Apocalypse now or later?


On the assumption that the quests for truth of science and religion need not be only adversarial but can also be constructive, the Faculty of Science and Department of Religious Studies are set to present two distinguished lecturers who will address the theme of “The End of the World and the Ends of God.”

On Tuesday, March 21, Michael Welker will speak on “Springing Cultural Traps: Science and Theology Discourse on Eschatology and the Common Good” at 4:30 in Ewart Angus Centre, Room 1A6. The next day, at the same time and place, William Stoeger will speak on “What is Our Destiny? Science, Culture, and Belief.”

Welker is a professor of systematic theology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany and a member of the Centre of Theological Inquiry at Princeton. He holds doctorates in philosophy and theology and has authored or edited 20 books and more than 130 articles. Welker is an active collaborator with the Cambridge physicist Sir John Polkinghorne on science-religion inquiries.

Stoeger is a professor of astrophysics at Arizona State University, the secretary of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, and a co-editor of the series, “Philosophy in Science.” He was educated in philosophy, physics, and mathematics at Spring Hill College, in theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and earned his master's degree at UCLA and his doctorate at Cambridge University, England, both in astrophysics.

A.N. Whitehead once remarked that “when we consider what religion is for [humanity] and what science is, it is no exaggeration to say that the future course of history depends upon the decision of this generation as to the relations between them.”

The organizers of these sessions, aided by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, hope that they will help those concerned to meet this challenge.