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Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences

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The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) is a non-profit organization which examines the relationships between science and the theology of various religions.[1] The CTNS focuses on developments in physics, cosmology, evolutionary biology, and genetics, with additional topics in neuroscience, the environmental sciences, and mathematics. CTNS examines theology in Christian Systematic Theology as well as the sciences and religious traditions of religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and "indigenous spiritualities"[2]. CTNS publishes the journal Theology and Science through a partnership with Taylor & Francis which is a division of Routledge Publishing.

Programs

CTNS has managed several grant programs and research projects.[3]

In 2013, the Center is involved in the program "CTNS & Vatican Observatory Collaborative Research: Problem of Natural Evil" which is funded by individual donors and the Vatican Observatory.[4]

In other years the Center has worked on:

STARS: Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series "on the ways science, in light of philosophical and theological reflection, points towards the nature, character and meaning of ultimate reality", was funded by the John Templeton Foundation.[5]

Science and the Spiritual Quest (SSQ I & SSQ II) lasted seven years, finishing in 2003. It concentrated on how scientists saw the connections between their work and their religious identities. The project was funded by the John Templeton Foundation and produced three books which were published.[6]

The Science and Religion Course Program was an eight-year initiative began by Gordon College and administered by CTSN from 1998 to 2002, aiming "to encourage the teaching of science and religion in seminaries, colleges, and universities worldwide". They did this by seven hundred $10,000 awards funded by the John Templeton Foundation. [7]

CTNS-Vatican Observatory Joint Program: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (CTNS/VO: 1990-2005) produced five books[8] (the site mentions six books but only five were displayed) which examined the interaction between theology, philosophy and fundamental scientific theories. The project was funded by a (Los Angeles) Bay area foundation.

The Ethical and Theological Implications Raised by the Human Genome Project ran from 1991 to 1994 and allowed CTNS scholars to examine the theological assumptions that underlie the ethical debats surrounding the project to map the human genome. The program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, produced several conferences and publications.

Education

CTNS offers courses at the doctoral and seminary level as an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union, an ecumenical and interfaith consortium of nine independent seminaries and ten affiliated centers based in Berkeley, California. CTNS is committed to offer these courses instead of bring future clergy and teachers to greater awareness of this important interdisciplinary work. Located next to the University of California at Berkeley, CTNS welcomes U.C. graduate students into course discussion.

Education

CTNS offers courses at the doctoral and seminary level as an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union, an ecumenical and interfaith consortium of nine independent seminaries and ten affiliated centers based in Berkeley, California. CTNS is committed to offer these courses instead of bring future clergy and teachers to greater awareness of this important interdisciplinary work. Located next to the University of California at Berkeley, CTNS welcomes U.C. graduate students into course discussion.

The Science and Religion Course Program takes eight year courses which encourage the teaching of science and religion in seminaries, colleges, and universities worldwide. A lot of courses in science and religion spread out around the world very actively; more than 700 courses in science and religion have already been taught around the world. This program was made possible by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
As part of this program a contingent of CTNS faculty, associated faculty and staff, led a multi-lecture tour in Taiwan and China.

Here is the Robert Russell's comments on this unique science and religion lecture tour in China.

In October 2002 CTNS sponsored the first-ever lecture tour on science and religion in the People's Republic of China. These lectures by biologist Francisco Ayala, Ted Peters and I were held at the leading research universities of the PRC, in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Ji'nan. Hundreds of scholars, scientists, top university administrators, and students packed into the conference room at each event to hear what seemed like a startling new hope: that science does not commit them to atheism, but rather that science can be a pathway to God and spiritual knowledge. My lecture has been translated into Chinese and is expected to be published in their leading science journal. In advance of the conference, Ted Peters worked with Kang Phee Seng, along with Gaymon Bennett, to put together an extensive textbook on science and religion including the top essays in the field. This textbook promises to be very effective in teaching courses in science and religion in China. Phee Seng had the entire textbook, Bridging Science and Religion, translated into Chinese, and published by the China Social Sciences Press. Every participating professor and student at our conferences received a copy of this resource to promote classroom involvement in the future of science and religion in China.

Founder

RJR-new-small.jpg

Robert J. Russell is a Founder and Director of CTNS. He is also the Ian G. Rarbour Professor of Technology and Science at in Residence at The Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He represents the growing international body of theologians and scientists concentrated to a positive dialogue and creative mutual interaction between these fields. Dr. Russell has written a lot of articles, and now he is walking on five volume CTNS/Vatican Observatory series on scientific valuations,(Eerdmans, 2002) and made Fifty Years in Science and Religion: Ian G. Barbour and His Legacy (Ashgate, 2004). Dr. Russell recently wrote, Cosmology, Evolution and Resurrection Hope: Theology and Science in Creative Mutual Interaction (Pandora, 9/2006). Dr. Russell win from the PCRS/Templeton Grant for Research and Writing on the Constructive Engagement of Religions and Science for his proposed book, Time in Eternity: Theology and Science in Mutual Interaction. Recently he is Serving as Coeditor of Theology and Science journal, and he is also working as P.I. of STARS: Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series: "Science and the Quest for Ultimate Reality".

Dr. Russell is a minister of the United Church of Christ. He graduated from the University of California with a Ph.D. in physics. He also received an M.A. in Theology and a M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion. Before 1981, he taught physics at Carleton College and science and religion with Ian Barbour. His wife Charlotte is a minister of seniors and care at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley.

