decision-making. SRCC investigates the degree to which it is possible to engage in honest dialogue with people who hold radically different opinions and the limitations inherent in knowledge and belief if pursued without humility. The society sponsors two multi-faceted programs per year, each featuring a major public event or lecture. In addition, the society holds on-going debate or panel discussions, meetings of the core group to review topics and readings and plan for the future, and follow-up public meetings to discuss and expound on issues presented during major public events and to elicit critical feedback from participants. Other activities and plans include a film and discussion series, collaborative effort with Carthage-area scientific organizations, a student-led discussion series, and outreach through the local public radio station. Matching funds are provided by the First Congregational Church, Wauwatosa; the First Presbyterian Church, Racine; the Siebert Chapel; and Carthage College.

Psychiatry and Spirituality Forum

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine
University of California Irvine
Dana Point, California

The Psychiatry and Spirituality Forum promotes scholarly and educational initiatives exploring the connection between patients’ mental health and religious, spiritual, philosophical, and moral convictions. Forum members include attending physicians, resident physicians, medical students, scholars and practitioners from related disciplines. Participants share the belief that modern psychiatry has much to offer religious believers, and that spiritual and religious traditions have a great deal to teach those dedicated to promoting health and human flourishing. Programs include a yearly continuing medical education conference for physicians on topics in medicine, psychiatry, philosophy, and theology. Other activities include: speakers and discussions for departmental grand rounds; quarterly lectures for the general public; case conferences for clergy and religious leaders; discussion groups for medical students and resident physicians; a lending library; and a semi-annual newsletter. Members engage in community outreach with local clergy and religious leaders to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between the leaders in each field. Matching funds are provided by the University of California Irvine’s Department of Psychiatry.

Montana Symposium on Religion and Science

University of Great Falls
Great Falls, Montana

The Montana Symposium is the successor organization to an informal group consisting of faculty and staff who meet to discuss issues of science and faith in integrated learning communities on the campus. Membership consists of representatives of both hard- and soft-sciences and the humanities, including theology, religion, biology, English, psychology, natural science, philosophy, sociology, research science, as well as the clergy and several university staff and administrators. The group invites guest participants to join in discussions and contribute diverse perspectives. The group proposes inviting broader membership from the many local medical, research, and educational institutions beyond the university to expand the dialogue. The Symposium hosts a regular weekly dinner with discussion of current issues of common concern in faith and science such as human origins, genetics, stem cell research and technological applications, and artificial intelligence and human personality. Public elements of their program include two monthly “book talks,” lectures, colloquia, conferences and panel discussions that invite the community-at-large. The group is also expanding to invite contemporary thinkers in science and faith for public programs and a regular feature on the local public radio station. In the second year of programming, a statewide colloquium will bring together scientists, scholars and clergy to consider issues in “Science and the Native American Perspective.” Matching funds over and above the requirement are provided by the University of Great Falls, membership donation, and fund raising resources.

Terra Nova Community

Elon University
Elon, North Carolina

Including faculty from philosophy, English, political science, religious studies, physics, biology, and engineering, this group actively engages in issues of sustainable design and environmental remediation. Engaging leaders in science-oriented businesses, public agencies, community and citizens organizations, local members of Native American tribes, local clergy, and the general public in outreach, this Society is bringing together a broad community to explore and map the “interconnections among scientific and spiritual phenomena in the articulation of sustainable cultural, intellectual, economic and ecological systems. Using Thomas Berry’s Dream of the Earth as a guide to the group’s work, each member receives a copy of the text to those who write a 500-word response – identifying urgent issues for the Society’s attention. The project, titled Mapping a New Earth Story: Reconciling Science and Religion in the Ecological Age, promotes intellectual, spiritual, theoretical and practical applications of the reconciliation of science and faith in terms of ecology. Quarterly meetings review the agenda of the group and assist in preparation for participation in the annual Fall Forum of the Center for Environmental Studies. Presentation of an annual speaker of national prominence invites the public to share in the considerations fostered through the Society. Matching funds are provided by the University’s Center for Environmental Studies and the University’s Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.

