Reflections on the 6th Student Symposium
by Kyle Seibert
On Friday, February 27th, the Lutheran School of Theology was teeming with scholars, students, professors, professionals, and community members working together to engage some of life’s “Big Questions.” The 6th Student Symposium on Science and Spirituality, “Religion, Science, and Technology: Emerging Questions for the Next Generation,” generated important conversations as we navigate the emerging and changing field of Religion and Science. The day included over 50 participants and over 16 presentations on new fields of research from scholars and students from across the country, as well as the world. Utilizing technology to enhance the conversation, a presenter was even able to teleconference in for his presentation from Zimbabwe.
While the day was rich with new relationships forming and new ideas and areas of research being fine-tuned, there were certainly some highlights of the day. Our first keynote presentation, Dr. Ann Pederson of Augustana College, joined us to present on the importance of social location, narratives, and landscapes in relation to the intersectionality of the work of religion and science. Dr. David Hogue, of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, gave a keynote address on the intersubjectivity of the social brain. Caroline Anglim, of University of Chicago, and Br. Joeseph Siegel, OSA, of Catholic Theological Union, presented particularly strong work and were given awards by the symposium. Ms. Anglim presented on the issues and intricacies of globalizing drug trials, while Br. Siegel presented on the care for honoring the Imago Dei in dementia patients.
While the day of the symposium was certainly rich, perhaps the most fruitful and promising product of the day spent together was the new community of scholars that was brought together to engage these questions. New questions and trajectories were clearly identified in the multidisciplinary nature of religion and science, and a new community has come together to explore those questions from a multitude of perspectives, expertise, interests, and locations. With a breath of fresh air and new focus, the time shared at the symposium will surely help to shape the larger conversations, both in academia and “on the ground,” for generations to come!