Dr. John F. Haught will address the 46th Annual Faculties’ Convocation at the John Leland Center, Monday, Sept. 24 (4:30-8:00 with dinner and faculty groups). His address is entitled: “Inside Our Awakening Universe: The New Cosmic Story and the Meaning of Faith.” He will argue for an Anticipatory view of the Cosmos that embraces the universe as an unfinished drama, emerging with moral energy and meaning toward a final telos. This view integrates contemporary science with religion, including the Christian theology of Tielhard de Chardin and others. The implications for all fields of theological study are vast and profound.
Haught served as Distinguished Research Professor at Georgetown University, and is now professor emeritus. He specializes in Roman Catholic systematic theology, with a particular interest in science, cosmology, evolution, ecology, and religion. He has authored numerous books and articles, including The New Cosmic Story: Inside our Awakening Universe (Yale University Press, 2018) Science and Faith: A New Introduction (2012), Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and The Drama of Life ( 2010), God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens (2008), Christianity and Science: Toward a Theology of Nature (2007), Is Nature Enough? Meaning and Truth in the Age of Science (2006), Purpose, Evolution and the Meaning of Life (2004), God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution (2000, 2nd ed. 2007), Science and Religion: From Conflict to Conversation (1995), The Promise of Nature: Ecology and Cosmic Purpose (1993, 2nd ed. 2004), What is Religion? (1990), What is God? (1986), and The Cosmic Adventure: Science, Religion and the Quest for Purpose (1984). In 2002, Haught received the Owen Garrigan Award in Science and Religion, in 2004 the Sophia Award for Theological Excellence, and in 2008 a “Friend of Darwin Award” from the National Center for Science Education. He also testified for the plaintiffs in Harrisburg, PA “Intelligent Design Trial” (Kitzmiller).
Respondents: Dr. Connie Bertka (Wesley) and Dr. David Cloutier (CUA)
Dr. Constance (Connie) M. Bertka, received her Ph.D. in Geology from Arizona State University (1991) and an M.T.S., Master of Theological Studies, from Wesley Theological Seminary (2006). She is an independent scholar and consultant with Science and Society Resources LLC, Co-Chairs the Broader Social Impacts Committee of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s Human Origins Program, and teaches a course on Contemporary Issues in Science and Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary. From 2002 through 2008 she directed the Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has also served as a Senior Research Associate at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory and Program Director of the Deep Carbon Observatory from 2009 to 2011. In addition to her research in planetary sciences, Dr. Bertka has had a long-term scholarly and pragmatic interest in the relationships between science and religion and their influence on public understanding of science. She is the editor of Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life: Philosophical, Ethical, and Theological Perspectives, (Cambridge University Press, 2009), and she is the lead author on the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program’s Cultural and Religious Sensitivity (CRS) Teaching Strategies Resource (2015).
Dr. David Cloutier is associate professor of theology, and joined the STRS faculty in 2016 after spending ten years at Mount St. Mary’s University, where he held the Knott Professorship of Catholic Theology. He teaches moral theology, with particular interests in economic ethics, sexual ethics, and the environment. He is the author of four books, including the Reading, Praying, Living Pope Francis’s Laudato Sì, the award-winning The Vice of Luxury: Economic Excess in a Consumer Age, which received an honorable mention in the 2015 PROSE Awards for academic press and a third place in the 2016 Catholic Press Association awards. His previous book, Walking God’s Earth: The Environment and Catholic Faith, took second place in the 2015 CPA awards for Best Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith. He is particularly interested in grounding Catholic moral theology in conversation with the best research about human behavior from the social sciences, and received a $40,000 grant from The Happiness and Well-Being Project at Saint Louis University to collaborate with psychologist Anthony Ahrens of American University. Dr. Cloutier is active in traditional and web-based media, having been published in Commonweal, the Washington Post, U.S. Catholic, as well as serving as editor for the group blog, catholicmoraltheology.com. He received his B.A. with a double major in chemistry and religion from Carleton College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in religion (theology & ethics) from Duke University.