Etruscan Local Group
Department of Philosophy
Universitá Degli Studi di Perugia
Universitá di Pisa
This group brings together nine core scholar-members in fields of philosophy, chemistry, biotechnology, agriculture science, biology, theology and philosophy of science from Pisa, Perugia, and Viterbo, Italy—the home of the Etruscan civilization, the Tuscany renaissance, and the birthplace of Galileo. The main goal of the project is to show, on the one hand, that the partners of the science-theology-philosophy dialogue should respect each other in their respective autonomy and, on the other, how they can rediscover common areas of interaction and common fundamental questions concerning humankind and our place in the nature. Focusing on topics in evolution, environmental ethics, philosophy, biology and theological inquiry, the ELG provides opportunities for encounter, dialogue, and debate between members of religious and scientific communities through public conferences, master’s courses, and national and international meetings. Issues studied deal with the most basic requirements for human needs, such as the provision of “food”, for both body and soul. The fulfilment of physiological and psychological needs, according to the rising demands of society for safer agricultural practice, with its benefits for the health of the body, mind, and environment are also explored. Materials to be prepared include: public meetings between members of the organization and local parishes and in the academic communities of the Universities of Perugia, Viterbo and Pisa; and work of editing and publishing about the science and religion relationship. Groups in each of the three locales concentrate on specific topics and cross-pollinate each other’s work through collaborative efforts. In Pisa, the focus is on evolutionary biology, theology, and the biosphere perspective. In Perugia, public meetings and masters courses link philosophical concerns with science and faith, encountering the works of thinkers such as Teilhard de Chardin, Jonas, and Bachelard, and the relationship of ethics and the new biology. In Viterbo, the faculty of agricultural science holds public meetings on conservation of the biosphere and agricultural techniques with a focus on faith, stewardship, and genetically modified organisms. The group produces publications based on their work, conducts collaborative roundtables and lectures, and hosts researcher workshops. Outreach includes television and newspaper advertising, flyers, email, and the production of pamphlets outlining activities. Matching funds are provided through a combination of generous support of members and the University of Pisa, Perugia and Viterbo.