People

Metanexus Board and Staff Meeting

Board Members

Edward J. Devinney Jr. has long served as president of the Metanexus Institute. Devinney is a visiting professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Villanova University. He is widely known for the “Wilson/Devinney” computer code for binary star light-curve analysis used by scores of astronomers. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics from LaSalle University, with a minor in both philosophy and religion, and a doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Pennsylvania. He spent 10 years working in the Florida university system, including two as a National Academy of Sciences Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA Goddard Space Center. He then spent nine years with Siemens U.S. research labs as head of the artificial intelligence department and chief scientist. He spun out a high-technology company from Siemens and served seven years as its CEO. His astronomical interests include instrumentation, observational aspects of solar eclipses, and binary stars, including black hole binaries, and he is also very interested in the philosophy of science.

 

William Grassie is the founding executive director of Metanexus and now serves as Exeuctive Vice President. Grassie has a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Middlebury College and a doctorate in religion from Temple University. He has taught in a variety of positions at Temple University, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to graduate school, he worked for 10 years in international relations and conflict resolution in Washington, D.C., Jerusalem, Berlin, and Philadelphia. He is the recipient of a number of academic awards and grants from the American Friends Service Committee, the Roothbert Fellowship, and the John Templeton Foundation. In 2007–2008, he served as a Senior Fulbright Fellow in the department of Buddhist studies at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy, Sri Lanka. He is the author of The New Sciences of Religion: Exploring Spirituality from the Outside In and Bottom Up (Palgrave Macmillian, 2010) and a collection of essays, Politics by Other Means: Science and Religion in the 21st Century (Metanexus, 2010). He has also edited two volumes: Advanced Methodologies in the Scientific Study of Religion and Spirituality (Metanexus, 2010) and H+/-Transhumanism and Its Critics (Metanexus, 2010) with Gregory Hansell. For more information, go to www.grassie.net.

 

Ursula Goodenough is one of America’s leading cell biologists, Ursula Goodenough is a professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the author of a widely used textbook, Genetics, and has served in a variety of national biomedical capacities, including on National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation review panels. She also has served on the editorial boards of several professional journals, and in many positions in the American Society for Cell Biology, including the presidency. In addition, she is a past president of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. In her acclaimed book, The Sacred Depths of Nature, she offers a unique blend of modern science and spiritual meanings.

 

Michele Demers has 20 years of experience as a philanthropy executive, strategist, and social entrepreneur.  She is Founder and CEO of Boundless Impact Investing, a market intelligence platform that provides high-quality, objective, and actionable research and tools to family offices and private investors interested in maximizing the social and environmental impact of their investments.  From 2010-2013, she was Vice President at Foundation Source where she built a knowledge platform on best practices in philanthropy that was used by a network of 1200 family foundations.  From 2007-2008, Michele was the Director of Communications for Humanity United, a humanitarian foundation created by Pam Omidyar and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. She has been involved in the successful development of more than two-dozen philanthropic and nonprofit start-ups, including her own, Tattersall Consulting, from 2002 to 2007. Michele is regularly called upon for her innovative thinking about the impact investing and social innovation, and she sits on several boards. She is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and has a Master’s in International Relations and Communications from Boston University.

 

 

Emeritus Board Members

Mahmoud Ayoub is a faculty associate in Islam and Christian-Muslim relations at the Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. A native of South Lebanon, he has taught at Temple University, the Pacific School of Religion, San Diego State University, the University of Toronto, and McGill University. Since the spring of 1999, he has been a visiting professor at the University of Balamand in Lebanon.

Zainal Abidin Bagir is the director of the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies, a master’s program at the Graduate School of Gadjah Mada University. He is also the Indonesian Regional Coordinator of the Pluralism Knowledge Programme, a collaborative project involving India, Indonesia, Uganda, and the Netherlands.

Edwin Berkowitz (deceased) was chair of J. E. Berkowitz, LP, a leading architectural glass manufacturer headquartered in Pedricktown, New Jersey. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Berkowitz served as building chair for the recently constructed Hillel and as past president of the University of Pennsylvania College Alumni.

Arthur L. Caplan is a professor of bioethics at New York University’s Langone Medical School and previously director of the Center for Bioethics and at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author or editor of 29 books and more than 500 journal papers, and he has served on a number of national and international committees and boards.

