Dialogue Nature & Spirit / Dialog Nature & Geist
Katholische Akademie Hamburg
This society emerged from the Natural Sciences Working Group at the Protestant Academy of Hamburg, founded in 1992 to explore scientific, theological, and ethical aspects of the perception of nature, and is now hosted by the Catholic Academy of Hamburg. Current members bring perspectives from a collaboration of institutions including an Ecological Academy of the Protestant church, and the Society for Responsibility in Science, as well as academics and professionals from the Catholic Academy, the University of Hamburg, and surrounding institutions. Members represent the fields of theology, philosophy, chemistry, medicine, and engineering. The group holds monthly meetings for readings and discussion, host public meetings and lectures, organize weekend lecture series, and host an annual meeting. The society invites broad participation and plans to bring in a number of expert lecturers to extend the current dialogue. Aiming at a balanced mix of scientists, theologians, philosophers, and interested laypersons, this effort also strives to invite active and retired individuals from church and secular professional organizations to advance cooperative reflection. An additional component of the group’s work includes bringing students into the society, to mentor their work and to encourage theses in the field of science and religion. Subjects for review include issues such as public understanding and popularization of scientific models and their relation to religion, theology and philosophy (e.g. quantum theory, relativity theory, thermodynamics, entropy, chaos, evolution); theories of dialogue; ethics of technology; bio-philosophy, evolutionary epistemology, sociobiology, and cultural evolution; paradigm shift in biology and physics; cosmology, history and the future of the universe; and neuroscience and the brain in relation to human free will.