Program Events

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Past Events

Table Forum
Thursday, November 11, 2014,  12:00pm, Lower Auditorium
Speakers: Dr. Gail R. O’Day, Dr. Kevin Jung, Dr. Bill Leonard, Dr. Neal Walls
The School of Divinity held a table forum about the grant project, introducing its scope and importance. 

Field Trip
Wednesday, November 10, 2014, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM)
Led by Dr. Kevin Jung, divinity students were given the opportunity to tour WFIRM in-depth and see their special projects. During the tour students also heard from Dr. Benjamin Harrison, Associate Professor at WFIRM, on the history and nature of regenerative medicine, as well as current research projects.

Understanding Biophysics through the Lens of Darwinism

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 11:00am, Wingate Hall Room 202
Speaker: Jed Macosko, Associate Professor of Physics
This lecture explored new developments in biophysics and their implications on Darwinism and religion.

Women in Science: Feminists or Just Good Scientists?

Wednesday, April 1, 11:00am, Wingate Hall Room 202
Speaker: Dr. Rebecca Alexander, Professor of Chemistry

The Physics of Creation

Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
Wingate Hall, Room 202
Dr. J. Daniel Bourland, professor of radiation oncology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, will give this presentation.

Field Trip

November 6 – 8, 2015
Kennedy Space Center and Observatory at Eastern Florida College
As part of the one credit course “God and the Cosmos,” the field trip will include a full tour of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and a visit to a roof-top observatory at Eastern Florida State College’s Planetarium for stargazing and amateur astronomy. Students will be able to use one of the largest public telescopes in Florida — a 24” Ritchey-Chretien reflector. All basic costs (airfare, housing, ground transportation, and admission fees) involved in the field trip will be fully paid for by the AAAS grant. 

Read a Student’s Blog and Reflection On The Trip »

“Is God’s Charity Broad Enough for Bears?” Steelman Lecture with 
Elizabeth Johnson

Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Wait Chapel, Wake Forest University Campus
Elizabeth Johnson is Distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University.
Watch the lecture now »

“Is God’s Charity Broad Enough Bears?” is inpsired from an observation by the naturalist John Muir. Coming upon a dead bear in the woods, he scorned those religious folk who excluded such noble creatures from divine mercy. To the contrary, he wrote, “God’s charity is broad enough for bears.” Is it? Making use of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, this lecture explores key theological themes needed for conversion to the earth in this age of ecological crisis. Rather than forcing a choice between heaven or earth, we seek to invigorate ethical behavior that cares for plants and animals with a passion integral to belief in the living God.

“Our Place in the Universe” with Dr. John Barrow
Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Kulynych Auditorium, Porter Byrum Welcome Center, Wake Forest University Campus
Dr. John D. Barrow of Cambridge University will give a public lecture and participate in a dialogue on the relationship between astrophysics and theology. Dr. Barrow is currently Research Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He was the winner of Templeton Prize in 2006.

Barrow will explain the concept of the expanding universe and the modern evidence for it, which will reveal a number of unexpected connections between the size and age of the universe and the conditions needed for life to exist and persist within it. These are quite different to traditional philosophical and theological perspectives on the universe. During the lecture attendees will meet the idea that an inflationary surge in expansion rate of the universe occurred in the distant past and see the powerful evidence for it. This will provoke all to take seriously the idea that we are part of a multiverse of universes, each with different properties, and that our observable universe might have a beginning whilst the multiverse does not. Finally, Barrow will see what the observed acceleration of the universe’s expansion today signals about its future. It may well be that astronomers in the far future will not be able to study the universe by direct observation as we do today. Our own place in cosmic history is one that is advantageous for arriving at an understanding of the universe and our place within it.


Public Lecture
The Problem of Evil as a Challenge to Theology and Philosophy
Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
Wingate Hall, Room 202
Dr. Robert Audi, John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame,  will give a public lecture on the problem of evil. Audi’s areas of interest include: Ethics, Political Philosophy, Epistemology, Religious Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind and Action.

Can the amount and kind of evil in the world be reconciled with the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, and wholly loving God?  If this is a world under God, how could there be the apparently unending killing and suffering that history has revealed?  This perennial “problem of evil” has occupied philosophers and theologians since at least the medieval period.  It cannot be resolved without adequate conceptions of God, of love, of human freedom, and of the nature of evil and its place in human life.  Drawing on extensive work on all of these topics, Robert Audi presents an approach intended to lay the groundwork for dealing with the problem.

Public Lecture
Religion, Science, and Public Education
Thursday, April 21, 2016, 3:30 p.m.
Wingate Hall, Room 202
Dr. Robert Audi, John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, will give a public lecture on the limits of science and its place in relation to religion.

Science is commonly thought to be in conflict with religion.  Those who think this usually leave the view quite vague.  The important question here is whether the scientific habit of mind is compatible with religious faith.  This presentation will explore some major elements of scientific method and will sketch a conception that enables us to see whether it is, in a certain way, religiously neutral.  Evolutionary biology will be the branch of science that serves as a test case in pursuing this question.  Of particular interest here is what an evolutionary account of the origin of the human species implies about the nature of the human person.  A related question to be addressed is how evolutionary biology can be taught in state schools with a religiously pluralistic student body.  In considering this, we can see important points about not only religion and science but also the relation between religion and politics.