John D. Caputo is the emeritus Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities at Syracuse University. His 2006 book The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event won the 2007 AAR Book Award for “Constructive-Reflective Studies in Religion,” and his book What Would Jesus Deconstruct? won the ForeWord Magazine Best Philosophy Book of 2007 award.

Joan D. Koss-Chioino is an emeritus professor in the School of Human Evolution & Social Change at Arizona State University. Her work focuses on the interface between anthropology, psychiatry, and psychology. She is co-editor with Philip Hefner of Spiritual Transformation and Healing.

David Christian is by training a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, but since the 1980s he has become interested in world history on very large scales. He has written on the social and material history of the 19th-century Russian peasantry, in particular on aspects of diet and the role of alcohol. In 1989, he began teaching courses on “Big History,” surveying the past on the largest possible scales, including those of biology and astronomy. His book Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History has been called “the single-best introduction to science and history from the Big Bang to the 21st Century.” He is a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Over the next few years, he will also be working with the support of Bill Gates to create an online course in “Big History” for high school students.

Peter Dodson is a professor of gross anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, with a secondary appointment in the department of geology. He is also a research associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and the author of The Horned Dinosaurs. He was the founding president of the Metanexus Institute.

Kathleen Duffy is a Sister of St. Joseph and a professor of physics at Chestnut Hill College. She has also taught at Drexel University, Bryn Mawr College, Ateneo de Manila University, and the University of the Philippines. She serves on the board of the American Teilhard Association.

William Durbin is an independent scholar and formerly an associate professor of ecclesiastical history at Washington Theological Union.

George Ellis is an emeritus professor of applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town. He has authored or contributed to a number of books, and he has won numerous awards, including the 2004 Templeton Prize.

George Fisher is an emeritus professor of geology at Johns Hopkins University, where he taught from 1966 to 2005, and served as dean of arts and sciences from 1983 to 1987. He now teaches at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University as well as in the Johns Hopkins master of liberal arts program.

Alfred P. Fishman (deceased) was the William Maul Measey Professor of Medicine and the senior associate dean for program development at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He was a consultant to the executive office of the president of the United States; a member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and chairman of the Health Sciences Policy Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Theodore Friend is a historian, novelist, teacher, and the former president of Swarthmore College. He is also the president emeritus of the Eisenhower Fellowships, and continues to serve as a trustee of its national and international board.  After several books on Southeast Asia and Japan, he has shifted his focus to how whole populations conceive of women, and how they conceive of God. The latest of his books (2012) is based on travel and over 200 interviews in Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey: Woman, Man and God in Modern Islam.

Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer is the director of the department of multifaith studies and initiatives and an associate professor of religious studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. She launched RRC’s department dedicated to multifaith studies in the late 1980s and has pioneered innovative service-learning courses, internships, and unique opportunities for RRC students to study sacred texts with their Christian and Muslim counterparts.

John Grim is a visiting professor in the religious studies department at Yale University and president of the American Teilhard Association. He also coordinates, with Mary Evelyn Tucker, the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University. He has been a professor of religion at Bucknell University and Sarah Lawrence College.

Gregory Hansell is vice president for product development at ToonUps, a software developing company in Wayne, Pennsylvania. He served as managing editor and director of Metanexus’ Global Spiral and then as managing director of global communications for the Metanexus Institute.

John F. Haught is a senior fellow in science and religion at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. He was formerly a professor and the chair of the department of theology at Georgetown University. He won the Owen Garrigan Award in Science and Religion in 2002, the Sophia Award for Theological Excellence in 2004, and a “Friend of Darwin Award” from the National Center for Science Education in 2008. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Louvain in recognition of his work on theology and science.

 Philip Hefner is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has spent his entire career teaching in Lutheran seminaries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Chicago (where he retired in 2001). He is the former editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and he served as the director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science from 1988–2003. He has held dozens of visiting teaching and lecturing appointments at seminaries, colleges, and universities in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and he has represented his church on a number of ecumenical commissions.

Peter Hess is the director of religious community outreach at the National Center for Science Education and an adjunct faculty member at Saint Mary’s College. He formerly served on the steering committee of Metanexus’ Local Societies Initiative.

