Tom McLeish @ UBC Early November 2016

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Prof Tom McLeish, FInstP, FRS

Durham University

Professor in the  Department of Physics
Professor in the  Department of Chemistry
Professor  Tom Mcleish will be in the Lower Mainland for a Multi-University Tour
(SFU, UBC, TWU, Regent)
October 31 to November 4, 2016
Abstract for UBC November 2, 4:00 p.m. in Woodward (IRC) Room 6, to GFCF
 Investigating the Deep Structure of Modern Science: the Search for Wisdom

Tom McLeish takes a scientist’s reading of a historical series of texts (the oldest is the celebrated nature poem from the ancient Middle-Eastern ‘wisdom’ text – the Book of Job) describing the search for understanding of nature.  He makes the case for science as a deeply human, social and ancient activity, embedded in some of the oldest stories told about human desire to understand the natural world.  Drawing on stories from the modern science of chaos and uncertainty alongside these medieval, patristic, classical and Biblical sources, this narrative approach challenges much of the current ‘science and religion’ debate as operating with the wrong assumptions and in the wrong space. It also develops a natural critique of the cultural separation of sciences and humanities, suggesting an approach to science, or in its more ancient form natural philosophy – the ‘love of wisdom of natural things’ – that can draw on theological and cultural roots that remain highly relevant today. McLeish suggests that deriving a human narrative for science in this way can transform the way political discussions of ‘troubled technologies’ are framed, the way we approach science in education and the media, and reframe the modes in which faith traditions engage with science.

Biography
Tom McLeish is a very accomplished prize-winning biophysics professor at Durham University. In 2014, he published a very important book called Faith and Wisdom in Science (OUP). He shows the common sentiment between the search for/love of wisdom about natural things in Job and other wisdom literature of the Bible and the history of scientific investigations. It stretches the mind and offers a new paradigm that avoids some of the traditional conflicts and narrow thinking of this discussion (on both sides).

Professor McLeish takes a fresh approach to the ‘science and religion’ debate, taking a scientist’s reading of the enigmatic and beautiful Book of Job as a centrepiece, and asking what science might ultimately be for. Rather than conflicting with faith, science can be seen as a deeply religious activity, and the current form of a deep and continuous thread in human culture.

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McLeish_Alan_Gijsbers_Review

Tom McLeish is Professor of Physics at Durham University and also chairs the Royal Society’s education committee. After a first degree in physics and PhD (1987) in polymer physics at Cambridge University, a lectureship at Sheffield University, in complex fluid physics, lead to a chair at Leeds University from 1993.

He has since won several awards both in Europe (Weissenberg Medal) and the USA (Bingham Medal) for his work on molecular rheology of polymers, and ran a large collaborative and multidisciplinary research programme in this field from 1999-2009 co-funded by EPSRC and industry.

His research interests include: (i) molecular rheology of polymeric fluids); (ii) macromolecular biological physics; (iii) issues of theology, ethics and history of science. He has published over 180 scientific papers and reviews, and is in addition regularly involved in science-communication with the public, including lectures and workshops on science and faith. In 2014 OUP published his book Faith and Wisdom in Science. He has been a Reader in the Anglican Church since 1993, in the dioceses of Ripon and York.

From 2008-2014 he served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Durham University. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2012 he was made Vice-President of Science by the Institute of Physics (IoP).

Support and Sponsorship Gratitude: Oikodome Foundation, Canadian Science & Christian Affiliation, Templeton Foundation, UBC Murrin Fund

Book Review: Tom McLeish (2014). Faith and Wisdom in Science. Oxford University Press. by Professor Emeritus Olav Slaymaker from UBC Geography

Tom McLeish is Professor of Physics and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the highly ranked University of Durham in the UK.. With this book he has initiated a new genre of writing about the relation between science and faith. I have a raft of books on theology AND science; this book is the first one of which I am aware that attempts a theology OF science. It is an exciting book in so many ways and is marked by great originality. For some readers the case for the identicality of the scope of theology and science will be too radical to contemplate. Yet the argument is succinct and equally well grounded in Biblical exegesis and experiential empirical and theoretical science. I expect to continue to mine this book for several years to come.

 The central theme of the book is that the scope of science and theology is identical and that therefore there must be insights that are worthy of exploration and exchange between the two disciplines. Both science and theology are built on faith; they are both more about imagination and creative questions than about method, logic and providing answers and they both involve pain and love as their central emotions. Perhaps the most revelatory part of his thinking is his view that order and chaos are equally part of God’s world and his refusal to accept the simplistic argument that God’s existence is proven from the fine tuning of the universe. He insists that we must grapple with the chaos and disorderliness of much of creation and incorporate this into our theology beyond simply throwing up our arms and declaring that the disorder is caused by the Fall. And he bases his view on an original exegesis of parts of Proverbs, Psalms, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Hosea, Job (especially Job) and Genesis 1 and 2 and bolsters his argument with insights from Romans, I Corinthians, the Gospel according to John and the Revelation of John.

