ADVANCED SEMINAR IN RELIGION AND SCIENCE – FALL 2017
CHANCE, NECESSITY, LOVE: AN EVOLUTIONARY THEOLOGY OF CANCER
Chaired by Dr. Leonard Hummel and Dr. Lea Schweitz
Monday Evenings 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm,
September 11, 2016 through December 4, 2016
Room 201, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago,
1100 East 55th Street, Chicago, IL 60615
Dr. Jennifer Gubbels received her undergraduate degree in biological research at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and her Ph.D. in Endocrinology-Reproductive Physiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research is done exclusively with undergraduate students and focuses on the ovarian cancer tumor microenvironment, and she has authored 12 publications on this topic. She teaches Physiology, Immunology, Introductory Biology, and team teaches medical history and ethics courses at Augustana. This work has resulted in several teaching awards, including the 2012 Carole Bland Cultivating Faculty Excellence Award and the 2017 Augustana Student Association Faculty Recognition Award. She was also awarded the Clara Lea Olson Endowed Chair for Christian Values in 2017, which is a three-year appointment.
In his now classic work, Chance and Necessity, Jacques Monod provided an explanatory framework not only for the biological evolution of species, but, as has become recently apparent, for the evolutionary development of cancers. That is, contemporary oncological research has demonstrated that cancer is an evolutionary disease that develops according to the same dynamics of random occurrences and law-like regularities at work in all evolutionary phenomena. And just as various challenges are raised for religious studies by the dynamics of chance and necessity within biological evolution, so this particular question is raised by contemporary cancer science: Where is love, divine and human, within the evolutionary chance and necessity operative in all dimensions of cancer?
In this course, we will consider the phenomenon of cancer as case-study to explore enduring issues in science and religion including: race, racism, sex, sexism, evolution, creationism, neo-Darwinism, epigenetics, free-will, determinism. Through interdisciplinary pedagogy, the course aims to provide learners with an understanding of the problematics and promises for religious studies brought on by evolutionary theory not only for the case of cancer but for all biological phenomena. For more information, please visit www.zygoncenter.org or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.