David Hufford is a professor and the director of The Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine at the Penn State College of Medicine, where he has appointments in medical humanities, behavioral science, and family and community medicine. He is also an adjunct professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and he is currently leading an initiative to develop a Center on Spirituality and Health at Penn’s School of Medicine. He won a Templeton Foundation Faith & Medicine Award in 1995, the first year of that program to support religion and health courses in medical schools, and he has taught that course to fourth-year medical students since that time. His research is centered on the ethnographic and phenomenological study of the beliefs of ordinary people, especially those beliefs that are in competition with the positions of official institutions. His inquiry has focused on the experiential grounds for spiritual beliefs, and the role of reason in their development and persistence. He has also sought to understand the widely held notion that science and spiritual belief are contradictory. His publications have primarily been concerned with describing the grounds for spiritual belief, showing their reasonableness, and questioning the assertion that, beginning with the Enlightenment, science has made religion outdated and not rationally defensible. His book The Terror That Comes in the Night considers beliefs about spiritual evil that are found all over the world within the context of scientific research on sleep paralysis.

Antje Jackelén is the 68th bishop of Lund, a position she has held since 2007. Previously, she was an associate professor of systematic theology/religion and science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and was director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science.

Thomas Campbell Jackson is the president of the Brandt Jackson Foundation, a private family foundation, based in New York City. He is also the president of Zeitblom Analytics, which consults on health policy issues. In addition, he serves on the board of overseers for Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the board of trustees for the Galen Institute, the board of directors for the Imagine Science Film Festival, the board of advisers for the Bellevue Literary Press, and the board of directors for Music for Life International. Previously, he served as the director of the Employee Health Benefits Program for the City of New York, managing a $1.75 billion benefits program for 1 million city employees, retirees, and dependents. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Tufts University and a master’s degree in public health from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

Solomon Katz is emeritus professor of orthodontics at the University of Pennsylvania Dental School. A leading expert on the anthropology of food, he is also the editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. He is a past president of the Metanexus Institute Board of Directors.

Mitchell P. Marcus is the RCA Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also a professor of linguistics. He created and ran the Penn Treebank Project through the mid-1990s, and he currently serves as chair of the Advisory Committee of the Center of Excellence in Human Language Technology at John Hopkins University.

Andrew Newberg is the director of research at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College. He is also an adjunct assistant professor in the department of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is board-certified in internal medicine and nuclear medicine, and he is considered a pioneer in the neuroscientific study of religious and spiritual experiences, a field frequently referred to as neurotheology.

Frank Pennington is a pastor at the United Church of Christ at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Karl E. Peters is an emeritus professor of religion and philosophy at Rollins College. He was the editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science from 1979–1989 and co-editor from 1989–2009.

Andrew J. Petto is a senior lecturer in biology, focusing on science education, evolution education, and gross anatomy, at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He is the co-editor with L. R. Godfrey of Scientists Confront Creationism.

Varadaraja V. Raman is an emeritus professor of physics and humanities at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has also taught at the Saha Institute for Nuclear Physics in Calcutta and the Université d’Alger in Algiers. He is the author of Indic Visions in an Age of Science, published by Metanexus.

Mark Richardson is president and dean of Church Divinity School of the Pacific, a graduate theological seminary of the Episcopal Church. He was previously a professor of theology at General Theological Seminary.

Gerry Ohrstrom is a private investor in New York City. He is former vice chairman of G.L. Ohrstrom & Co., a private equity firm founded by his grandfather in the 1940s, and former chairman of the Ohrstrom Foundation, established by his grandfather in the 1950s. He is currently chairman of Vistan Corporation, a family holding company. He has served as chairman or director of numerous private companies and was a director of Carlisle Companies Inc. (NYSE) in the 1990s. In the 1980s, he worked in corporate finance at Bear Stearns & Co., and prior to that he worked at manufacturing companies in Michigan and Germany. In recent years, Ohrstrom has spent much of his time in the nonprofit sector, principally in scientific research, science education, and public policy. He serves or has served as a director of the Reason Foundation, the Property and Environment Research Center, Africa Fighting Malaria, the International Policy Network, the Gruter Institute, the American Council on Science and Health, the Museum of the Rockies, the Booker T. Washington Learning Center, and the Yellowstone Park Foundation. He is also a member of the Intelligence Squared U.S. Foundation board and the virtual advisory board of its debate series. From 2008-2010 he served as co-chairman of the President’s Council at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Roberto Poli is an adjunct professor at the University of Trento in Italy, where he teaches philosophy, applied ethics, and futures studies.

John C. Raines is a professor of religion at Temple University.

Barry Graham Ritchie is a professor of physics at Arizona State University.