But I am getting ahead of myself. The starting point of his presentation is the question “What is the difference between science as knowledge and natural philosophy as the love of wisdom about nature?” He suggests that our contemporary use of the term science is only a small, though powerful, part of the story. Science as knowledge implies certainty; the love of wisdom implies a journey. He immediately proceeds to describe his own journey from ignorance to understanding in his research into the nature of jellies, peptides and other natural substances. The excitement and frustrations of the process of discovery of new insights are communicated effectively.

Paralleling his love of wisdom achieved in his laboratory is the author’s enthusiasm for the natural wisdom of the Old Testament. He moves from wisdom as a practical way of life (Proverbs 8) through the importance of the creative word (Psalm 33); the dynamism of creation (Psalm 104); the teaching of correction from creation (Jeremiah); the importance of care for creation (later Isaiah) and a focus on a distant hope and a different cosmos (early Isaiah and Hosea); to the establishing of order through classification (Genesis 1 and 2). But the ever-present tension of chaos and order has to be addressed head-on. What does understanding mean in the context of chaotic objects like comets, storms and earthquakes? Only a little understanding but profound amazement. The fact that order can emerge from chaos “lies within the foundations of science today but it is also a narrative theme of human culture that is as old as any.” (p.101).

There follows a profound exegesis of the book of Job. McLeish does so by taking three snapshots of the book: (1) Surveying the foundational questions of cosmology, geology, meteorology, astronomy and zoology, through chapter 38; (2) A whole book survey as a study of the problem of pain (chapters 1, 6, 16, 32, 38 and 39) and (3) Following a “nature trail” through the whole book. His conclusion is  “with trepidation and against the weight of opinion” that the Lord’s answer to Job’s complaint about God’s justice in His  management of creation as a whole is indeed a valid answer for five reasons: (1) There is a third path of constrained freedom in which true exploration of life really lies (by contrast with control and chaos); (2) Job is led to a new perspective that “decentralizes humanity from any claim to primacy in creation and affirms the human possibility of knowing creation with an insight that is an image of the divine”; (3) the final voice is participative and invitational; (4) leads to a human relationship with creation in terms of a covenant; and (5) the Lord’s answer is eschatological and looks to future healing of the broken relationship between humanity and the creation. This leads directly to the New Testament creation narratives of creation and reconciliation.

The chapter labelled “A theology of science” is the capstone of the book. McLeish summarizes three  traditional ways of speaking about theology and science: (1) a conflict model (e.g. Dawkins); (2) a non-overlapping magisterial model (e.g. Gould); and (3) reconciliation by comparative methodology, keeping the objects of enquiry separate (e.g Polkinghorne). Each of these is inadequate, he says. A theology of science, by contrast, assumes a linear history moving from ignorance to understanding, a special human aptitude for wisdom (“the most inexplicable thing about science is that it is explicable”), deep wisdom (“there is a deeper significance to understanding nature than simply knowing things”), ambiguity of problems and pain (the call to wait and experience of pain), order and chaos (God is not only the shaping force of order, he also unleashes the forces of thunder, clouds, lightning and wind), the role of questioning, love in the practice of science and participation in reconciliation. Science becomes, within a Christian theology, the grounded outworking of the ministry of reconciliation between humankind and the world.

The love of wisdom about nature leads to a concluding chapter about how we can mend our ways, share our science and face up to the future. McLeish sees that both science and the church have some hard thinking to do in order to operationalize his insights. The healing of the academy and of the church are both implied.

The epilogue turns to the encounter of Jesus with a Roman Centurion as a parable for science. In that parable Jesus calls the understanding of true authority “great faith”. The ability to do science, to deploy the love of wisdom to do with natural things gives us both extraordinary authority and responsibility. Can we choose the way, in wisdom, that deserves to be called “great faith?”

Thomas Heilke Examines the Secular-Religious Debate

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 Thomas Heilke

Professor of Political Science

Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies,

UBC Okanagan

Probing the Potential of the Secular-Religious Interface

Response by Dr. Olav Slaymaker, Professor Emeritus, UBC Geography

Audio File 

Powerpoint File Secular-Religious Interface_Powerpoint

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 @ 5:00 p.m. Woodward (IRC) Room 6,

UBC Main Point Grey Campus

Abstract 

Our understanding of the secular has evolved in significant ways over the past century, and this can often lead to confusion. Within modernity, how do those who most strongly identify as religious and this who view themselves as secular discover their common cause? In this talk, Dr. Heilke will drill down into that language and its surprising history. He will sharpen our understanding and propose creative ways of engaging with one another fruitfully across different visions of societal life. Vital issues of justice, public morality, civic and religious liberties are at stake as we seek sustainable ways forward for human flourishing and the common good. Rejecting the ideological culture wars, Dr. Heilke holds out hope to find a symbiotic interface between the secular and the religious voice. We all see from a limited perspective, and we can all discover our identity and public engagement afresh through constructive dialogue and artful cooperation.

