WTU Receives Grant to Host National Talks on Religion and Science

HNP Communications Around the Province

WASHINGTON — Washington Theological Union, Holy Name Province’s school of theology, will host the first of four lectures on science and religion next month, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation for discussions on this topic. Over the next two years, prominent scientists and theologians will participate in WTU’s “atom + Eve: Using Science in Pastoral Ministry.”

“The Washington Theological Union is very honored to receive this grant from the John Templeton Foundation to pursue our academic interest in the relationship of science and theology,” said Fr. Frederick Tillotson, O Carm, president of WTU. “Partnering with our inter-seminary Washington Theological Consortium faculties, we look forward to these talks as an opportunity to engage in study and conversation with noted scholars and Catholic clergy on the integration of science into faith structures.”

First Conference 
The first in the series, which explores the origin of the universe, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 12 and will feature Stephen Barr of the University of Delaware, Robert Miller, II, and Fr. Abbot James Wiseman, OSB, of The Catholic University of America, and Sten Odenwald of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Future conferences will be held April 14 and Oct. 20, 2012, and March 16, 2013, on such topics as the science and theology of the origin of life and its development, the moral life of virtue and sin, and spirituality in an evolutionary world.

All four conferences are free and open to the public. Information about this conference series, a list of speakers and session descriptions, and registration information is available on the WTU website.

Franciscan Lecture
On Nov. 16, the WTU will hold a Franciscan lecture and charism collaboration at 6:30 p.m., according to the union’s Oct. 9 newsletter, which emphasizes the significance of this academic year.

The WTU’s website states that the 2011 to 2012 academic year is one of celebration: “For 42 years, WTU has been home to a world-class faculty and a resource for spiritual nourishment and transformation for students of every vocation. WTU alumni minister to the Church in our world as presidents of universities, in social justice ministry, campus ministry, as spiritual directors, as lay ecclesial ministers, bishops, priests, deacons, brothers and women religious. This is much to be thankful for and a source of great light for the world. Although the WTU will close its doors in 2013, we remain as dedicated as ever to the values emblazoned on our seal: Freedom, Faith, and Integrity.”