James F. Salmon is a Jesuit priest and a research fellow in science and religion at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. A chemist and theologian, Salmon has taught at Loyola College in Maryland, Wheeling Jesuit University, Johns Hopkins University, and Georgetown University. In 1982 he founded, and continues to direct, the annual Cosmos and Creation Conference for scientists in Baltimore.

Norbert Samuelson is a scholar of Jewish philosophy and the Harold and Jean Grossman Chair of Jewish Studies at Arizona State University. Previously, he was a professor of religion at Temple University for 23 years. He is the founder and secretary of the Academy of Jewish Philosophy, and the author of several books, including Revelation and the God of Israel.

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson is the director of Jewish studies, the Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor of Modern Judaism, and a professor of history at Arizona State University. She is the author of a number of books, including Judaism and Nature: The Dialectics of Sacred Texts.

Martin E.P. Seligman is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology and director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books, including The Optimistic Child and Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being.

Pamela Thompson runs a public relations firm based in Media, Pennsylvania. Previously, she spent 13 years as the vice-president for communications at the John Templeton Foundation. 

Ronald Cole-Turner is the H. Parker Sharp Professor of Theology and Ethics, a position relating theology and ethics to developments in science and technology, at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He edited the collection Transhumanism and Transcendence: Christian Hope in an Age of Technological Enhancement.

 Wentzel van Huyssteen is the James I. McCord Professor of Theology and Science at the Princeton Theological Seminary. He serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, the Nederduits Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif, and the Journal of Theology and Science, and is co-editor of the Science and Religion Series published by Ashgate Press.

Eric Weislogel is an adjunct professor of philosophy at both St. Joseph’s University and Delaware County Community College. He was president and executive director of Metanexus from 2006-2008, and served as program director of the Local Societies Initiative and the Metanexus Global Initiative from 2001-2010.

Paul Root Wolpe is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, and the director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. He is also a professor in the departments of medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and sociology. He serves as the first senior bioethicist for NASA, where he is responsible for formulating policy on bioethical issues and safeguarding research subjects. He is co-editor of the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB), and editor of AJOB Neuroscience.

Adrian Wyard is executive director, of the Counterbalance Foundation. Prior to forming Counterbalance in 1998, he worked for Microsoft Corporation in the UK and US and holds several design patents for features in Microsoft Word and Windows that are still in use today.

Laurie S. Zoloth is the director of the Center for Bioethics, Science and Society and a professor of medical ethics and humanities at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She is also a professor of religion and a member of the Jewish Studies faculty at Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Science, and directs the school’s Brady Scholars Program in Ethics and Leadership.

 

Former Staff

Stacey Ake was Editor of Metanexus: The Online Forum for Science and Religion from 2001-2003. She is now an Associate Teaching Professor of Philosophy in the Department of English and Philosophy at Drexel University.

Barbara Bole served as program associate and, later, associate director of the Metanexus Local Societies Initiative from 2001 to 2008. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Walden University with a specialization in international NGOs in 2008, summa cum laude. She is a doctoral candidate, researching ethical consumption identity as an emerging form of civic engagement in the pursuit of socio-economic justice.  Her work explores the reflective practices of everyday consumption as a factor in advancing global awareness in the service of human flourishing. Currently working as a consultant in research, communication, writing, and editing, she also volunteers for her local Fair Trade Town Committee in Media, Pennsylvania, and in other capacities .

Marcia Carle served as Development Director at Metanexus from 2006 to 2007. Since then, she has been Director of Development at Presbyterian Children’s Village in Rosemont, PA. 

Hyung Choi was Director for Research and Programs in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences from 2003-2006. Since 2006 he has been Director, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, at the John Templeton Foundation in Conshohocken, PA.

Margarette Golding served as Chief Operations Officer at Metanexus from 2002-2003. Since then, she has been a realtor at Century 21 Chapel Reality in Philadelphia, PA specializing in commercial real estate.

Brenda Hackett served as Chief Financial Officer at Metanexus from 2003 until 2010.

Gregory Hansell is vice president for product development at ToonUps, a software developing company in Wayne, Pennsylvania. He served as managing editor and director of Metanexus’ Global Spiral and then as managing director of global communications for the Metanexus Institute.

Jonathan Camery-Hoggatt is a southern California native who has spent the past six years skipping back and forth between the two coasts. He completed a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies at Gordon College in 2007, and he will complete a Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2011. Jonathan studies the intersection of religion, society, and the cognitive sciences, and he feels most alive writing creative nonfiction. Jonathan was an intern at Metanexus during the 2010-2011 academic year.