Biography

Thomas Heilke received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1990. After 23 years as a faculty member and a variety of administrative positions at the University of Kansas, he has been Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies UBC Okanagan since January, 2014. He is the recipient of three teaching awards, and has written on a variety of topics in political philosophy, including civic friendship, political theology, the political thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, Eric Voegelin, John Howard Yoder, and Thucydides, and Anabaptist political thought. He has authored or co- authored four books and edited or co-edited six further volumes. His work has appeared in journals that include American Political Science Review, Political Theory, Polity, The Review of Politics, and Modern Theology. Among his published books are Voegelin on the Idea of Race: An Analysis of Modern European Racism (1990); Nietzsche’s Tragic Regime: Culture, Aesthetics, and Political Education (1998); Eric Voegelin: In Quest of Reality (1999). He co-edited with Ashley Woodwiss The Re-Enchantment of Political Science: Christian Scholars Engage Their Discipline, (2001). He belongs to the American Political Science Association and the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.

Research Interests: Political philosophy and theory; classical political thought; modern political thought; political theology; religion and politics; political ideologies; international relations in political philosophy

Teaching: Political philosophy; history of political thought; religion and politics; international relations in political philosophy

https://news.ok.ubc.ca/gradstudies/2014/01/20/leading-international-scholar-named-associate-dean-college-of-graduate-studies/

Miraslov Volf’s book Flourishing: why we need religion in a globalized world, is an excellent follow-up to this lecture.

See also Page/Button: Literature on Religion and Politics for more bibliography

Higher Education’s Future Prospects

Future Prospects for Higher Education: Key Drivers of Sustainability

November 17, 2015  @ 4:00 p.m.        Woodward (IRC) Room 1

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Panel Members

Jens Zimmermann, Canada Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture, Trinity Western University

Emily Osborne, PhD Cambridge, Postdoctoral Fellow UBC English

Bruce Hindmarsh, James Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology, Regent College

Ron Dart, Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, University of the Fraser Valley 

Recording of the Discussion

Abstract

In a recent Globe and Mail article, CNN’s reporter Farheed Zakaria posits the tough question, “Is liberal-arts education more than a nostalgia for a bygone era of higher learning, now out of sync with today’s hyper-competitive skills-based economies?” Such questions are also posed by many powerful influencers today. In a different issue of the Globe, Alan Wildeman, President and vice-chancellor of University of Windsor, adjures us in an article entitled “We ignore liberal arts at our peril” where he argues that the liberal arts is essential for civility, democracy, wise decision-making and competence in the job world. As a multicultural country playing in the global arena, Canada needs a citizenry that learns and studies human differences, social behaviors and cultural traditions. Indeed, does higher education encourage the pursuit of character development together with academic excellence? Is it innovative, socially relevant and sustainable? Does it prepare students for negotiating an increasingly complex and competitive globalized world? What will inspire and engage their imagination in the pursuit of active citizenship and civil discourse? Post-secondary education has a huge cultural and economic influence in Canada. It shapes the future, while building on a critical appreciation of the past. In its community, UBC Vancouver has 10,000 postgraduate and 41,000 undergraduate students from around the world. They come with high hopes for skill and credential development, and long to contribute to meaningful research and to acquire good future careers. A large percentage hope to make a better world. Education seems essential for both self-awareness and global awareness. At the same time, globally education is under intense pressure from various forces (intrinsic and extrinsic), currently pulling it in different directions, amidst conflicting public and political expectations. In the early history of universities like Oxford and Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, Queen’s and McGill, character development was a central priority. It is timely for this panel to reflect upon the purpose and trajectory of the contemporary university, and the goods it is to pursue.

Panel Information

Jens Zimmermann, Canada Research Chair for Interpretation, Religion, and Culture at Trinity Western University, received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UBC and his Doctorate in Philosophy from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. His research interests in include continental philosophy (especially hermeneutics), theological anthropology, the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Christian humanism. He is author of Humanism and Religion: A Call For the Renewal of Western Culture (OUP 2012), and more recently of Hermeneutics: A Very Short Introduction, also with Oxford University Press.

Dr. Emily Osborne is currently a SSHRC-postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English, University of British Columbia. She received her PhD and MPhil from Cambridge University, where she studied medieval English, Icelandic and Scandinavian languages and literature. Her current research is interdisciplinary and transcultural, spanning literature from the seventh to fifteenth centuries in four languages, and engaging with sociolinguistics and philosophy of mind. Her academic publications and research projects are concerned with the history of rhetoric, poetic theory and metaphor theory, intentionality, and speech acts.

