Advanced Seminar in Religion and Science – Spring 2010

Science Explores the Inner Self

Philip Hefner and Lea F. Schweitz Monday Evenings 6:30 PM — 9:30 PM, February 1 through May 3, 2010 Common Room 350, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1100 East 55th Street, Chicago, IL 60615

Scientific research is moving decisively into the area of the “inner self”—including emotions, morality, love, sociality, and the workings of the mind.  This domain has traditionally been at the heart of religion, spirituality, and psychological counseling.  Now the sciences enter as collaborators in exploring the inner self—cognitive science, neuroscience, genetics, and others.  What are we to make of this new partnership?  The seminar will examine this development and its significance, particularly for religion and theology, from the following perspectives:

  • Representative examples of scientific research
  • Assessment of the scope of this scientific work and its prospects in the future
  • Theological and philosophical significance of this research
  • Examples of theological thinking that take the scientific research into account

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); the course number is LSTC T-672.  All participants, whether taking the seminar for credit or not, are asked to pre-register with the seminar chairs by contacting ZCRS at or 773-256-0670.  For more information about ZCRS, please visit  For more information about Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, visit

Advanced Seminar Schedule - Spring 2010

February 1, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMIssues and Questions in the Exploration of the Inner SelfPhilip Hefner and Lea F. Schweitz, Theology, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
February 8, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMHuman Nature and the Need for Social ConnectionJohn Cacioppo, cognitive neuroscience, University of Chicago
February 15, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMWhat We Can Learn from Infants: Perspectives from Developmental PsychologySusan Hespos, developmental psychology, Northwestern University
February 22, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMA Role for Genetics in Behavior?Gayle Woloschak, molecular biology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
March 1, 2010No Seminar (Reading Week at LSTC)
March 8, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMMoral Inwardness ReconsideredWilliam Schweiker, theology/ethics, University of Chicago
March 15, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMCauses in a World of Reasons: Or, What Can fMRI Scans Tell Us About How to Live?Benjamin Callard, philosophy, University of Chicago
March 22, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMEmbedded Religiosity: The Extended Mind and Religious BehaviorsMladen Turk, theology, Elmhurst College
March 29, 2010No Seminar (Holy Week at LSTC)
April 5, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMDonna Haraway: When Species Meet, Self is Re-definedAnn Pederson, theology, Augustana College, Sioux Falls
April 12, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMEmotions, Ethics, and Transcendent ValuesGregory Peterson, theology/philosophy, South Dakota State University
April 19, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMNeurophenomenology Considers Religious Ways of KnowingAnne Benvenuti, theology/psychology, University of Chicago/Georgetown University Medical School
Barbara Stafford, art history/neuroesthetics, University of Chicago
April 26, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMReligion, the New Moral Psychology, and the Inner SelfDon Browning, religious studies/psychology, University of Chicago
May 3, 20106:30 – 9:30 PMConclusions and Reflections Philip Hefner and Lea F. Schweitz, theology, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
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