Having spent a great deal of my adult life in Chicago, I can truly say I was fortunate to collaborate with an eclectic bunch of people over the years. This month’s issue is dedicated to one of those individuals: Carol Alice Rausch Albright, who passed away last month.
She was a synthesizer of ideas, intellectually curious and knew how to introduce people and concepts that could lead to new scholarship in such a way a person may have thought it was their own idea. She wasn’t a theologian, a pastor or even a scientist, but through her writing and research she taught the world a new way of viewing not only the human brain but how interaction of not only neurons led to new ideas but also new forms of collaboration.
I will also give Carol credit for Covalence even being in existence. I met her via the public events hosted by the Zygon Center for Religion and Science in Chicago. It wasn’t long before I found out she too was a writer and she introduced me to another group — the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology — and I’m pretty sure she was the one who asked them to have me present my ideas for a faith/science newsletter to be published online. And they said yes!
She often nudged me in directions and places where I wasn’t sure I belonged (after all I’m not a theologian or scientist either) whether it was attending the Goshen College conference in the spring or enjoying presentations at the Midwest Chapter of the American Theological Society in the autumn. I always felt inspired by who I met and what I heard, and in retrospect her insistence on my moving forward — even when I had doubts — has really shaped much of my work in this area.
In this month’s issue we have republished a profile of Carol I wrote in 2013, as well as reflections on some of her contributions over the years. I’m sure others will do their own retrospectives, but we see this as a start.
Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.