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. Ann Milliken Pederson teaches Christian theology, with particular emphases in religion and medical sciences, feminist theologies, and Lutheran constructive theology. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the section for Ethics and Humanities at the Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota. Pederson has written five books: Where in the World is God? Variations on a Theme (Chalice Press, 1998), God, Creation, and All That Jazz (Chalice Press, 2001), The Music of Creation, co-authored with the Rev. Dr. Canon Arthur Peacocke, (Fortress Press, 2006), and The Geography of God’s Incarnation: Landscapes and Narratives of Faith (Wipf and Stock, 2013), and her latest book, Our Bodies Are Selves, co-authored with Philip Hefner and Susan Barreto (2015).
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.