Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Goshen College holds 10th annual Conference of Religion and Science with Philip Clayton

Philip Clayton

Conference: Tenth annual Goshen College Conference on Religion and Science, featuring Philip Clayton
Free public lectures: March 19 at 7:30 p.m. and March 20 at 10:30 a.m.
Location: Church-Chapel, Goshen College
For more information:

GOSHEN, Ind. – Philip Clayton, who works at the Claremont School of Theology in the Department of Religion, the Department of Philosophy and as Ingraham Professor, will be the keynote speaker at the 10th annual Goshen College Conference on Religion and Science, March 19-21. Clayton will speak on "Starting with the Big Picture: The Evolutionary Emergence of Body, Mind, and Spirituality" on Friday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. and on "Apes with Big Brains: Anthropology and the Biological Sciences: on Saturday, March 20 at 10:30 a.m. in the Goshen College Church-Chapel. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The theme of the conference is "Evolution after the Religion Wars: Rethinking Humanity and Ethics in Light of the Science-Religion Partnership." Many religious believers have thought that one needs to negate evolution and its results in order to make room for God. This lecture series has the opposite goal: to use evolutionary theory, together with insights from the religious traditions, in order to better understand what humanity is and how we should act in the world.

Clayton received a joint doctorate in philosophy and religious studies from Yale University, and has been a professor at Williams College. He has also held invited guest professorships at the University of Munich, the University of Cambridge and Harvard Divinity School. He has published widely across the theological disciplines, as well as in the philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, history of philosophy and the philosophy of religion. Clayton has written or edited some 18 books and over 100 articles in the field. He has worked extensively on the relationship between science, philosophy and religion, and he is recognized as one of the leading figures in this field internationally.

Clayton's book publications as author or editor include "The Problem of God in Modern Thought; God and Contemporary Science"; "Explanation from Physics to Theology: An Essay in Rationality and Religion"; "Quantum Mechanics: The Problem of Divine Action"; "Evolution and Ethics: Human Morality in Biological and Religious Perspective"; "Science and the Spiritual Quest"; "The Re-Emergence of Emergence"; "In Quest of Freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World"; and "Transforming Theology."

In addition to his own publications, Clayton has been a leading advocate for the internationalization of the science-religion dialogue. He has played significant roles in the "Science and the Spiritual Quest" program and the "Global Perspectives in Science and Spirituality" program, both funded by the Templeton Foundation. And he has been at the forefront of efforts to expand scholarship in this field into the non-Western traditions.

The conference is designed to provide maximum interaction with one of the principal thinkers in the dialog between religion and science. A single invited speaker presents three lectures, two of which are open to the public. Small moderated discussion sessions provide conference participants an opportunity to address topics from the lectures, and others, in conversation with the speaker.

Past conference speakers have included Noreen Herzfeld, Holmes Rolston III, Ted Peters, Philip Hefner, Robert Russell, John H. Haught, Antje Jackelen, George Ellis and Nancey Murphy. Conference participants include pastors and interested lay persons, as well as academic scientists, mathematicians, theologians and students.

Conference attendance and participants include pastors and interested lay persons, as well as academic scientists, mathematicians, theologians and students. For persons interested in more information about the conference, visit or contact Marilyn Bayak at or (574) 535-7305.

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college's Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron's Best Buys in Education, "Colleges of Distinction," "Making a Difference College Guide" and U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" edition, which named Goshen a "least debt college." Visit

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