Rhodes-Memphis Colloquium on Religion and Science

Rhodes College, Department of Religious Studies
Memphis, Tennessee

The Colloquium brings together academics in science and religion, professional pastoral and medical practitioners, and laypersons with an interest in the science and religion dialogue. Six formal meetings per year are supplemented by six additional meetings of a Student Colloquium, for which there is advisory assistance and facilitation support from the faculty. The project initiates conversations on religion and science across disciplinary boundaries. Meetings are hosted at Rhodes College and at other locations of partner-hosts, including the Memphis Theological Seminary, The Church Health Center, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The group encourages relationships across religious, intellectual, and institutional barriers by introducing members to themes and issues in the international dialogue of religion and science and by expanding the dialogue in ways that correspond to the unique cultural, intellectual, and religious make-up of the Mid-South. Each meeting includes a featured speaker and a forum for discussion and will explore such topics as religion and environment, human nature, religion and cloning, evolutionary biology, Eastern and Western cosmologies, overviews of religious perspectives and science, health and spirituality, race and science, biotechnology and medical ethics, and evolution and Intelligent Design theory. The Student Colloquium invites Colloquium members to present issues to students in support of enhancing the intellectual ethos of the college through creating opportunities for cross-disciplinary exchange. A student Associate, provided through the college employment program, will maintain a website with information on society activities, suggested readings and discussion topics, online discussion, and updated developments in the field of science and faith. Future aspirations include co-sponsoring a continuing education program with the Meeman Center for Lifelong Learning at Rhodes College. Matching funds are provided by Rhodes College.

University of Florida, Religion Department
Gainesville, Florida

FOREST is an organization of interdisciplinary scholars in religion, botany, ecology, history of science, ecological anthropology, ethics, and political science, doctoral students in the Religion and Nature program, secondary school educators, and community members devoted to facilitating research, debate, and the dissemination of diverse perspectives at the intersection of religion, science, technology, and ethics. The group first priority is to educate members of the academic community through collaborative consultation and a “Lunch and Lecture” series for to build membership on campus. The series examines topics such as cosmology, biotechnology and medical ethics, environmental science and nature religion, social science, and the “new science.” The next phase of activity includes community outreach through developing relationships with area secondary school educators and community groups to expand critical thinking in relevant areas of science and faith. In addition to public events, programs also include the development of a widely distributed newsletter, a website, video/DVD resources, and curricular materials for use by other groups interested in becoming part of the growing global dialogue in science and faith. Future plans include development of a Summer Institute for secondary school teachers, reading groups to encourage collaborative work across the campus, a major national conference, and the development of a sub-network of collaborative effort focused on issues in religion, science, and ecology within the larger LSI network. Additionally, the planning team of FOREST envisions the development of “workshop teams,” available to bring religion and science discussion to diverse venues throughout the region, as identified through outreach work. Matching funds are provided by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Department of Religion of the University of Florida.

Eastern Mennonite University
Harrisonburg, Virginia

The focus of this society is to create an open and exploratory space for dialogue between scholars, practitioners, and students on subjects such as artificial intelligence, bioethics, nanotechnology, human consciousness, spirit and body, and origins. Composed of individuals, academic departments, and transdisciplinary organizations of the university, the society identifies and discusses issues at the intersection of science and religion from an Anabaptist theological perspective. SASS is organized and directed by a steering committee that includes representation from eleven different campus departments or programs. The steering committee plans and administers the program, providing overall direction and management through soliciting ideas and input from the broader membership. Targets for future members include faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, local clergy, health professionals from the local private sector, and high school teachers. Programs include regular monthly members’ meetings, creation and maintenance of an interactive website, speakers forums involving the campus and surrounding community, small group book studies, and luncheon dialogues with short paper presentations. Matching funds are provided from over nine campus departments and organizations of Eastern Mennonite University.