Bruce Hindmarsh took his D.Phil. degree in theology at Oxford University in 1993.  From 1995 to 1997 he was also a research fellow at Christ Church, Oxford.  He has since published and spoken widely to international audiences on the history of early British evangelicalism.  He is the author of two major booksJohn Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition (Oxford University Press, 1996) and The Evangelical Conversion Narrative (Oxford University Press, 2005). Bruce has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards, research grants and fellowships.  He has been a Mayers Research Fellow at the Huntington Library and a holder of the Henry Luce III Theological Fellowship.  A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is also a past-president of the American Society of Church History. He teaches the history of Christian spirituality at Regent College. 

Ron Dart has taught in the department of political science, philosophy, religious studies at University of the Fraser Valley since 1990. He was on staff with Amnesty International in the 1980s. Ron has published more than 30 books/booklets, including books on Stephen Leacock, George Grant and the classical Canadian Red Tory tradition.

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/we-ignore-the-liberal-arts-at-our-peril/article26228215/ Alan Wildeman September 7, 2015

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/related/Todd+higher+education+rediscover+soul/6755035/story.html Douglas Todd, Can Higher Education Rediscover its ‘Soul’?

http://www.epsociety.org/userfiles/art-Moser%20(Christ-Shaped%20Philosophy).pdf Dr. Paul Moser on Wisdom and Spirit

Clark Kerr, The Uses of the University.

Hans Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method.

Matthew B. Crawford, The World beyond Your Head (2015)

Howard Gardner, 5 Minds for the Future.

Isaac Asimov, The Roving Mind.

Jens Zimmermann, Hermeneutics: a very short introduction. (OUP 2015)

Linda Zagzebski, Virtues of the Mind: an inquiry into the nature of virtue and the ethical foundation of knowledge. (Cambridge, 1996)

C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge:Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy.

Brad Gregory, The Unexpected Reformation: how a religious revolution secularized society.

John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University.

Josef Pieper, The Four Capital Virtues

George Marsden, The Soul of the American University: from Protestant establishment to established nonbelief.

George Marsden and Bradley J. Longfield, The Secularization of the Academy. (1992)

Harry Lewis, Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education have a Future?

Sir Ken Robinson, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.

Tom McLeish, Faith and Wisdom in Science. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/sep/19/faith-wisdom-science-tom-mcleish-review

David Brooks, The Road to Character (especially 262-67)

Douglas V. Henry and Michael Beaty (eds.), Christianity and the Soul of the University: Faith as a Foundation for Intellectual Community.

Charles Taylor, A Secular Age. (2007)

Timothy W. Burns and Peter Augustine Lawler, The Future of Liberal Education.

Anthony Kronman, Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life.

Martha Nussbaum, Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities. (Princeton, 2010).

David Lyle Jeffrey and Dominic Manganiello, Rethinking The Future of the University.

Jeffrey Selling, College (Un)Bound: the future of higher education.

John Somerville, The Decline of the Secular University.

John Cobb Jr., Spiritual Bankruptcy.

Susan Cain, Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.

Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change.

Anya Kamenetz, DIY U: The Transformation of Higher Education.

Elizabeth Losh, The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University.

Alexander W. Austin and Helen Austin, Beyond 2020: Envisioning the Future of the University in America.

R. L. Geigler and C. L. Colbeck, Future of the American Public Research University.

Josef A. Mestenhauser, Reflections on the Past, Present and Future of Internationalizing of Higher Education: Discovering Opportunities to Meet the Challenges. 

Others who weigh in on the Subject:

Stefan Collini, European Cultural Historian, Babson College

Ron Barnett, Realizing the University in an Age of Super Complexity (2000); Beyond all Reason: living with ideology in the university (2003)

Mike Higton, Durham University, A Theology of Higher Education (OUP, 2012)

Nigel Biggar, “What Are Universities For?’ in Theology and Human Flourishing: Essays in Honor of Timothy J. Gorringe, ed. Mike Higton, jeremy Law and Christopher Rowland (Wipf and Stock, 2011)

Steven Schwarz (Imperial Space Lab), “Not by Skills Alone’, Times Higher Education Supplement, 16 June 2011

Mary Midgley, Wisdom, Information, Wonder: What is Knowledge For? (Routledge, 1989)

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Critical Questions to Ponder about the Future of Higher Education

How does the pursuit of wisdom relate to developing job skills and work fitness? What are the sources of such wisdom?

What does it mean to become a cultured individual? What does it mean to become robustly personal and relational?

What is the relationship between knowledge and deeper understanding of life? What is the role of contemplation?

