Monthly Clergy Letter Project Newsletter


The new issue of Clergy Project Newsletter is now available on-line.  Topics this month are:

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The History of Science and Faith


The following are a series of blogs from the Emerging Scholars Blog relating the history of science and faith.

Faith and Science in the Classroom: Class Seven – ET Evangeliation? Sacraments in Space! – The Catholic Astronomer


As I have been putting together these reflections on faith and science in the classroom, there has been a topic looming in the background as the proverbial elephant in the middle of the room: What happens to Christianity if we discover intelligent life on another planet? This question is both compelling and loaded. First off, we need to break down this question into a series of clarifying questions.   What do we mean by life? What do we mean by intelligent life? Is intelligent life synonymous with human life? How do we understand the difference between human life and other kinds of life? Can we conceptualize a type of intelligent life that isn’t human life? What does it mean to be made in God’s image and likeness?   From these questions, we can develop another series of clarifying questions.   What is the role of science in defining life? What is the role of philosophy in defining life? What is … Continue reading →

Source: Faith and Science in the Classroom: Class Seven – ET Evangeliation? Sacraments in Space! – The Catholic Astronomer

Faith and Science in the Classroom: Class Six – The Catholic Contribution To Science. – The Catholic Astronomer


What is the best way to promote a healthy relationship between faith and science? There are many directions we can take when trying to answer this question. In my opinion, one of the clearest ways is to explore Catholics who were and are active in the sciences.   When most people think of people in faith and science, most gravitate toward Galileo and Bruno (topics we will explore in future “classes”). Much could and will be said of these two figures, but what I find interesting is how there are far more examples of Catholics in science that were embraced by the Church as scientists than those who were criticized. Whether it be the “Father” of the Big Bang, Monsignor Georges Lemaitre, or the man whose garden became the crib of modern genetics, Gorger Mendel, what is found in the study of the “Catholics of Science,” both clergy and lay person, is a rich history of key figures that have … Continue reading →

Source: Faith and Science in the Classroom: Class Six – The Catholic Contribution To Science. – The Catholic Astronomer

Faith and Science In The Classroom: Class Five – Caring For The Environment And The Ecology That Is Us. – The Catholic Astronomer


One of the clearest areas of collaboration between faith and science is care for creation. In the Catholic tradition, care for creation has long been accepted as one of the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). Though matters of ecology usually spiral into politically driven emotionalism, the approach to care for creation found in CST is quite practical and common sense. For example, as I was out fishing with one of my parishioners, I was reminded of the need for clean water that not only provides for human needs, but builds up healthy ecosystems for the communities we live. As we enjoyed a successful day that included three “keepers” for dinner, I was reminded of a simple fisherman’s ethic that fits nicely with CST: If you want to catch and eat fish from a lake, don’t pollute the lake. The modern theology of ecology derives from three, historic events. On the positive side, the exploration of space and images … Continue reading →

Source: Faith and Science In The Classroom: Class Five – Caring For The Environment And The Ecology That Is Us. – The Catholic Astronomer

Faith and Science in the Classroom: Class Four – Can A Christian Believe In Evolution? – The Catholic Astronomer


One of the more inflammatory subjects in the United States in regard to faith and science is evolution. The mere mention of the topic can lead to a combative atmosphere with little hope for anything healthy emerging. What I find a bit surprising is the number of brother priests who think that evolution is somehow against Catholicism. Whether it be the Catechism of the Catholic Church when it says that “methodological research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with faith” (CCC 159), Pius XII stating that the material origins of our body evolving from preexisting matter is not against Scripture (Humani Generis 36),  St. John Paul II stating the evolution is more than a hypothesis (Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences: On Evolution 4), or Benedict XVI stating that it is absurd to think that Biblical creation and evolution are at … Continue reading →

Source: Faith and Science in the Classroom: Class Four – Can A Christian Believe In Evolution? – The Catholic Astronomer