Cabrini College Initiative for Religion and Science

Cabrini College
Radnor, Pennsylvania

Regular local dialogues throughout the academic year invite the participation of faculty, administrators, staff, students, individuals from area institutions, and other members of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (an eight-member group of area Catholic private colleges that works collaboratively on projects). The society seeks to expand membership through a combination of small group book discussion, lunch and dinner meetings, faculty development initiatives, and public lectures. The Cabrini College Initiative will explore issues such as the historical relationship and philosophical foundations of religion and science; the challenges of the scientist as believer; and new worldviews on cosmology, evolution, intelligent design, environmental concerns, neurotheology, and spirituality and medicine. A core group of interdisciplinary faculty is enhanced by the participation of invited guest lecturers and expert discussion leaders. A website, online discussion forum, and an e-newsletter are used to keep members in touch with upcoming events. The group strives to promote a diversity of opinion and openness of expression. Cabrini College provides matching funds.

Office of Spiritual Life, DePauw University
Greencastle, Indiana

This initiative developed as an outgrowth of a faculty/staff book study group with membership including scientists, theologians, and informed laypersons. The project boasts open membership inviting faculty, staff, students, local public school teachers and professionals, and members of the local community. Project members engage in study, discussion, scholarly research, lectures, and colloquia. Outreach invites the academic and surrounding communities to join and contribute to monthly evening meetings exploring topics such as: evolution, process theology, spirituality and health, bioethics, neuroscience and psychology, and science and world religions. Core group members meet for weekly lunch meetings to review and discuss current books, articles, and radio programs in the field. Each semester, the society hosts an open public event to highlight the research of a group member, video, or documentary focused on a subject in science and faith. Exceptional student papers will also be presented in public forum. The major event each year brings a national figure for a panel discussion and seminar session with selected students and members. A website and email updates complement group efforts. DePauw University and the Office of Spiritual Life provide matching funds.

Southern Nazarene University
Bethany, Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Society for Science and Faith explores the relationship between religious belief and scientific theories of cosmology and evolution. The goal of the society is to seek rational integration and coherence between what some consider incompatible ideas and to seek avenues that assist those within the Christian tradition to develop a consistent and sustainable scientific worldview. The society explores science and faith in public education, creation stories, theological implications of evolution and cosmology, historical perspectives in the ongoing debates in science and religion, faith development and finding resolution through dialogue and study. Initiated by faculty members in the Science Division and School of Theology and Ministry, the society is open to persons of all faiths, academic disciplines, and interests. The group meets monthly for book study, focused topical discussions, or special presentations from experts in fields of science and/or religion. Presenters are also offered the opportunity to speak in the university chapel, regular classes, and other forums. The society is supported by matching funds from Southern Nazarene University.

The Stetson Center for Science, Nature, and the Sacred

Department of Religious Studies, Stetson University
Deland, Florida

The core group of this Center consists of university faculty, students, and staff along with interested persons in Volusia County, Florida. The group is affiliated with the Stetson University Values Council, the central administrative means by which university values are embodied. The society sponsors nine monthly events that give balanced attention to scientific and spiritual perspectives of nature through the lens of the world’s major faith traditions and discoveries in the natural sciences. Conversations invite many voices from the physical and biological sciences as well as input and writings from theologians, philosophers, and scientists engaged in fundamental questions of cosmos, theos, and anthropos. Program elements include: public presentations from noted speakers, book and article discussion groups, panel and roundtable discussions, film series, and a website to encourage further conversation, networking, and research. Some speakers will also meet with university classes and other local and campus groups during their visits. The society also encourages student-faculty research projects in student majors, the University’s Research Experience (an 8-week summer program), and Student Research in Science and Religion (a program housed in the American Studies Department). In keeping with the interfaith theme of the initiative, meetings are followed by light hors d’oeuvres from various faith traditions. Stetson University provides matching funds.

St. Thomas Aquinas Center and the Aquinas Educational Foundation
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana

The intent behind this society is to create an ongoing dialogue among six groups with six distinct community-driven themes, growing to fifteen groups with fifteen themes, bringing together a cross-section of Purdue professors, students, clergy, and local laity. Dedicated to substantive exploration of subjects at the intersection of science and faith of grassroots interest, this confederation of study groups will meet once per month during the academic year considering two books of significance per year. Among the group themes is: cosmology and theology; black holes, white lights, and gray areas; Intelligent Design; and moral dilemmas in genetic engineering. The society also sponsors two conferences per year, with a public lecture followed by a day of rigorous discussion for society members, invitees, and other invited LSI network members. Public events aim to enlarge the perspectives of participants and invite new membership and further public engagement. Members are encouraged to produce and publish original works in the areas of study of the various themed groups. Materials produced will be offered for the use of the global LSI network to support further collaboration. Matching funds are provided by a coalition of eight contributors from university and local faith communities.