Marc Kaufman was a contributing editor to Metanexus online. Kaufman began his career in journalism as a staff writer for a Boston-based daily newspaper in 1993. Since then, he has written, edited and aggregated content for a number of print publications and websites highlighted by a 5-year stint as editor of Science & Spirit magazine. In 2008, Marc began to focus on communications and content strategy for online publications and for organizations looking to transition their message from print to the web. He has managed several large-scale web redesign and site building projects while maintaining a variety of editorial and consulting relationships.

Peter Lewek came to Metanexus Institute after completing his undergraduate studies at Colgate University. Peter graduated with a degree in Philosophy and ran the Colgate University concert series on campus. His interests include live music, audio production and equipment, travel, baseball, and various outdoor activities.

Julia Loving worked with the Metanexus Institute from its beginnings, 1999 through 2007, as director of communications and special events. She has a degree in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has worked as a papermaker, bookbinder, boatbuilder, animation painter, and gallery installer. She has also worked in development for a theater coordinating special cultivation and fundraising events. In addition to working for Metanexus, she works for an independent bookstore. She is a bibliophile, gardener, designer, and occasional caterer.

Andrew Rick-Miller was a program associate for Metanexus Institute and now works as a Senior Program Officer at the John Templeton Foundation. Rick-Miller studied physics and literature at Northwestern University before studying theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is an ordained deacon in the Presbyterian Church.

William Novak served as assistant controller from 2002-2004. He currently works at mortgage refinancing for a credit union.

Bridget Palombo worked as a program associate and research assistant at Metanexus from 2003-2006. She is currently working on a dual degree in economics and philosophy at Community College of Philadelphia.

Kimon Sargeant was Director for Research and Programs in the Human Sciences from 2003-2005. He is currently Vice President, Human Sciences, at the John Templeton Foundation in Coshohocken, PA, where he has been since 2005.

Christopher Stawski was Project Manager for the Spiritual Transformation Scientific Research Program from 2001-2006 and the Spiritual Capital Research Program from 2003-2006. He is currently Program Manager, Strategic Initiatives at the John Templeton Foundation in Conshohocken, PA , where he has worked since 2006.

Nikos Tsiopinis served as Outreach Coordinator for the Metanexus Global Network Initiative from 2007-2008. He is currently a realtor at Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media, PA.

 Carol Urbanc was program associate and conference coordinator from 1999-2003. She was the first staff member of Metanexus. A communications specialist for 30 years in the non-profit sector, she is currently marketing associate for the Swedenborg Foundation Press in West Chester, PA.

Erica L. Vinskie was director of publications. She performed web and print graphic design services for Metanexus, served as the art and creative editor of its former online magazine The Global Spiral, and wrote about art and culture for Metanexus publications.

Heather Wax was a contributing editor to Metanexus online. Wax is a journalist who has been covering issues at the intersection of science, religion, and culture since 2003. She launched the site Science + Religion Today in 2007 and was a contributing editor and blogger at Big Questions Online. Before that, she was the features editor of Science & Spirit magazine. She has written for Scientific American, The Boston Globe, Technology Review, Ode, and the UU World, among other publications.

John Witcowski was the director of information technology from 2001-2007. He has been the director of information technology at the John Templeton Foundation in Conshohocken, Pa., since 2007.

Eric Weislogel is an adjunct professor of philosophy at both St. Joseph’s University and Delaware County Community College. He was president and executive director of Metanexus from 2006-2008, and served as program director of the Local Societies Initiative and the Metanexus Global Initiative from 2001-2010.

 

Metanexus Senior Fellows

The Rev. Philip Hefner
By Nature Creators: Coming to Terms with Human Nature Today
2003–2004
 

The Rev. Philip Hefner is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and has spent his entire career teaching in Lutheran seminaries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Chicago (where he retired in 2001). He has attempted to balance a concern for the theology of the Christian tradition, and of Lutheranism, with attention to contemporary culture, particularly the arts and the natural sciences. He is the former editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science and he served as the director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science from 1988–2003. His published writings include six books and more than 150 scholarly articles, about half of which deal with religion and the natural sciences, while the other half deal with traditional historical and theological issues. His most recent book is Technology and Human Becoming. He also translated and edited Three Essays by Albrecht Ritschl and contributed two essays (“Creation” and “Church”) to the two-volume work, Christian Dogmatics. He has also held dozens of visiting teaching and lecturing appointments at seminaries, colleges, and universities in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and he has represented his church on a number of ecumenical commissions.

