"Beyond the Religion Wars: From Reduction to Reenchantment"
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
11:10 am, Samuelson Chapel
The 1990s were a decade of exploration and shared research between science and religion.The last 10 years have brought unbridled hostility. As far as the media are concerned, we're now in a period of outright warfare between opposing sides, often labeled New Atheism and "Intelligent Design." The silent majority is often caught in the crossfire between the combatants, unsure how to respond.
Clayton argues that the extremists on both sides are mistaken. Scientific progress always dances at the intersection of the known and the unknown. Religion is not about rehearsing timeless dogmatic certainties about God; it's about practicing faith and compassion in the face of our encounter with the greatest Mystery of all. To embrace both of these attitudes simultaneously is to experience a reenchanted world, a world beyond the religion wars . . . a world worth preserving.
"The New Sciences of Emergent Complexity: Evolving Religion in an Evolving World"
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
4:00 pm, Samuelson Chapel
Does science reduce all reality to fundamental physics? Does it imply that all of our dreams and ambitions are illusions, that we are finally "nothing but a pack of neurons"? Are the best explanations of the world those that leave no place for human intentions or divine meaning? The lecture begins with a quick trip through the history of the cosmos, tracing cosmic evolution from the Big Bang through the emergence of life to the birth of consciousness and beyond.
This new picture of an evolving universe suggests very different answers to some of humanity's most enduring questions. Could it be that the emergence of novelty, and not reduction, is the deeper insight? How then should we reconceive thought, mind, culture, and human civilization? The implications of these new insights for religion are particularly important. Clayton closes by offering five models of spirituality—five ways of thinking about God—that lead onward from this crossroads of science and religion.
Philip Clayton, Ph.D.
Philip Clayton is Provost of Claremont Lincoln University, an interreligious consortium of schools, and Dean of Claremont School of Theology. He received a joint Ph.D. in philosophy and religious studies from Yale University and has taught at Williams College and California State University. He holds guest professorships at the University of Munich, the University of Cambridge and Harvard Divinity School.
Clayton specializes in constructive theology, the religion-science debate and comparative religious studies. A panentheist, he defends a form of process theology that is hypothetical, dialogical and pluralistic. He has authored or edited 22 books, most recently Adventures in the Spirit (Fortress), The Predicament of Belief: Science, Philosophy and Faith (with Steven Knapp, Oxford) and Religion and Science: The Basics (Routledge).