|Dear WesleyNexus Colleague:
There are a number of events coming up in the coming year. A few of these are listed below.
Empire and Economics: The Difference Religion Makes
Dr. Joerg Rieger will deliver the 2012 Susan R. Andrews Progressive Theology Lecture on
October 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM, Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Rieger is
the Wendland-Cook Endowed Professor of Constructive Theology at Perkins Theological Seminary in
His topic, “Empire and Economics: The Difference Religion Makes”, presents a radical view of
early Christians as social revolutionaries who worked actively to transform the empire of their day. His
books include No Rising Tide, Christ and Empire, and Globalization and Theology, each a study
of how the early church modeled resistance by poor, marginalized and alienated populations to the
dominant political and economic forces of empire. Directions to Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church
can be found here.
The Blackstone Seminar 2012 - The Spirit in the Synapse: Neuroscience & Religion
On October 22, 2012, the 2012 Blackstone Seminar for Science, Theology, Ethics, & Ministry will
welcome Dr. Jeffrey Pugh to discuss the relationship between neuroscience and religion. There are
some cognitive scientists today who argue that God is a figment of our imagination; that God, and by
extension, religion, were created by brain structures to serve an evolutionary purpose. Because we
understand how the brain created religion, we can now give religion up as an unnecessary vestige of
our primordial past. Dr. Pugh’s presentations will explore this perspective and argue that another
interpretation is possible. Looking at the evidence that brain scans, cognitive science, and evolutionary
biology offer, we might find that our brains have developed in order that we might grasp the reality of
God in the world and in our lives. Dr. Jeffrey C. Pugh is the Maude Sharpe Powell Professor of
Religious Studies at Elon University,. Dr. Pugh is the author of "Entertaining the Triune Mystery:
God, Science, and the Space Between", "Devil's ink: Blog from the Basement Office", and
"Religionless Christianity: Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Troubled Times".
To learn more about this program or register to participate, visit www.blackstoneseminar.org.
Montgomery County Science and Religion Discussion Group
The Montgomery County group will have its first meeting on October 14 at 7:00 PM at Grace United
Methodist Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The speaker will be Rev. Skip Jordan who is the
Volunteer Services Coordinator for the Washington DC office of Capital Caring Hospice Services.
The title of his talk is “Theology, Thanatology & the Universe”.
Atom + Eve Project: Primate “Ethics” and Human Morality
This program, the third of four seminars sponsored by the Templeton Foundations, take place on
November 10th at the Washington Theological Union in Takoma Park, Maryland. It will focus on
recent studies of group behavior in higher primates which is homologous to human competition and
cooperation, and look at the evolutionary roots of human morality. Catholic biblical and moral
theologians will lay out a contemporary view of evil, theodicy, original sin and moral life that is
harmonious with contemporary science. A major goal will be to offer ministers a more adequate way
of addressing the “problem of evil” in a pastoral context. For more information and to register, go to
their website here.
AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston
The American Association for the Advancement of Science will have their annual meeting in Boston,
Massachusetts on February 14 – 18, 2013. WesleyNexus will co-sponsor an exhibit table with the
Ecumenical Roundtable on Science, Technology and the Church. Additional information and
registration can be found here.
American Scientific Affiliation Annual Meeting
The American Scientific Affiliation will have their annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee on July 19-
22, 2013 at Belmont University. More information on the meeting can be found here.
Wesleyan Theological Society
The 48th Annual Meeting of the Wesley Theological Society will take place at Seattle Pacific
University, Seattle, Washington on March 21 - 23, 2013. More information will be posted when
CTNS Public Forum
On Tuesday, November 6, 2012 will present Bishop Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston-upon-
Thames. Bishop Cheetham will be speaking on “Truth Claims in Science and Religion”. Bishop
Cheetham received his Ph. D. from King’s College London in October 1999 for research on the
understanding of religious belief which underlies the practice of collective worship in schools. He was
appointed Bishop of Kingston in 2002. The program will begin at 7:00 PM at Graduate Theological
Union Library, Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, California. The program is free and
open to the public.
Eighth Annual Evolution Weekend
February 8-10 has been designated Evolution Weekend by the Clergy Letter Project. Religious people
from many diverse faith traditions and locations around the world will take the time to affirm that
evolution is sound science and does not threaten, demean, or diminish their faith in God. They also
affirm that the wonders of science often enhance and deepen awe and gratitude towards God. For
more information and the sign up for Evolution Weekend, go to the web site here.
The Science and Religion Dialogue: Past and Future
The University of Heidelberg (Germany) and the John Templeton Foundation will host a major
conference on “The Science and Religion Dialogue: Past and Future” from October 25th to 29th,
2012. The opening ceremony, which can be viewed via livestream on their website, will feature
renowned keynote speakers in the area of science and religion. It will commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the birth of Sir John Templeton and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the
John Templeton Foundation.
In addition, you will be able to watch a livestream of 12 academic sessions, which will focus on
numerous scientific disciplines and various aspects of the science and religion dialogue. Furthermore,
at a Live Q&A, the general public is invited to submit questions to experts in the area of science and
religion. More information on the program can be found here.
Are Science and Religion at War?
Dr. Karl Giberson will be speaking at the University of Colorado on October 10, 2012. Dr. Giberson
is a long time participant in science and religion conversation. He is a professor at Stonehill College,
where he teaches writing, and Science-and-Religion in the Cornerstone Program. He is a fellow of the
American Scientific Affiliation. The University of Colorado event posting can be found here.
NPR takes on Science and Religion
Neal Conan, host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation, will be moderating the Controversies in Science panel
discussion “Fact, Faith, Science and Religion” at COSI (333 W. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio) on
October 11 at 7 pm. He will host a lively panel discussion with Karl Giberson (see above) and
Michael Shermer. Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine and editor of
Skeptic.com, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and an Adjunct Professor at Claremont
Graduate University and Chapman University. Dr. Shermer’s latest book is The Believing Brain: From
Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as
Truths. The program is free and supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. Call
614.228.2674 for details or register online through Eventbrite for this free program. Space is limited.
Evolution: A Symbiosis of Religion with Science
Dr. Michael Zimmerman will be presenting Plymouth Congregational Church Parry Lecture for 2012
on October 12 at 7:00 PM in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Dr. Zimmerman will discuss "Evolution: A
Symbiosis of Religion with Science. He has a PhD in Ecology from Washington University in St.
Louis, the Executive Director of The Clergy Letter Project, Academic Vice-president and Provost at
the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and a frequent contributor to the Huffington
Post. For more information see the program brochure.
Rick Barr, Secretary, WesleyNexus
|September 30, 2012