Does one’s development have anything to do with a consciousness of social benefit and the common good?

Are there key questions, human questions, that science cannot even begin to ask? Can science provide an adequate worldview? How do we discern between good science and the ideology of scientism?

What does personal formation have to do with education: fostering curiosity, wise judgment, humility and openness?

What cardinal intellectual and social virtues should we be pursuing and where are they sourced? Where are the models or exemplars for such virtues?

What role do universities have in shaping leaders for society? How do students develop into good citizens and learn to negotiate key issues on the international stage?

What is our responsibility to preserve the long history of the academic heritage?

What is the rich content of the good life we are pursuing through education? What is a thick definition of education?

How do we learn to use technology wisely as a tool towards good ends, without being consumed by the ideology of technologism?

Is there a place for religious and theological reflection in shaping the future task of the university? How does this contribute to the knowledge and life skills we need to live well?

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Facts, Values and Modern Myths About Ethics

Facts, Values and other Modern Myths About Ethics

R. Scott Smith, Associate Professor of Ethics, Biola University

Dr. Scott Smith is keenly interested in our abilities to have knowledge of reality, particularly in the areas of ethics and religion. He also is very interested in the needed ontology to have knowledge. He addresses “constructivism,” the fact-value split, and issues with our being able to have knowledge on the basis of naturalism, postmodernism, and nominalism. 

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October 7 and 8, 2015

 

A.  Can Scientific Naturalism Fully Explain Ethics?                                               Woodward IRC Room 5 @ 4:00 p.m. October 7, 2015

Scientific Naturalism and Ethics- R. Scott Smith Transcript of this Lecture

In the west, until the Enlightenment, both ethics and religion tended to be seen as areas in which we could have knowledge. But that changed with the historical rise of 1) the view that the universe is a closed, mechanistic, and material system, 2) the view that science is the pinnacle of the disciplines, and 3) the rise of empiricism, science came to be viewed as the unique set of disciplines that gives us knowledge of facts. Instead, ethics and religion were relegated to the realm of mere values, personal preferences, and opinions. Before the rise of naturalism to prominence in the modern era, morals tended to be seen as the kind of thing that can be universal, objectively real, and transcendent, being knowable by reason and revelation. But under naturalism, morals have to be the kind of thing amenable to a physicalist ontology. Despite numerous alternatives proposed by naturalists (e.g., that morals are just a biological adaptation), Dr. Smith will argue that naturalism lacks the ontology to make sense of ethics. Moreover, he will argue that the fact-value split is false – i.e. that if naturalism is true, we cannot know anything (even in science, business, etc.). But we do know many things, even in ethics, and so naturalism is called into serious question. It lacks the explanatory power we need for moral knowledge. But that means a radically different worldview, and ontology, must be sought out and examined.

B.  Does Postmodernism Offer a Better Alternative to Naturalism in Ethics?Woodward IRC Room 1 @ 4:00 p.m., October 8, 2015

Audio of Talk B.

If we cannot have any knowledge based on what naturalism allows as real, perhaps postmodernism (as explained by Wittgenstein or Derrida) might provide a favorable alternative. On this view, everything is interpretation, for there is no direct access to reality itself. To even have an experience requires interpretation. Thus postmodernism deconstructs and shows how science’s claim to a unique ability to give us knowledge of facts as they actually are in reality, is just another modern myth. Several ethicists have proposed more postmodern approaches to ethics, and a major figure is Alasdair MacIntyre. He proposes a return to Aristotle’s virtue ethics, modified in key ways, as a means to recover from the loss of moral knowledge precipitated by the Enlightenment. Yet knowledge now is to be understood as always from under a particular aspect; no one has an ahistorical, blind-to-nothing standpoint. For many scholars, the “postmodern condition” is axiomatic and reflects how we should move forward in ethics. But one may ask whether that indeed is the case. Professor Smith will argue that while postmoderns are right to draw our attention to the ways our situatedness affects how we interpret our experience, they are mistaken in their claims that everything is interpretation. Instead, he argue that we can know reality directly, and yet that does not mean we are blind-to-nothing, or can have a “God’s eye view”, or attain exhaustive knowledge. Postmodern attempts, moreover, cannot make adequate sense of what kind of things are some core moral principles and virtues (e.g. love and justice). If naturalist and postmodern approaches fail us regarding moral knowledge, is there a better explanation? Dr. Smith will argue that the best explanation is that moral principles and virtues exist objectively, and that they have a religious grounding – in God or theism. In this way, we can make robust sense of ethics.

