The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago held its fifth annual student symposium last month (see this month’s Feature), welcoming students from more than half a dozen institutions across the country. Students presented papers ranging from general religion and science topics to cognitive sciences and sociology.
The first place paper was presented by Alan Weissenbacher of Graduate Theological Union and titled “A Research Proposal from Theology to Science: An Awakening Love of the Divine and Neural Mechanisms for Changing Entrenched Life Habits.” Eda Ruhiye Uca of Episcopal Divinity School took second place with a paper called “Saints and Sinners All – But Not All the Same: A Darwinian Third Wave Feminist Construction of Sin and Redemption.” The third place paper was titled “Reinhold Niebuhr’s Anthropology and Evolution: The Double Edged Sword of Original Sin and Original Righteousness,” presented by Braden Molhoek of the Graduate Theological Union.
The day-long event on science and spirituality was the fifth annual student symposium for the Zygon Center for Religion and Science, which is a partnership of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) and the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science. Three keynote speakers provided interesting perspective for students pondering where their careers may be found after graduation. Ronald Numbers, the Hilldale Professor of the History of Science and Medicine Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, spoke on the history of conflict in the fields of science and religion. Astronomer Grace Wolf-Chase spoke on engaging the public in science research, while Thomas Jay Oord, professor of Theology and Philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University, spoke of the importance of networking in the creation of science and theology journeys in both academia and in church.