Are Catholic universities doing enough to foster the religion-science dialogue?

April 7, 2011

Eye on Faith and Science

CNS photo/NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team, Reuters

New scientific advancements are rapidly changing the way we live and how we think about the world and the universe. At the same time, these advancements often raise new moral and religious questions.

Unfortunately, “few Catholic universities have devoted resources to educating theologians willing to engage with the scientific world,” says Franciscan Sister Ilia Delio, in a recent article in America magazine, “Faith and The Cosmos: Can Catholic Universities Foster Dialogue Between Religion and Science?”

In this well-written commentary, Sister Delio, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, argues that Catholic universities need to do more to become leaders in promoting the religion-science dialogue. And that includes engaging seminarians more on the topic so they are better prepared to address important pastoral issues when they become priests.

The church has a valuable contribution to make in this area. Sister Delio writes:

“While the church recognizes the importance of science for the development of faith, it also recognizes the limits of science as the ultimate horizon of meaning. . . .

“Theologians are needed to reflect on the big questions of meaning and purpose in light of evolution, ecology and technology, as well as to comment on the moral questions raised, especially by the biomedical sciences.”

The latter field is especially in need of clear reflection in light of the moral and ethical dimensions of stem-cell research, cloning and care for the terminally ill.

Sister Delio’s article is well worth taking the time to read.

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About Joe Towalski

Editor of The Catholic Spirit, husband, dad, baseball fan(atic), astronomy buff. Follow me on Twitter @towalskij

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