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Research seminars

The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion Research Seminars are held at 1.00 p.m. on alternate Tuesdays in the Garden Room, Library Building, St. Edmundís College. A free light buffet lunch and drinks are served from 12.30 p.m. onwards. All are welcome.

The Garden Room is on the ground floor of the Library Building which is located in the far left-hand corner as you enter the College grounds. The free buffet lunch is served there.

Michaelmas term

Perfection and randomness: lessons from nanotechnology

Prof. Russell Cowburn FRS

Tuesday October 9, 2018

Garden Room, Library Building
St Edmund's College
Mount Pleasant
Cambridge
CB3 0BN

Can Nature be Red in Tooth and Claw in the thought of Augustine? (a case study).

Dr Stanley Rosenberg

Tuesday October 23, 2018

Garden Room, Library Building
St Edmund's College
Mount Pleasant
Cambridge
CB3 0BN

Abstract

Can a privation account of evil engage with an understanding of nature which understands the latter to be 'red in tooth and claw' from the outset?  At the core of Augustine's theology and the theological systems, which devolve from the Augustinian tradition, is an approach to evil marked by privation theory.  Privation theory asserts a primal purity and a Fall which corrodes the originate state.  On the face of it, such an approach would seem to be wholly contradictory to later understandings of evolutionary development in which so called 'natural evil' or suffering is an essential and ongoing operation within the physical and biological world (cf. Michael Murray, Nature Red in Tooth and Claw: Theism and the Problem of Animal Suffering, Oxford, 2008).  This presentation presents recent study of Augustine’s privation theory can be understood in a way that it can engage the possibilities of natural pain and suffering from the outset.  This is essential to defining whether one doing theology in an Augustinian tradition can readily and fully support biological evolution, needs to alter the Augustinian approach, or can find a way to accommodate these two resilient systems.

 

Faith and Science for a sustainable world

Prof. Mathias Klaui

Tuesday November 6, 2018

Garden Room, Library Building
St Edmund's College
Mount Pleasant
Cambridge
CB3 0BN

Kalam Philosophy, Islam and Science

Dr Bruno Guiderdono

Tuesday November 20, 2018

Garden Room, Library Building
St Edmund's College
Mount Pleasant
Cambridge
CB3 0BN

Abstract

Within the long history of Islamic thinking, Kalam represents an attempt to articulate the data of the Koranic revelation with the pursuit of rational inquiry. Albeit its golden period ended centuries ago, and its focus appears narrower than the one of Christian theology for instance, it nevertheless addresses many issues that are still of interest for defining the interface between faith and reason, or religion and science, today. After a brief presentation of the history and stakes of Kalam, I will focus on a specific debate that took place between the 10th and the 12th centuries, about God’s power on creation, and that dealt with issues such as the temporal origination of the world, contingency and necessity, causality and atomism. I will conclude by arguing that, although this debate developed in a scientific context that was radically different from the one we live in now, it is still relevant for today, especially at a time when contemporary cosmology deals with the apparent fine-tuning of cosmological properties, and the possibility of the multiverse.


Further information about the Speakers may be obtained by clicking on the speaker's name above.