The seminar will explore perspectives on the nature of evil drawn from the Abrahamic religions and from various sciences. Given these perspectives, what are appropriate responses to evil for our time?
Questions regarding the nature of evil, and ways in which to cope with evil, contain it, or redeem it, have occupied men and women throughout human history. In our time, evil has assumed both age-old and novel forms, and the sciences as well as philosophy and religion continue to try to understand and deal with it. The exploration will proceed through three steps:
- What are some basic theological, philosophical, and scientific understandings about evil?
- What do the sciences tell us about current evil?
- What initiatives for coping with evil are being explored in our time?
Scholars knowledgeable in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim perspectives on evil will bring us their perspectives, as will specialists in various sciences, including psychology, anthropology, ecology, applied technology, and pastoral care and other perspectives. Current attempts to cope with evil will be described by persons with knowledge of attempts at social change, legal solutions, ethical systems, personal spiritual growth, and the theology of the cross.
Offered by the Zygon Center for Religion and Science (ZCRS), the Advanced Seminar in Religion and Science is designed as a research seminar for faculty and graduate students. Course credit is available via registration through the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) or cross-registration through member schools of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS). All participants, whether taking the seminar for credit or not, are asked to pre-register with the seminar chairs by contacting ZCRS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-256-0670. For more information about ZCRS, please visit www.zygoncenter.org. For more information about Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, visit www.zygonjournal.org.
Advanced Seminar Schedule - Spring 2007
|Section I: Orientation to Theological, Philosophical, and Scientific Issues|
|February 5, 2007||7:00 PM||Themes of Evil in the Hebrew Tradition||Tamar Rudavasky, philosophy, Melton Center/Ohio State University|
|February 5, 2007||8:30 PM||Themes of Evil in Islam||Mark Swanson, Christian-Muslim Studies, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago|
|February 12, 2007||7:00 PM||Themes of Evil in the New Testament and Early Church||Hans Schwarz, Systematic Theology, University of Regensburg|
|February 12, 2007||8:30 PM||Contemporary Pop Culture and the Marketing of Good and Evil: Evil Never Looked So Good!||Rod Boriack, ELCA Youth Ministries|
|February 19, 2007||7:00 PM||'Creator of Weal and Woe': Predestination, Free Will, and Human Responsibility||Robert A. Cathey, theology, McCormick Theological Seminary|
|February 19, 2007||8:30 PM||Determinism and Chance: A View from the Sciences||John R. Albright, physics, Religion and Science, LSTC|
|February 26, 2007||7:00 PM||The Judeo-Christian Mythos of Evil as Seen by Paul Ricoeur||Don Browning, Ethics and Social Sciences, University of Chicago|
|February 26, 2007||8:30 PM||Persistent Myths of Good and Evil in Western Culture||John R. Albright, Physics, Religion and Science, LSTC|
|Section II: What Do the Sciences Tell Us about Current Evil?
|March 5, 2007||7:00 PM||Hurricanes, Tsunamis, and Other "Natural" Evils: The Human Element||Paul Heltne, Primatology, Center for Humans and Nature|
|March 5, 2007||8:30 PM||The Human Biological Heritage: Altruism and Aggression in Humans and Other Primates||Bill Irons, Anthropology, Northwestern University|
|March 12, 2007||7:00 PM||Good and Evil in Humans from an Evolutionary Perspective||Karl E. Peters, Philosophy and Religion, Rollins College|
|March 12, 2007||8:30 PM||Structures of Evil Encountered in Pastoral Counseling||Marjorie H. Davis, Pastoral Counseling Center of West Hartford, CT|
|(March 19, 2007: reading week)|
|March 26, 2007||7:00 PM||Evil and the Human Psyche: Insights from Freud, Fromm, and Becker||Terry Cooper, Psychology, St. Louis Community College|
|March 26, 2007||8:30 PM||Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity? Mental Illness and Sociopathy||Dan Liechty, Social Work, Illinois State University|
|April 2, 2007||7:00 PM||Addressing Evil through Technology: Steps Forward and Unintended Consequences||John Maxwell Kerr, Former Warden, Society of Ordained Scientists, Science and Religion, Oxford U.|
|April 2, 2007||8:30 PM||Medical Issues: Healing, Wholeness, Justice||John Maxwell Kerr|
|April 9, 2007||7:00 PM||Why So Much Genocide Now? Is Xenophobia "Hard-Wired?"||Mladen Turk, Religion, Elmhurst College|
|April 9, 2007||8:30 PM||Open Discussion: Religion as Source of Good, Source of Evil|
|Section III: Coping with Evil: Initiatives for Our Time|
|April 16, 2007||7:00 PM||Social Reorganization: The News from China||Gladys Horvath, The Asia Institute, KY|
|April 16, 2007||8:00 PM||Jurisprudence and the Rule of Law: Deliverance from Evil, Cause of Evil?||Richard Busse, Law, IN|
|April 23, 2007||7:00 PM||Complexity and Spiritual Growth: An Ethical Option?||Carol Rausch Albright, Religion and Science, LSTC|
|April 23, 2007||8:30 PM||A Process-Oriented Ethics?||Joseph A. Bracken, S.J., Philosophical Theology, Xavier University
|April 30, 2007||7:00 PM||Evil and the Theology of the Cross||Vitor Westhelle, Theology, LSTC|
|May 7, 2007||7:00 -10:00 PM||Panel: How Shall We Think of Redemption and Salvation?|