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Biography

Professor R. Scott Smith received his PhD in Religion and Social Ethics from University of Southern California in 2000. He has been Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Biola University since 2000. His academic interest is in Husserl, Phenomenology and Constructivism, Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Deeply curious about the interrelationship of epistemology and metaphysics particularly in the area of ethics, he teaches graduate courses in ethics, philosophy of religion, metaphysics and epistemology. He is a member of the American Philosophical Association (APA). Dr. Smith is the author of a number of important books including In Search of Moral Knowledge: Overcoming the Fact-Value Dichotomy (IVP Academic, 2014), Naturalism and Our Knowledge of Reality: Testing Religious Truth-claims (Ashgate, 2012), and Virtue Ethics and Moral Knowledge: Philosophy of Language after MacIntyre and Hauerwas (Ashgate, 2003), along with many articles and chapters of books, including “Could We Know Reality, Given Physicalism? Nancey Murphy’s Views as Test Case,” Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 64:3 (September, 2012). He was honored with the Biola Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the year 2007-2008.

Online Christian Ethics & Moral Theology Research Bibliographies

Compiled and Annotated by James Bretzke

Professor Moral Theology
Boston College School of Theology & Ministry 140 Commonwealth Ave.
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 http://www.bc.edu/stm

Latest Addition or Update to the Web-site: August 18, 2015 See below for individual bibliography update information

Individual Online Bibliographies Updated Periodically

Bioethics Bibliography [Last update: May 2, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/BioethicsBibliography.pdf

Casuistry in Moral Theology Bibliography [Last Update May 1, 2014]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/CasuistryBibliography.pdf

Comparative Ethics Bibliography [Last update: June 24, 2011]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/ComparativeEthicsBibliography.pdf

Conscience Bibliography [Last update: March 31, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/ConscienceBibliographyByBretzke.pdf

Culture Bibliography [Uploaded April 18, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/CultureBibliography.pdf

Donum Vitae Related Key Bibliography [Uploaded November 14, 2012

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/DonumVitaeRelatedKeyBibliography.pdf

Ecumenical Ethics Bibliography [Updated: August 6, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/EcumenicalEthicsBibliography.pdf

Environmental & Ecological Ethics Bibliography [Uploaded August 20, 2012]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/EnvironmentalAndEcologicalEthicsBibliography.pdf

Evil and Compromise in Moral Theology Bibliography [Last update: August 18, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/EvilAndCompromiseInMoralTheologyBibliography.pdf

Fundamental Moral Theology & Christian Ethics Bibliography [Last update: August 1, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/FundamentalMoralBibliography.pdf

Fundamental Option Theory Bibliography [Uploaded July 28, 2014] https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/FundamentalOptionBibliography.pdf [uploaded July 28, 2014]

Globalization & Ethics Bibliography [Last update: July 5, 2011]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/GlobalEthicsBibliography.pdf

History of Moral Theology Bibliography [Last Update August 23, 2014]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/HistoryOfMoralTheologyBibliography.pdf

Human Rights Bibliography [Updated: August 25, 2014]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/RightsBibliography.pdf

Humanae Vitae Bibliography [Uploaded August 23, 2014]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/HumanaeVitaeBibliography.pdf

Inculturation General Works Bibliography [Uploaded April 13, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/InculturationBibliography.pdf

Inculturation of Moral Theology Bibliography [Uploaded May 2, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/InculturationMoralBibliography.pdf

Liberation Theology Bibliography [Uploaded: August 13, 2012]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/LiberationTheologyBibliography.pdf

Magisterium and Moral Theology Bibliography [Last update: May 17, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/MagisteriumBibliography.pdf

Narrative Theology Bibliography [Last update: June 17, 2011]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/NarrativeBibliography.pdf

Natural Law Bibliography [Last update: August 18, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/NaturalLawBibliographyByBretzke.pdf

Scripture & Ethics Bibliography [Last update: May 2, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/ScriptureAndEthicsBibliography.pdf

Sexual Ethics Bibliography [Last update: May 24, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/SexualEthicsBibliography.pdf

Sin and Reconciliation Bibliography [Last update: March 27, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/SinBibliography.pdf

Veritatis Splendor Bibliography [Last update: August 14, 2014]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/VeritatisSplendorBibliography.pdf

Virtue and Virtue Ethics Bibliography [Last update August 13, 2015] https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/VirtueBibliographyByBretzke.pdf

War and Peace Bibliography [Last update: May 17, 2015]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/WarPeaceBibliography.pdf

Worship, Prayer & Sacraments in Moral Life Bibliography [Last update: January 20, 2012]

https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/WorshipBibliography.pdf

See also the following published 3 Research Bibliographies by James T. Bretzke, S.J.

A Research Bibliography in Christian Ethics and Catholic Moral Theology. Lewiston NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2006.

A book-length annotated and thoroughly indexed bibliography arranged topically, covering both Roman Catholic and Protestant themes and authors with titles in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

Bibliography on Scripture and Christian Ethics. Studies in Religion and Society, 39. Lewiston NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1997.

