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Date: October 26, 2022 - November 16, 2022
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sponsor: Earth Literacy Programs
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Over the past two centuries scientists have learned that the universe is a story still
being told. The Jesuit geologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) sees this
cosmic story as a great drama of awakening. When humans emerged, the cosmic
awakening became palpably manifest by virtue of the arrival of thought, ethical
aspiration, and religious faith. This series of four lectures brings out the contemporary
significance of Teilhard’s vision of our still-awakening universe.

1. Teilhard’s Cosmic Vision and the Meaning of Faith
From the perspective of physics the cosmos may look like a process of heat exchanges
and energy transformations, but if we look deep inside we shall see that the universe
has given rise, at least on Earth, to beings eager to understand where they came from,
where they are going, and what they should be doing with their lives. Furthermore, in
the emergence of religious faith the whole cosmos is now awakening worshipfully to the
reality of a rightness that abides forever.

2. Teilhard and Darwin
Darwinian science vastly extends the story of life and life’s suffering (and creativity as
well) beyond those of traditional theological awareness. In what sense, then, after
Darwin, may believers still sustain faith in divine providence or uphold a firm sense of
values, if at all? Is it perhaps possible that evolutionary portraits of life may open up
fresh ways of thinking about God and the meaning of religious, and especially Christian,
faith? After Darwin can we have a plausible understanding of God and faith that is
consistent with traditional beliefs and core ethical aspirations while at the same time
being in touch with scientific understandings of evolution?

3. Teilhard and Einstein: A Conversation
Although Albert Einstein denied the existence of a personal God, he considered himself
to be deeply religious, and he thought that good science cannot take place without faith.
To understand what he meant by religion and faith, this presentation will place the
celebrated physicist in “conversation” with his contemporary, Pierre Teilhard de
Chardin. The two scientists had been living in the United States within miles of each
other when they died in 1955—within days of each other. If they had ever met and been
able to talk about science and faith how would the conversation have gone? What
would they have said to one another about prayer, God, and the relationship of theology
to science? This talk, with the presenter as “moderator,” will attempt to outline points of
agreement and disagreement between the two great scientists and religious thinkers.

4. Teilhard and the Meaning of Faith after “Dover Beach”

The British poet Matthew Arnold, in his poem “Dover Beach” (1867), lamented the
withdrawal of the “sea of faith” and the death of nature during the age of modern
science. So also did other literary giants (such as Thomas Hardy) in the century of
“God’s Funeral” (the title of a book by Colin Wilson on nineteenth century literature). In
this presentation we examine connections between modern science, the “death of
nature,” the decline of faith, and the “death of God.” This will allow us to accentuate the
importance of Teilhard for both the intellectual and spiritual life of the 21st century.

Date: Wednesday Oct 26, Nov 2, 9, & 16, 2022
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: $60.00
Location: Zoom on-line – a link to the program will be sent to you before the program
Please do not let cost deter you from attending. Ask us about our funding for programs.

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Event Posted by: Gertie Jocksch