Contact

Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley,CA 94709-1212
Website: http://www.ctns.org/
Email:ctnsinfo@ctns.org
Phone: 510-848-8152
Fax: 510-848-2535

Staff

Jennifer Bradford <jennifer@ctns.org> Development Assistant
Nathan Hallanger <nhallanger@ctns.org> CTNS Program Director: 510-649-2481
Blake Horridge <blake@ctns.org> Research Assistant
Bonnie F. Johnston <bonniej@ctns.org> Administrative Director; Communications and Web Manager
Joshua Moritz <jmoritz@ctns.org> Research Assistant to Dr. Russell
Melissa Moritz <melissam@ctns.org> Receptionist, Membership Coordinator and Office Assistant
Robert John Russell, Ph.D. CTNS Founder and Director, Co-Editor, Theology and Science and Ian G. Barbour Professor of Science & Theology in Residence, Graduate Theological Union. 510-649-2485
Eric Metoyer <metoyere@ctns.org> Staff Accountant

CTNS Publications Office: 510-848-8152

James Haag Managing Editor,Theology and Science
Nathan Hallanger Book Review Editor
Ted Peters Ph.D. Co-Editor, Theology and Science, Professor of Systematic Theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and GTU
Robert J. Russell Ph.D Co-Editor, Theology and Science, Professor of Theology and Science in Residence, Graduate Theological Union

STARS—Science and the Quest for Ultimate Reality: Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series.
Email:ctns-stars@ctns.org
Ph: 510-649-2490 or 510-848-2350;
Fax 510-848-2535;
Website: www.ctnsstars.org

Robert J. Russell Ph.D. Principal Investigator, STARS
Dennis W. Hair Ph.D. Program Director, STARS
Nathan Hallanger Program Coordinator, STARS
Braden Molhoek Research Assistant , STARS, 510-848-2491
Laurin Beckhusen IT and Database Consultant
Bonnie Johnston Conference Coordinator, STARS

CTNS Board of Directors

Name Professional Merit
Francisco J. Ayala Honorary Member, Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Philosophy,University of California, Irvine
Ian G. Barbour Emeritus Member, Bean Professor of Science, Technology and Society, Carleton College
Arthur Holder Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Graduate Theological Union
Mary-Claire King Honorary Member, Professor of Medicine, Division of Medical Genetics, University of Washington
William Levada Cardinal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
John T. Noonan Judge, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Nancey Murphy Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary
Ted Peters Professor of Systematic Theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
John J. Roche Former Consultant to the office of the General Counsel, Citigroup
Charlotte Russell Minister of Minister of Seniors and Care, First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Robert John Russell Professor of Theology and Science in Residence, Graduate Theological Union and Founder and Director, CTNS
William R. Stoeger, S.J., Chair Resident Cosmologist and Astrophysicist, Vatican Observatory
Charles H. Townes Nobel Laureate and Professor of Physics in the Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley
Claude Welch Dean Emeritus and Professor of Historical Theology, Graduate Theological Union
Adrian M. Wyard Founder and President, Counterbalance
Carl M. York Treasurer Former Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Denver

Introductory Resources

CTNS has listed introductory books to get you started to learn journey in the science and religion dialogue. For more resources, visit the CTNS Brief Bibliography.

Barbour book.jpg Barbour, Ian G.
When Science Meets Religion. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000.

Ian Barbour worked in the 1950s and 1960s and served as a catalyst for the current dialogue between science and theology, presents four ways for understanding the relationship between science and religion: conflict, independece, dialogue, and integration. Barbour then had a view areas of scientific and theological concern using this typology, including quantum physics, evolution, genetics, divine action, astronomy, and creation.

Peters s t.jpg Peters, Ted, Ed.
Science & Theology: The New Consonance. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1998.

This edited volume includes essays by fifteen authors on topics ranging from physics and divine action to evolution, ethics, and ecology. The opening chapter by Ted Peters, "Science and Theology: Toward Consonance" offers an overview of recent discussions in science and theology as well as a description of the various ways in which science and theology relate.

Polkinghorne belief.jpg Polkinghorne, John.
Belief in God in an Age of Science. London/New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.
The Dwight Harrington Terry Foundation Lectures on Religion in the Light of Science and Philosophy.

John Polkinghorne, a theoretical physicist and theologian, explores natural theology, divine action, critical realism, and prospects for future dialogue between science and theology. The book comprises variations on a theme, as Polkinghorne writes in the introduction: "if reality is generously and adequately construed, then knowledge will be seen to be one; if rationality is generously and adequately construed, then science and theology will be seen as partners in a common quest for understanding."

See Also

References

  1. About CTNS Accessed 1 May 2013.
  2. About CTNS Accessed 1 May 2013.
  3. Programs CTNS website Accessed 1 May 2013.
  4. [http://www.ctns.org/pub_pcsppe.html Physics and Cosmology: Scientific Perspectives on the Problem of Natural Evil] Accessed 1 May 2013.
  5. Programs CTNS website Accessed 1 May 2013.
  6. Science and the Spiritual Quest Publications Accessed 1 May 2013.
  7. Programs CTNS website Accessed 1 May 2013.
  8. Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action Books Accessed 1 May 2013.