Past and Future
The Science and Religion Dialogue: Past and Future
The Science and Theology Dialogue has been well established in Heidelberg since 1958. Located above Heidelberg’s famous castle, the Research Center of Protestant Churches in Germany, the FEST, has cultivated this dialogue in consultations, workshops and publications. Its current topics are interdisciplinary anthropology, concepts of nature and questions of bioethics. In 1987, the year the John Templeton Foundation was established, one of the FEST’s members, Professor Jürgen Hübner, biologist and theologian, published a book of more than 500 pages titled The Dialogue between Theology and the Natural Sciences: A Bibliographical Report.1 Today, it would probably need ten volumes of similar size to provide an update of the bibliography.
My own serious interest in this dialogue dates back to a multi-year project at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, the CTI, in the early 1990s, designed by its former director, Daniel Hardy. I had the privilege to meet international colleagues who had been engaged in the Science and Religion Dialogue for quite some time. From this group of longtime dialogue partners, I am most happy to welcome today the distinguished colleagues John Polkinghorne and Janet Soskice from Cambridge, UK, John Headley Brooke from Oxford and Durham, William Schweiker and Kathryn Tanner from, respectively, the University of Chicago and the Yale Divinity School, Wentzel van Huyssteen from Princeton, Ted Peters and Robert Russell from Berkeley, Owen Gingrich from Harvard, Willem Drees from Leiden and Niels Gregersen from Copenhagen.
When we first met, several...
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