The Epic of Creation Scientific, Biblical, and Theological Perpectives on Our Origins

The Epic of Creation course was started by ZCRS in 1989 and has been running annually since that time. This is a unique lecture series that presents the scientific story of emergence and evolution from the beginning of the universe to the emergence of humans; interpretation of the biblical stories of creation; and theological reflection on creation and our origins. Prominent scientists tell the scientific story, which begins with the origins of the universe presented from a cosmological perspective. It continues through the origin of life on earth, the evolution of life to its present forms, and the development of humans, including brain evolution and the development of social structures. Religious scholars present a variety of reflections on the biblical creation stories. Theologians discuss how scientific and religious creation stories affect our sense of meaning today.

The lectures are open to the public, and the series may be taken for course credit through the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS). There are also two student workshops that are planned as a part of the course. For further information, contact course coordinator Dr. Gayle E. Woloschak, (773) 256-0670,

Epic of Creation Schedule
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Lectures are from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
in the
Common Room (#350)

I. The Scientific Story of Creation
September 10 The Origin of It All [Edward Kolb, UC]
September 10 The Story of Creation from Hydrogen to the Earth [Donald York, UC]
September 17 The Ongoing Creation of Stars, Planets, and Possibly, Life [Grace Wolf-Chase, Adler/UC
September 17 The Origin of Life [Tatjana Paunesku, NU]
September 24 The Origin of Multicellular Life [Gayle Woloschak, NU/ZCRS]
September 24 Biological Evolution from the Cambrian Explosion to the Appearance of Higher Primates [James Hopson, UC (emeritus)]
October 1 From Miocene Apes to Modern Humans, Part 1: The Emergence and Early Evolution of Humans [Fred Smith, LUC]
October 1 Brain Evolution [Philip Ulinski, UC]
October 8 Precursors of Human Behavior and Culture as Revealed by Studies of Primates [Paul Heltne, CHN]
October 8 The Evolution of Culture and the Capacity for Culture in the Human Descent Line [William Irons, NU]

II. The Biblical Story of Creation
October 15 The Ancient Near-Eastern Context for Hebrew Ideas of Creation [Bernard Batto, DU]

October 15 Old Testament Views of the World’s Beginnings [Theodore Hiebert, MTS]
October 22 Creation and Wisdom (Proverbs and Psalms) [Esther Menn, LSTC]
October 22 Universe Story/ies and Christian Theology: Some Hermeneutical Reflections [J. Matt Ashley, UND]
October 29 The Greco-Roman Context for New Testament Ideas of Cosmogony and Cosmography [Edgar Krentz, LSTC (emeritus)]
October 29 The New Testament on Creation [Edgar Krentz]
November 5 New Testament Views of Creation [Robert Brawley, MTS]

III. Theological Reflections
November 5 Social Dimension of the Epic [Richard Busse, ZCRS]
November 12 Reconstructing a Christian Theology of Nature: Prerequisites and False Starts [Anna Case-Winters, MTS]
November 12 Creation and Salvation [Karl Peters, RC (emeritus)/ZCRS]
November 19 No lectures: Thanksgiving Recess
November 26 Social and Cultural Responses to Evolution [Barbara Strassberg, AU]
November 26 The Epic of Creation and Interfaith Dialogue [James Moore, VU/ZCRS]

IV. Epilogue
December 3 The Epic of Creation—What Does It Mean? [Philip Hefner, ZCRS/LSTC (emeritus)]
December 3 Panel Discussion

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