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God in Process, World in Process: Constructive Theology and the new Engagement with the Sciences, Dr. Philip Clayton

November 9, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Please join us for a lecture by guest speaker, Dr. Philip Clayton:

God in Process, World in Process: Constructive Theology and the new Engagement with the Sciences

PhilipClaytonLecture topic: The field of science and religion has moved through a series of distinct phases: birth (the early work of Ian Barbour), methodology questions (Barbour, Phil Hefner, Bob Russell, early Clayton and Murphy), constructive research programs (such as the 15-year Vatican/CTNS series on divine action), and violent rhetorical counter-attacks (the New Atheism, Intelligent Design). In this session of the Zygon Advanced Seminar, I will argue that we are entering a fifth phase of the evolution of science and theology, one in which persons of faith have both permission and mandate to do constructive work out of their particular cultural contexts and faith locations.  Inspired by the feminist philosopher Donna Haraway, I construe theology as a form of “situated knowledge.” As a constructive theologian, I will draw from the three faces of evolutionary theory to link the world in process with God in process. We will see that God-in-process is compatible with many traditional faith assertions, such as creation ex nihilo and the Trinitarian nature of God. In discussion, however, we will explore contexts in which believers may well become estranged from this language.

Speaker bio: Philip Clayton is a constructive Christian theologian, deeply engaged in dialogues with science, contemporary philosophy, and the world’s religious traditions. He currently holds the Ingraham Chair at Claremont School of Theology. Previously, he has taught or held research professorships at Williams College, the California State University, Harvard University, Cambridge University, and the University of Munich. Dr. Clayton has authored or edited 24 books, including The Predicament of Belief: Science, Philosophy, Faith (2011); Religion and Science: The Basics (2011); Adventures in the Spirit (2009), Transforming Christian Theology (2009); In Quest of Freedom (2009), Evolution and Ethics: Human Morality in Biological and Religious Perspective (2006), and The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science (2006). Earlier books include Science and the Spiritual Quest; God and Contemporary Science; and The Problem of God in Modern Thought.  Clayton is particularly interested in the evolving understanding of Christian faith in the 21st century. He studies emerging forms of Christian community, as the church responds to a rapidly changing world. He frequently speaks to clergy convocations and lay groups across the country on the future of the church. He served as co-PI for a Ford Foundation grant on “Rekindling Theological Imagination” in the church, ran the series with Brian McLaren, and is now organizing a series of National Summits on “Reimagining Theological Education.”

Presented as part of the lecture series and graduate seminar:

2015 Advanced Seminar in Religion and Science

Purpose and process in science and theology: the history, science and theology of the design argument(s) and the idea of “teleology” in creation.


November 9, 2015
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
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Room 201, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615 United States
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