Working Group on Religion, Ethics and Nature

Ohio Northern University
Ada, Ohio

The principle objective of the Working Group is sponsorship of on-campus and local forums encouraging dialogue and interaction around the world’s diverse religious traditions, ethical theories, and the sciences. In particular, they are concerned with the ways that these interactions relate to the natural environment. The group hopes to encourage interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration between faculty, students, and the general public to increase awareness of diverse religious perspectives on specific scientific and environmental issues. According to core members these environmental issues, though often raised in liberal arts institutions by specialists in science and technology, are most fruitfully addressed through interdisciplinary conversations between specialists and laypersons from all disciplines and backgrounds. A core member committee composed of ten representatives of the three related constituencies that the initiative seeks to engage (faculty, students, and the local community), oversees and steers the group’s activities. Public lectures, roundtables, symposia, and a major conference augment regular member discussion groups – reaching out to other academic and surrounding communities. Main goals are to ensure the society’s long-term activity through seeking additional financial support; developing a resource library for members; launching a website to promote activities; and enhanced outreach. Other plans include the development of special, interdisciplinary courses; sponsoring of student and member attendance to the Goshen Conference (sponsored by another active LSI group); and a retreat to support members’ strategic planning, focused discussion, and intellectual reflection. Ohio Northern University provides matching funds.

Chesterton House
Ithaca, New York

In partnership with other local science-faith organizations in the vicinity of Cornell University, this group aims to mentor students pursuing careers in science through active inquiry in integrating faith and academic investigation. A reading group for students and local clergy meets bi-weekly for discussion centering on areas of interest. Regular visits from Cornell scientists to share perspectives and expertise will enhance these considerations. A resource-rich website will link to articles and other online resources to expose participating members and the academic and surrounding community to the larger body of emerging literature. An on-site library of current books and journals is also made available for further reflection. Sponsorship of visiting scholars – notable thinkers in the field of science and faith – and subsequent well-advertised public lectures, seminars, and social events will round-out the work of the group inviting further public participation. Chesterton House provides matching funds.

Wesleyan University Colloquium for the Study of Science and Religion

Wesleyan University
Middletown, Connecticut

The Colloquium brings together a multidisciplinary group of members including university faculty, staff, and administrators from disciplines in the arts and humanities, social and natural sciences, and the office of the chaplains. Members actively seek to incorporate interested non-academic professionals from the surrounding community to join deliberations. This society seeks to inform and educate members and the community in the issues of science and faith with rigorous reflection. Primary emphasis is upon the epistemological issues of how science and faith provide new perspectives on one another – addressing the prevailing sentiment that these are conflicting worldviews. A monthly reading group brings together core members to discuss articles and books and published writings or works in progress by group members. Historical perspectives and contemporary issues are considered through monthly reading groups, biannual presentations from major speakers, talks, and discussion forums lead by group members for broader audiences. Further outreach includes on-campus talks, debates, and panels, an active and available speakers bureau for local religious and civic groups, and encouragement of inter-departmental course development. Matching funds are provided by Wesleyan University.

Baltimore Society for Science/Religion Understanding

Physics Department, Loyola College Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland

The mission of this society is to foster exploration of the relationships between science and religion in the academic and local community. Currently comprised of faculty and students from institutions of higher learning in the Baltimore area representing a variety of religious beliefs and disciplines including: chemistry, philosophy, theology, biology, physics, astronomy, pastoral counseling, English, earth sciences, education, and engineering, the group invites participation from all interested persons. Programs of this society combine reading discussion groups, public lectures and seminars, and outreach to invite new perspectives and expertise into conversations. Members are encouraged to pursue original research and scholarship of rigorous and critical intellectual standards that contributes constructively and meaningfully to the field. Reading groups, examining foundational and advanced texts, meet monthly for exchange of views and insights. Lectures, featuring distinguished visiting scholars, are held at least twice a year and are followed-up with smaller, more intense discussions with members. Public lectures are open to the public and widely publicized. Lecturers are arranged so that topical themes and speakers complement texts under consideration. A special feature of the lecture series is a focus on inviting scholars from other LSI groups in the global network. Outreach efforts plan to attract a membership that is truly regional, including the academic community and area institutions, pastors, members of congregations, and other interested citizens in the region. Matching funds are provided by the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences of Loyola College Maryland.

Siena Center, Dominican University
River Forest, Illinois

Albertus Magnus, patron saint of scientists, is a thirteenth century Dominican famed for scientific discovery and a theology reflective of the emerging science of the day. Initial membership of this society comprises a diversity of faculty and area professionals in disciplines of applied sciences, political theory, Islamic epistemology, theology, natural science, sociology, physics, biology, pastoral care, ethics and poetics, philosophy, and religious leaders from Jewish and Christian traditions. The sponsoring program – the Siena Center – was founded in 2003 to engage faith and scholarship with contemporary issues of church and society for the benefit of the university community, professional ministers, and the wider community of faith. Sponsoring two dozen events per year, the Center has developed particular expertise in connecting with the local community, developing effective marketing, and launching a successful website. The society will undertake a program of public speakers, regular meetings, and monthly seminars focused on matters of “Sense and Spirit” – a theological reflection based on scientific research in the senses. Public lectures are followed by luncheon conversations on the next day. The goal is a sustainable, vibrant, and long-term society that bridges academic and popular audiences in a way that reflects the Dominican understanding of truth and the intersection of religion and science. The group will actively seek collaboration with other LSI groups in the area. Dominican University provides matching funds.

Academy for Christian Thought (ACT)
New York, New York

This program seeks to advance the dialogue between science and theology through a series of interdisciplinary discussions, lectures, reading groups, study sessions, and seminars. Bi-monthly committee meetings and quarterly public forums on science and major world religions invite scientists, philosophers, historians, theologians, and students of each field to present their worldviews and positions on key issues for discussion. Core committee members are leaders in fields of science and theology, chemistry, and medicine. The group offers public programs that encourage cross-pollination of ideas in the engagement with urgent questions of modern society within a “theological safe place.” Subject matter for exploration includes broad and diverse topics such as creation, providence and Incarnational theology; theodicy in relation to global perspective on technology and globalization; the nature of religious belief in a scientific and technological age; insights into human uniqueness; claims of non-empirical sciences; and critical realism as a method of inquiry into science and religion. Speakers and presenters include some of the most influential contemporary thinkers and leaders in the dialogue between science and faith. Events reach out to New York’s diverse population: graduate students from New York’s many institutions of higher educations, students and faculty of seminaries, congregations, and members of civic organizations, including those associated with the United Nations. Advertising for meetings and public events include website announcements, a newsletter, and online availability of DVD and CD-Rom lectures and materials. Matching funds are provided by the Academy of Christian Thought.

Metaxu: The Alma College Society of Religion and Science

Alma College
Alma, Michigan

The founding core group combines an interdisciplinary representation of faculty from the fields of religious studies, philosophy, physics, psychology, biology, health science, mathematics, English, sociology, and language, as well as members of the community including Faculty Emeriti and other retirees from local and civic organizations. The dialogue “seeks common ground and consensus when possible, but not at the expense of genuine and courageous explorations of different points of view.” Recruiting efforts reach out to the students, faculty, and the community-at-large to attract and engage new members. Main features of the program include monthly discussion groups and twice-yearly speakers focusing on specific themes for consideration. The proposed yearly themes are “A Celebration of Einstein and His Cultural Legacy;” “Evolution;” and “Neuroscience and Person.” A combination of foundational readings, discussion sessions, and expert speakers from the various fields serve to complement each year’s theme. Discussion sessions engage a mixed group of faculty, staff, community members, and students in the exploration of readings and materials. Matching funds are provided by Alma College.