Arranged both according to the Old and New Testament, as well as the individual books and/or authors of the New Testament. Entries are also given according to certain key thematic issues, such as methodology of the interplay and usage of the Bible in ethics, liberation theology and Scripture, biblical authority, feminist issues in biblical hermeneutics, as well as a number of theological themes such as justice and righteousness, the love command, law and gospel, sin and reconciliation, etc. Finally, entries are provided which cover a number of particular ethical themes such as ecology, economics, medical ethics, sexual ethics and gender issues, war and peace. A final section gathers titles which were published prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962- 1965) which marked a watershed for the greater appropriation of Scripture in the discipline of Roman Catholic moral theology.

Bibliography on East Asian Religion and Philosophy. Studies in Asian Thought and Religion, 23. Lewiston NY: Mellen Press, 2001.

Compiles, annotates, indexes and cross-references resources in the principal Western languages of English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish which focus on East Asia (principally China, Japan, and Korea) in the primary areas of philosophy and religious studies, with supporting resources in theology, history, culture, and related social sciences.

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God and the Multiverse, with Astronomer Deborah Haarsma, May 6

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Deborah Haarsma

Astronomer from Calvin College and  President of BioLogos

God and the Multiverse

 Wednesday, May 6 @ 4:00 p.m.

Woodward (IRC) Room 1

Audio File 

 

Abstract

The last 100 years have transformed our understanding of the universe.  We now know that the universe is ancient, beginning in a Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, and that it continues to expand today, at an ever-increasing rate.  We’ve also seen amazing evidence that some physical laws and constants are fine-tuned for life, as well as hints that our universe is part of a much bigger multiverse. What does all this have to do with God?   This talk will give an overview of a range of religious and non-religious responses to these exciting discoveries.

Biography

 Deborah Haarsma earned a PhD in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in1997. An experienced research scientist, she was Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College from 2009-2012, Professor of Astronomy from 1999-2012. She has several publications in the Astrophysical Journal and the Astronomical Journal on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. Dr. Haarsma has studied very large galaxies (at the centers of galaxy clusters), very young galaxies (undergoing rapid star formation in the early universe), and gravitational lenses (where spacetime is curved by a massive object). Her work uses data from several major telescopes, including the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico, the Southern Astrophysical Research optical and infrared telescope in Cerro Pachon, Chile, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory in orbit around the earth. Since January 2013, Dr. Haarsma has served as President of BioLogos (biologos.org) a serious academic dialogue between current world-class science and Christian faith.  BioLogos was founded by Dr. Francis Collins of the National Institute of Health in the USA, and runs annual conferences for scientists and church leaders. In this subject area, Haarsma published Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design with her husband and fellow physicist, Loren Haarsma. She also edited the anthology Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church with Rev. Scott Hoezee.

See also: Satyan Devados at Cal Tech God, Math and the Multiverse

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrWyj34WGFE

See also: Alister McGrath, A Fine-Tuned Universe: the Quest for God in Science and Theology. (2009).

Are there viable pathways from nature to God? Natural theology is making a comeback, stimulated as much by scientific advance as by theological and philosophical reflection. There is a growing realization that the sciences raise questions that transcend their capacity to answer them—above all, the question of the existence of God. So how can Christian theology relate to these new developments?

In this landmark work, based on his 2009 Gifford lectures, Alister McGrath examines the apparent ‘fine-tuning’ of the universe and its significance for natural theology. Exploring a wide range of physical and biological phenomena and drawing on the latest research in biochemistry and evolutionary biology, McGrath outlines our new understanding of the natural world and discusses its implications for traditional debates about the existence of God.

The celebrated Gifford Lectures have long been recognized as making landmark contributions to the discussion of natural theology. A Fine-Tuned Universe will contribute significantly to that discussion by developing a rich Trinitarian approach to natural theology that allows deep engagement with the intellectual and moral complexities of the natural world. It will be essential reading to those looking for a rigorous engagement between science and the Christian faith. – Amazon

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Galaxy similar to our Milky Way

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Background Radiation from Big Bang

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Cosmological History

Jason Lepojarvi on C.S. Lewis and Love’s Meaning, March 25

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Junior Research Fellow St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford University

 Agape versus Eros: C. S. Lewis and Anders Nygren on the Meaning of Love

Wednesday, March 25 at 4:00 p.m.

