Contemporary civilization is characterized by a technological paradigm, in which our increasing control over nature challenges our interpretations of the essence of what is natural, what is good, and what is properly human. This has major implications for civic life, in areas such as bioethics, medicine and the dignity of the human person, the state of the environment, and our relationship with the rest of creation.
In the second half of a speaker series at Catholic Conscience, Geoffrey Woollard and I will build on the themes of the first, which include integral ecology, the unity of knowledge, and the purposive, intelligible nature of all of Creation as they continue to engage with leading scientists, philosophers, and theologians whose work is nourished by a Catholic Christian understanding of the world.
The series began in September with Professor Christopher Baglow, who spoke about faith & science, evolution, and how we come to understand ourselves as beings with a discernable nature that has nonetheless evolved and is still evolving.
In October, Sister Damien Marie Savino addressed the interconnectedness in all things, and the link between integral ecology (care for the environment) and human ecology (pro-life). Building on those themes in November, Professor Christopher Thompson will speak about bringing Catholic theology, philosophy and practice into closer conversation with environmental thinking.
On December 16th, we’ll be starting the second half of the series with Professor Sonsoles De LaCalle – Chair of the Health Sciences Department at California State University. She will address gender theory and outline a Catholic approach, speak to the nature of the human person as sexually dimorphous, the masculine and feminine geniuses, and our inherent complementarity.
On January 12th, we’ll hear from Fr Peter Turrone and Dr Natasha Fernandes on how to care for the whole person from the perspectives of neuroscience and psychiatry. In February, we’re joined by Rev Dr Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti, Professor of Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and formerly CNR researcher in Radioastronomy, Bologna, and Astronomer at the Observatory of Turin. We will speak with him about God’s revelation through nature – how scientific and theological perspectives are united.
In March, Geoffrey Woollard will speak to how attentiveness to experience in scientific practice bears fruit in the lab and reveals the deeper laws and natures of things present all around us. We will conclude the series by asking our guests back for a panel discussion in the spring, synthesizing the insights we’ve gleaned from the variety of their fields of expertise, united in the fullness of truth, which the Catholic faith and her intellectual tradition provides.
A primary goal of Catholic Conscience is to bring the values of the Gospel, as reflected in Catholic social teachings, into the centre of social discourse. We present seminars and workshops, publish podcasts and videos on a variety of topics intended to stimulate discussion, form our consciences, guide our lifestyle choices, inform our private and public conversations, and help us discern which political leaders we support.
Throughout the series, we’ll be highlighting the implications of the scientific and philosophical findings to our lives as citizens.
Please join us by signing up for each session and subscribing to the Catholic Conscience newsletter. The webinars are interactive in nature, so come prepared with your questions.
Peter Copeland has a background in business, entrepreneurship, teaching and philosophy. He works in politics as a Policy advisor in the Provincial government of Ontario, and has an interest in bridging the world of ideas and public policy.
Geoffrey Woollard is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. He helped organize the Toronto Chapter of the Society of Catholic Scientists while at U of T, and is the President of a new University Chapter serving Metro Vancouver.