 

Varadaraja V. Raman
Indic Visions in an Age of Science
2004–2005
 

Varadaraja V. Raman has taught in a number of institutions, including the Saha Institute for Nuclear Physics, the Universite d’Alger, and the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he is now an emeritus professor of physics and humanities. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Calcutta and did his doctoral work on the foundations of quantum mechanics at the University of Paris, where he worked under Louis de Broglie. He was associated with UNESCO as an educational expert, and he has devoted several years to the study and elucidation of Hindu culture and religion. He is an associate editor for the Encyclopedia of Hinduism Project, and he has authored scores of papers on the historical, social, and philosophical aspects of physics/science and India’s heritage, as well as eight books, including Scientific Perspectives, Glimpses of Ancient Science and Scientists, Nuggets from the Gita, and Varieties of Science History.

 

John F. Haught
Science and Christian Faith
2006–2007
 

John F. Haught is a senior fellow in science and religion at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. He was formerly a professor and the chair of the department of theology at Georgetown. His area of specialization is systematic theology, with a particular interest in issues pertaining to science, cosmology, evolution, ecology, and religion. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and reviews, and he lectures internationally on many issues related to science and religion. He won the Owen Garrigan Award in Science and Religion in 2002, the Sophia Award for Theological Excellence in 2004, and a “Friend of Darwin Award” from the National Center for Science Education in 2008. He testified for the plaintiffs in the 2005 Dover trial, and in 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Louvain in recognition of his work on theology and science.

 

Keith Ward
The Big Questions in Science and Religion
2008–2009
 

Keith Ward is an ordained priest in the Church of England and, until 2003, was a canon of Christ Church, Oxford. He is a fellow of the British Academy, holds an honorary doctorate from the Free University of Amsterdam, and is an honorary fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge and the University of Wales. He is a member of the governing council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and a member of the editorial boards of Religions Studies, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Studies in Inter-Religious Dialogue, and World Faiths Encounter. He has been a visiting professor at Drake University, Claremont Graduate School, the University of Tulsa, Cornell College, Hartford Seminary, and Virginia Theological Seminary. He also held the Regius Professorship of Divinity at the University of Oxford. He has delivered numerous prestigious public lectures and is the author of many books. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wales, a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, a master’s degree and bachelor of letters from the University of Oxford, and doctorates of divinity from Cambridge and Oxford.

 

Norbert Samuelson
Light and Enlightenment
2007–2008
 

Norbert Samuelson is the Harold and Jean Grossman Professor of Jewish Studies at Arizona State University. His scholarship focuses on Jewish philosophy and theology, and he is working on two major research and writing projects: an intellectual history of the developing concepts of light in physics and enlightenment in the Abrahamic religions, and a close philosophical commentary on the traditional rabbinic prayer book. He is the author of 13 books, including three recent books on Jewish philosophy: A Users’ Guide to Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption, Jewish Philosophy: An Historical introduction, and Jewish Faith and Modern Science: On the Death of Jewish Philosophy. He has also published three constructive philosophic-theological works: The First Seven Days: A Philosophical Commentary on the Creation of Genesis, Judaism and the Doctrine of Creation, and Revelation and the God of Israel. These works led Jewish thinkers to focus on the interplay between science and religion and showed how the biblical text could be better understood in the light of contemporary physics and the life sciences.

 

Philip Clayton
With Science Beyond Science: The Human Quest for Meaning and Transcendence
2009–2010
 

Philip Clayton is a philosopher and theologian specializing in the entire range of issues that arise at the intersection between science and religion. He is the dean of the Claremont School of Theology and provost of Claremont Lincoln University. He also holds the Ingraham Chair at the Claremont School of Theology. He has a joint doctorate in religious studies and philosophy from Yale University, and in addition to a variety of named lectureships, he has held visiting professorships at the University of Cambridge, the University of Munich, and Harvard University. His books and articles address the cultural battle currently raging between science and religion. Rejecting the scientism of Richard Dawkins and friends, he argues, does not open the door to fundamentalism; instead, a variety of complex and interesting positions are being obscured by the warring factions whose fight to the death is attracting such intense attention today. He has drawn on the resources of the sciences, philosophy, theology, and comparative religious thought to develop constructive partnerships between science and religion.

 

 

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