Center for Research in Science
Azusa Pacific University
Azusa, California

The steering committee of the ARS Society merges leaders of the Center for Research on Science and scholars of theology, natural, and social sciences. Outreach invites membership from students, faculty, staff, local clergy, and laity from the surrounding area. Monthly meetings led by members and invited guest lecturers focus on readings, significant scientific information and how findings might challenge, threaten, or reinforce religious views. Topics explore historical and cultural developments, causes for the assumed conflict between science and religion, and contemporary issues in the fields represented by membership. Biannual speakers provide insight and expertise and complement reading and discussions. A standpoint of openness to alternative views will be reflected in chosen readings and diversity of speaker perspectives. Matching funds are provided by Azusa Pacific University.

University of Sioux Falls Forum for Conversations in Theology and Science

University of Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Faculty, students and members of neighboring academic, religious, and scientific communities congregate monthly throughout the school year to participate in roundtable forums. A nationally recognized scholar will be invited to address the society and the community-at-large. The society hosts a widely publicized annual spring symposium to bring the work of each year to the public. Three delegates – two faculty and one student – will attend the Metanexus annual conference each June. Core membership includes faculty from departments of natural sciences, philosophy and theology. The aim of the Forum is threefold: 1) to facilitate a welcoming and lively, transdisciplinary discourse with the intent to discern new religious and scientific insights and to build fundamental approaches to foundational questions; 2) to sustain an enduring avenue for faculty development opportunities in the constructive engagement of science and religion; and 3) to foster student development by encouraging young scholars to participate in the society’s events and by intimately incorporating the existing honors program. Topics and readings explore historical overviews and contemporary considerations of seminal issues in science and faith including: consciousness and the soul; physics and cosmology; medicine and health; biological sciences; and matters in ethics, philosophy and the social sciences. Additional plans include the endowment of a faculty development program and the founding of a respected Speaker’s Bureau in the service of local religious, educational, and civic institutions. The University of Sioux Falls provides matching funds.

Saint Vincent Science and Religion Discussion Forum

Saint Vincent College
Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Building upon many existing programs at Saint Vincent College, this group brings together members from a variety of disciplines in hard and social sciences, religious and philosophy to explore pressing issues, create a structured dialogue, and share insights with broader communities both locally and globally. The Benedictine hallmarks of community, care, hospitality, stewardship, and humility serve as touchstones for the collaborative study of issues. Each semester, the Forum will select a topic of emphasis and related texts to help focus the discussions. Topics may include physical cosmology, evolutionary biology, biotechnology, and ecology. The forum meets formally each month, with asynchronous discussion continuing online between meetings around a small number of focus questions. Members of the Forum will also seek ways to incorporate the discussion of science and religion into courses taught at the College. Guest speakers with unique expertise and perspectives will be sought to increase the diversity of ideas brought to the group. Each semester, a log of the activities and a brief summary from each member will be posted on the website. Postings will serve as a means to engage with other LSI groups in discussion. Matching funds are provided by Saint Vincent College.

World Religions, Knowledge and Science (WoRKS) Group, Edwardsville

The Religious Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, Illinois

The core membership of this society brings together faculty, students, professionals, clergy, and community leaders representing the disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, religious studies, philosophy, psychology, history, language, technology and ministry. Faith affiliations and scholarly expertise represented include Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Muslim, and Bahá’í tra ditions. WoRKS comes together to implement programs in support of a productive engagement of faith and science. The monthly WoRKS Study Group pursues topics ranging from origins of the universe; the nature of the human being; knowledge systems in world traditions; to the ethical dilemmas raised by contemporary bio-technologies. The WoRKS Distinguished Speakers’ Series invites influential thinkers for public presentations and open discussion. The offices of the Religious Center are housed in a Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome building, modeled after Fuller’s image of planet earth. The group envisions supporting a Center as a permanent hub for regional, national, and international LSI groups to facilitate collaborative research into global traditions of religion, knowledge, and science. Additional plans include hosting an international conference modeled on bi-annual East-West Philosopher’s Conferences, promoting active participation of students and the public. Matching funds for WoRKS are provided by the Graduate School, the Office of the Provost (Social and Cultural Diversity), the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Philosophy, the University Religious Council, and Friends of the Religious Center at SIEU.