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Vatican Conferences

In July 1996 the Vatican Observatory, in association with the Berkeley-based Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, held an international conference on the theme of evolution. The conference, which took place in the pope's summer residence, Castel Gandolfo (outside Rome), was the fourth in a series based around the overall theme of "Divine Action". Over the past decade the Divine Action conferences (which are held every two years), have been bringing together scientists, philosophers, and theologians from around the world.

Each conference has a specific scientific theme, and participants present papers on how these scientific themes are relevant to theological and religious questions. The theme of the first conference was physics, philosophy, and theology; the next was chaos and complexity; the third was quantum cosmology; the fourth was evolution; the fifth conference (held in July 1998) was focused around the brain/mind problem; and the sixth (held in 2000) was on the theme of quantum mechanics. At the evolution conference, participants considered both the biological evolution of life on earth, and the evolution of the cosmos as a whole. All agreed that, in essence, an evolutionary perspective was commensurate with a Christian world view. The papers from this conference have been published as a book "Evolutionary and Molecular Biology: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action", which is an excellent resource for anyone interested in exploring this subject more seriously.

Email link | Feedback | Contributed by: Margaret Wertheim

Topic Sets Available

AAAS Report on Stem-Cells

AstroTheology: Religious Reflections on Extraterrestrial Life Forms

Agency: Human, Robotic and Divine
Becoming Human: Brain, Mind, Emergence
Big Bang Cosmology and Theology (GHC)
Cosmic Questions CD-ROM Preview...
Cosmic Questions Interviews

Cosmos and Creator
Creativity, Spirituality and Computing Technologies
CTNS Content Home
Darwin: A Friend to Religion?
Demystifying Information Technology
Divine Action (GHC)
Dreams and Dreaming: Neuroscientific and Religious Visions'
E. Coli at the No Free Lunchroom
Engaging Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence: An Adventure in Astro-Ethics
Evangelical Atheism: a response to Richard Dawkins
Ecology and Christian Theology
Evolution: What Should We Teach Our Children in Our Schools?
Evolution and Providence
Evolution and Creation Survey
Evolution and Theology (GHC)
Evolution, Creation, and Semiotics

The Expelled Controversy
Faith and Reason: An Introduction
Faith in the Future: Religion, Aging, and Healthcare in the 21st Century

Francisco Ayala on Evolution

From Christian Passions to Scientific Emotions
Genetic Engineering and Food

Genetics and Ethics
Genetic Technologies - the Radical Revision of Human Existence and the Natural World

Genomics, Nanotechnology and Robotics
Getting Mind out of Meat
God and Creation: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on Big Bang Cosmology
God, Humanity and the Cosmos: A Textbook in Science and Religion
God the Spirit - and Natural Science
Historical Examples of the Science and Religion Debate (GHC)
History of Creationism
Intelligent Design Coming Clean

Issues for the Millennium: Cloning and Genetic Technologies
Jean Vanier of L'Arche
Nano-Technology and Nano-ethics
Natural Science and Christian Theology - A Select Bibliography
Neuroscience and the Soul
Outlines of the Science and Religion Debate (GHC)

Perspectives on Evolution

Physics and Theology
Quantum Mechanics and Theology (GHC)
Questions that Shape Our Future
Reductionism (GHC)
Reintroducing Teleology Into Science
Science and Suffering

Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (CTNS/Vatican Series)

Space Exploration and Positive Stewardship

Stem-Cell Debate: Ethical Questions
Stem-Cell Ethics: A Theological Brief

Stem-Cell Questions
Theistic Evolution: A Christian Alternative to Atheism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design...
Theology and Science: Current Issues and Future Directions
Unscientific America: How science illiteracy threatens our future
Will ET End Religion?

Current Stats: topics: >2600, links: >300,000, video: 200 hours.