Woodward (IRC) Room 1

Agape versus Eros (slides)

Recording File  120131_004

Agape versus Eros (handout) 

Abstract

 C. S. Lewis noted that he was shaken by reading Anders Nygren’s famous book Agape and Eros(1932) while in his thirties. Nygren’s antithetical juxtaposition of eros and agape had become enormously influential in twentieth century Protestant theology. Among other controversial claims, Nygren argued that human love is always selfish. In The Four Loves(1960), C. S. Lewis vehemently denies this claim, and constructs his own theology of love. The lecture will evaluate this most important disagreement between these two prominent scholars, including its profound implications. Contrary to what Nygren thought, Lewis contends that the pursuit of happiness is not morally culpable and even eros has the dawn of agape. While arguing for this view, however, Lewis was driven to some exaggeration.

Biography

Jason Lepojärvi is a Junior Research Fellow in theology at St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford, a Ph.D. Candidate with a dissertation to be defended in early 2015, and a former President of the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society. Born to a Canadian mother and a Finnish father, he studied theology and philosophy at the University of Helsinki. His master’s thesis (2008) on the theology of the body and sexuality by John Paul II was later published as the first introduction to the subject in Finnish (2012), and his upcoming doctoral dissertation (2015) is on C. S. Lewis’s theology of love. His research interests lie in Roman Catholic and Protestant philosophy and theology, more specifically, philosophy and theology of love, the body, sexuality, worship, and idolatry. In 2014, he won the Karl Schlecht Award. http://www.st-benets.ox.ac.uk/-fellows.

CBC Ideas Series  C.S. Lewis and the Inklings  http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Ideas/ID/2411499215/

Alister McGrath, C. S. Lewis–A Life: eccentric genius, reluctant prophet.

Report: Jason Lepojarvi, gave a careful and thoughtful exposition of the difference in view on the meaning of love (agape versus eros) in the work of Swedish scholar Anders Nygren and Oxford English scholar C.S. Lewis. Essentially, Lewis legitimizes various types of human love (including eros), whereas Nygren only accepts God’s love through the person (agape) as legitimate and holy. The individual human is eradicated in Nygren, who sees eros or romantic love as selfish (denigrated) love; it is always eudaemonistic, egocentric or happiness-seeking. Nygren’s division has greatly impacted modern Christian theology, which has not sufficiently engaged with the potential diversity in expressions of human love towards other humans and the divine. Jason Lepojarvi explored how Lewis seeks to correct this bi-partite view of love, seeing an agapic opening in eros. Lewis believed that eros had nothing to do with seeking happiness, although Lewis’ position is perhaps an exaggeration in order to counter Nygren. Critical dialogue in this area opens a space for Christian academics to engage scholars from across disciplines (including theology, philosophy and sociology) as to the motivations behind human love and relationships. After Jason’s nuanced talk, many attendees joined him at dinner and enjoyed further discussion. Jason holds great promise as a young scholar; everyone appreciated his visit and the grace of his persona. He also lectured at Regent College the previous evening.

Other Lectures on C.S. Lewis   http://www.cslewis.org/?utm_source=E-Chronicles+October+23%2C+2014&utm_campaign=October23+E-Chronicles&utm_medium=email

Benjamin Perrin on Human Slavery in Canada February 25

Professor Benjamin Perrin

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Associate Professor UBC Law

Senior Fellow MacDonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy

 

Confronting Modern-Day Slavery: Human Trafficking in Canada

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 4 p.m.

Woodward (IRC) Room 1

120101_003 Audio  File

Abstract

Modern-day slavery is one of the most egregious human rights violations of our time. Human trafficking involving sexual exploitation and forced labour occurs around the world – including here in Canada. Professor Perrin will present the main findings from his study on human trafficking in Canada, including the shocking prevalence of Canadian women and girls as victims, and discuss how our country is responding to this hidden national tragedy.

Biography 

Benjamin Perrin is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law and a Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy. He is one of Canada’s leading authorities on human trafficking and author of Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking (Penguin, 2011), which was named one of the top books of the year by the Globe and Mail. Prof. Perrin has served as Special Advisor in the Office of the Prime Minister and Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. The U.S. State Department has recognized him as a “hero” acting to end modern-day slavery.

He received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary in 2001, a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto in 2005, and a Master of Laws (with honours) from McGill University in 2007. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2007 and the Bar in British Columbia in 2010. Professor Perrin is an internationally recognized researcher and advocate for victims of crime. The Governor General of Canada and victims’ groups have also recognized him for his work to combat human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. Professor Perrin is the recipient of the Wilson-Prichard Award for Community and Professional Service from the University of Toronto. He is co-editor of Human Trafficking: Exploring the International Nature, Concerns, and Complexities (CRC Press, 2012), and editor of Modern Warfare: Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations and the Law (UBC Press, 2012). He is also the author of numerous law review articles and book chapters, and regularly provides commentary in the media. Prior to joining UBC, he was a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, judicial intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, assistant director of the Special Court for Sierra Leone Legal Clinic (which assisted the Trial and Appeals Chambers), senior policy advisor to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and executive director of a non-governmental organization that combats human trafficking.