Who You'll Be Learning from
      . . . and What You'll Be Learning

In this unprecedented series of dialogues, each of 12 Catholic science-and-religion leaders begins by sharing his or her personal testimonial—how they came to faithfully embrace evolution and how a science-celebrating form of Christianity has vitalized their life journey. The host, Michael Dowd, then draws each thought leader into conversational reflections on faith-and-science topics that build upon the particular expertise and life learnings of each expert.

Because Dowd is a well-known peer in this area of study and advocacy, the dialogues are far from standard interviews. There are, of course, respectful disagreements—but, overall, enthusiasm for shared insights and leading-edge ideas propel each dialogue into realms of mutual delight.

Throughout, Dowd invites each thought leader to probe deeply into that which underlies their ideas. So here, too, you will encounter the richly subjective experiences that abound and beckon all dozen unique journeys of discovery.

Conversational dynamics make the listening experience both engaging and memorable. Tonal nuances, laughter, and surprise offer far more than mere ideas. There is intimacy; there is invitation. Indeed, Dowd reflects:

"There is no richer and more engaging way for listeners to encounter new ideas that sing to their soul—and to easily identify which science-and-religion leaders they'll want to learn more from."

Dowd concludes,

"Any Christian or seeker who is looking to energize their faith in a way that says Yes! to the great and ongoing discoveries of science will find tremendous value in these historic conversations."

Following are brief introductions to each of the 12 speakers, along with some of the topics addressed . . .

Joan Chittister - “God and the Evolutionary World”

  

Joan Chittister is a Benedictine Sister and author of more than 40 books. She co-chairs the U.N. Global Peace Initiative of Women and writes a column for National Catholic Reporter. She is also co-author with Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, of Uncommon Gratitude, which reveals a face of reality that can only be experienced in a state of gratitude.

  • Good theology is about asking wise questions—not parroting old answers
  • Why our views of God matter, and how evolution improves our sense of God
  • How evolutionary theology expands and deepens our moral responsibility

  • Ilia Delio - “The Emergent Christ and Evolutionary Catholicism”

      

    Ilia Delio is a senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University. Her research projects include science and religion, transhumanism, technology and evolution, ecology and education, and the theology of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. She is the author of Christ in Evolution; Care for Creation; and the forthcoming, The Emergent Christ: Exploring the Meaning of Catholic in an Evolutionary Universe.

  • How incarnational theology and ecological responsibility go hand in hand
  • An evolutionary view of “God is love” and love/God as “the gravity of the soul”
  • How relational theology and evolutionary spirituality can transform the Church

  • Linda Gibler - “An Evolutionary View of Sacraments”

      

    Linda Gibler is a Dominican Sister of Houston and associate academic dean at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. She is also adjunct professor for the Loyola Institute for Ministry, science editor for the Collins Foundation Press, and author of From the Beginning to Baptism: Scientific and Sacred Stories of Water, Oil, and Fire.

  • How science can lead to a more glorious view of God and Creation
  • Studying the infinitely large, infinitely small, and infinitely complex to know God
  • How an evolutionary celebration of the sacramental tradition can inspire

  • John F. Haught - “Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life”

      

    John Haught is a leading Catholic evolutionary theologian and senior fellow in the study of science and religion at Georgetown University. He is the author of a dozen books, including, Making Sense of Evolution and Christianity and Science: Toward a Theology of Nature. He was a key witness for the plaintiffs at the Dover ‘intelligent design’ trial.

  • Four facets of faithfulness: to God, tradition, science, and the future
  • The importance of having an inspiring vision, grounded in evidence
  • Our sacred task to interpret the drama of life (story of the universe)

  • Ursula King - “Evolutionary Spirituality and the Power of Love”

      

    Ursula King is professor emerita of theology and religious studies at the University of Bristol, and vice president of the World Congress of Faiths. She is the author of Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Teilhard de Chardin; Religion and Gender; and The Search for Spirituality: Our Global Quest for a Spiritual Life.

  • The transformative power of love in the story of cosmic evolution
  • Valuing the trajectory of life and the evolutionary significance of religion
  • Humanity as a cosmic expression of grace

  • Kenneth R. Miller - “Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul”

      

    Ken Miller is a Brown University cell biologist and author of Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution and Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul. The latter chronicles his role as a lead witness in the 2005 ‘intelligent design’ trial in Dover, Pennsylvania.

  • Why uncritically holding to scripture/tradition leads Christians away from truth
  • That “America has a scientific soul” and what we must do to preserve it
  • How and why science is inherently compatible with religious faith

  • Michael Morwood - “Evolving Prayer and Ritual Celebrations”

      

    Michael Morwood is a Progressive Christian leader with 40 years experience in retreat, education, parish, and youth ministries. He is the author of Tomorrow's Catholic, Praying a New Story, and Children Praying a New Story: A Resource for Parents, Grandparents, and Teachers.

  • Two paths for interpreting concepts of God, Jesus, sacraments, and prayer
  • Supernatural (unnatural) vs. natural implications of religion and spirituality
  • How the new story of the universe can transform our experience of God

  • Diarmuid O’Murchu - “Meeting God in Our Evolutionary Story”

      

    Diarmuid O’Murchu is a Catholic priest and social psychologist living in Dublin, Ireland. A leading evolutionary theologian, he is the author of a dozen books, including, Quantum Theology, Evolutionary Faith, and Ancestral Grace.

  • An evolutionary interpretation of the Kingdom of God and divine grace
  • How God is belittled and the cosmos desacralized by God-as-person
  • Divine creativity expressed through 7 million years of human ancestry

  • Richard Rohr - “Radical Grace and Evolutionary Spirituality”

      

    Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest who founded the Center for Action and Contemplation. A contributing editor for Sojourners magazine and a contributor to Tikkun magazine, he is the author of many books and educational programs, including, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See and Why Be Catholic?

  • “both-and” thinking as more faithful to God than “either-or” dualistic thinking
  • Greater intimacy with God by way of an evidential, evolutionary view of reality
  • Why doubt and periods of darkness can be gifts of grace

  • Gloria Schaab - “Dwelling in the Word: Divine Revelation in the Cosmos”

      

    Gloria Schaab is a Catholic evolutionary theologian and assistant professor of systematic theology at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. Her scholarly work focuses on God as Trinity, evolutionary theology, feminist theology, and the writings of Arthur Peacocke and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

  • How an evolutionary appreciation of God’s self-emptying nature transforms us
  • Why learning science is absolutely essential for doing good theology
  • How a theology of relationships leads to deep-time eyes and a global heart

  • Mary Southard - “Deep-Time Art and the Language of the Heart”

      

    Mary Southard is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph and a student of Thomas Berry. Her paintings, sculptures, and Earth Calendars communicate a sacred and deep-time relationship to Earth and Cosmos across religious divides.

  • Living faithfully in a 13.7 billion year-old Universe of ever-emerging grace
  • How the Universe story expands and enriches traditional Christian theology
  • Jesus as the emergence of a new consciousness in Earth/human history

  • Gail Worcelo - “Sisters of Earth and the Legacy of Thomas Berry”

      

    Gail Worcelo is a Catholic nun who co-founded Green Mountain Monastery (with the late Thomas Berry)—a new monastic community dedicated to the healing and protection of Earth and its life systems. A leader in the Sisters of Earth movement, Sr. Gail is working toward grounding religious life within the context of the Universe Story.

  • A masterful articulation of the vision and wisdom of Thomas Berry
  • The prophetic role of eco-friendly Catholic women’s communities
  • How the epic of evolution, interpreted meaningfully, can draw us closer to God