Please join us for a lecture by guest speaker, Rev. Dr. Anna Case-Winters:
Divine Design: Some Theological Considerations
Lecture topic: The argument from design has long served as a pointer to divine presence and providential activity in world process. Some ways of thinking about the divine design, however, seem to portray an all-controlling deity whose purpose unfolds inexorably as if from a cosmic blueprint. Creaturely freedom seems to be compromised by such a view. There are also “interventionist” images of God acting that suggest God may, now and then, simply step in and override natural processes and creaturely freedom to bring about divine purposes. How does this align with what we learn from science about the way the world works? Further, if the world is divinely designed in all its detail, we are left asking, Why is there is so much evil in world process? Our evolutionary history in particular seems fraught with waste and carnage and suffering. If this is a “design,” it does not seem to be a very good one. We are in need of more considered understandings of God’s purposes and providential activity and a better vision of how God “leads the creative advance.”
Speaker bio: Anna Case-Winters (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is an ordained Presbyterian minister and Professor of Theology at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. Case-Winters has research interests in several areas: theology and science, traditional theologies in conversation with contemporary issues, theological contributions of Reformed tradition, process/relational theologies, and theologies attending to global issues–ecumenical, economic, and ecological. Her most recent religion and science work has included chairing a three-year colloquium on Religion and Science for the Institute for Reformed Theology. Case-Winters is currently serving as guest editor for a volume on “Science and Christian Eschatology” for Interpretation Journal of Bible and Theology, forthcoming January 2016. She is the author of three books: God’s Power: Traditional Understandings and Contemporary Challenges, Reconstructing a Christian Theology of Nature: Down to Earth, and Matthew: A Theological Commentary.
Presented as part of the lecture series and graduate seminar: