Abstract The concept of evolution challenges us to an ongoing effort to interpret its significance. The challenge has several dimensions: (1) to calm the debate that divides Americans in arguing whether evolution is at odds with biblical traditions; (2) to integrate evolution into one's personal philosophy of life or religious faith; (3) to note the importance of the story form for rendering evolution; and (4) to evaluate evolution as a creation story. Evolution is portrayed as a drama in five acts: (...) cosmic, biological, cultural, moral, and spiritual. The discussion concludes with reflection on humans as co-creators whose task is to become the storytellers of evolution. The author presents this interpretation as a fuller concept of evolution. (shrink)
The challenge to the journal Zygon as suggested here is to respond to three different reference groups: public intellectuals, academia, and religious communities. An extended discussion follows of what I term the situation of irony in which religion-and-science finds itself. I argue that this situation of irony actually constitutes the domain in which our greatest contributions can be offered.
Neither religion nor science is first of all a realm of pure ideas, even though religion-and-science discussions often assume that they are. I propose that a concept of embodied science is more adequate and that religion-and-science should center its attention on science as enabler for improving the world (SEIW). This idea of science is rooted in Jerome Ravetz's concept of industrialized science and Donna Haraway's technoscience. SEIW describes the sociocultural context of science in commercial, government, and university settings. The chief (...) focus of religion-and-science consequently takes into account five basic issues: (1) the kind of world we want, (2) liberating science, (3) human action and ethics, (4) religion and the world's possibilities, and (5) recovering myth. An underlying presupposition of the discussion is that understanding the world always involves as well an understanding of our being-in-the-world. (shrink)
. Our ideas of disease try to explain it, and they aim at facilitating cures. In the process, they become entwined in sociocultural networks that have totalizing effects. Disease, however, counters this totalizing effect by revealing to us that our lives are fragments. Unless we engage this fragment character of disease and of our lives, we cannot properly understand disease or deal with it. HIV/AIDS clarifies these issues in an extraordinarily powerful fashion. Medical, legal, commercial, political, and institutional approaches to (...) disease overlook the fragment character of disease in favor of totalizing world- views. A theology of disease is necessary in order to maintain the focus on fragments. Unless we recognize this fragment character, we do not really understand our lives, and we do not really understand either disease or healing. (shrink)
. A dialogue between the outgoing and incoming directors of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science took place as part of the inaugural symposium. In their conversation they speak of the past and present challenges and goals of the Center, outline what is foremost in their minds, and offer glimpses into what they see as the Center’s priorities for future work.