Workshop Title:

Religion and Science

Date:

March 1st, 2024 (GMT-5)

Organizer:

Saint Mary's College

Keywords:

  • Religion
  • Science
  • Religion and science relationship
  • Evolution
  • Theology

Workshop Chair:

Dr. Kurt Buhring
Associate Professor in Saint Mary's College

Personal Bio:

Kurt Buhring is Associate Professor of Religious Studies & Theology at Saint Mary's College (IN). Born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, he earned his BA in Religious Studies from Grinnell College and his PhD in Theology from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Buhring is the author of Spirit(s) in Black Religion: Fire on the Inside (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) and Conceptions of God, Freedom, and Ethics in African American and Jewish Theology (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). Both of these texts are a part of Palgrave Macmillan's "Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice" series. Buhring's research is focused in Black Theology of Liberation. In particular, he is interested in concepts of understanding the divine-human interaction in ways that foster human agency and positively transform the self and society. His research has also explored issues in modern Jewish theology, religion during the Great Depression, and religious expressions in film. At Saint Mary's College, Buhring teaches courses in social justice, Black theology, interfaith relations, religion and science, and Islam. He has also taught at Westville Correctional Facility as part of the Moreau College Initiative.

Workshop Description:

Background:

Are religion and science in conflict with one another, or should we understand each discipline simply to be asking different questions, using its own method and language? Perhaps religion and science are actually most fruitfully understood as two complementary ways of thinking about the world that have much to learn from one another through encounter?

This course, "Religion & Science," explores the relationship between religion and science, currently and historically, through an examination of various intersections of the two disciplines. Selected topics to be addressed will include: the origins and development of the universe and life on our planet; who we are as human beings biologically, psychologically, and theologically; and bioethics and environmental issues. Through these explorations, we will seek to come to a richer understanding of the interplay of religion and science and more nuanced conceptions of God, humanity, and the universe.

Goal/Rationale:

This course is designed to provide an opportunity for students to explore topics at the intersections of religion and science. The semester is structured around various scientific perspectives and multiple religious and theological views on such perspectives. While Christianity is the primary religion explored, the course counts for the Interreligious Studies requirement in our major and thus also integrates figures from other religions as well. For assessments, students write shorter papers, lead and participate in seminar discussions, and choose, research, and write on a relevant topic as a culminating project.

On the day of the sample class meeting, students will have read and will be discussing two chapters from John Haught's God After Darwin. Haught argues that evolutionary theory is a "gift" to theology, as it encourages Christian-based ways of understanding divine goodness and power, as well as empowering and inspiring possibilities for human life. One of my intentions in this 75-minute class session is to introduce students to creative ways of understanding God and humanity in light of evolutionary theory. Taught early in the semester, this session sets a foundation for our understanding of evolution, constructive Christian theology, and positive ways that religion can engage science.

Scope and Information for Participants:

This workshop is a sample class meeting from the course, "Religion & Science." The course is a 300-level undergraduate seminar that meets the Interreligious Studies requirement for Saint Mary's Religious Studies and Theology majors. The students tend to be juniors and seniors. While many of them are majors in my Religious Studies and Theology department, the course also draws science majors as well as other interested students. The course tends to be small, with around 10-15 students.

Participants are invited to draw from their own pedagogical experiences with these or similar thinkers and topics, as well as with the intersection of religion and science more broadly.

Venue:

Le Mans Hall, St Mary S College, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA

VISA:


U.S. Visas (state.gov)

In order to ensure the information is correct and up to date, there may be changes which we are not aware of. And different countries have different rules for the visa application. It is always a good idea to check the latest regulations in your country. This page just gives some general information of the visa application.

US Visa Information

The B-1/B-2 visitor visa is for people traveling to the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). Generally, the B-1 visa is for travelers consulting with business associates; attending scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions/conferences; settling an estate; or negotiating contracts. The B-2 visa is for travel that is recreational in nature, including tourism; visits with friends or relatives; medical treatment; and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature. Often, the B-1 and B-2 visas are combined and issued as one visa: the B-1/B-2.

Application Items

If you apply for a business/tourist visa, you must pay your $160 application fee and submit the following:

  • A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form. Visit the DS-160 web page for more information about the DS-160.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person desiring a visa must submit an application.
  • One (1) 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) photograph taken within the last six months.
  • If a visa is issued, there may be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, depending on your nationality.

In addition to these items, you must present an interview appointment letter confirming that you booked an appointment through this service. You may also bring whatever supporting documents you believe support the information provided to the consular officer.

Supporting Documents

  • Invitation letter from business or school.
  • Detailed CV or resume including a list of publications.
  • Complete itinerary, including all meetings, conferences, and visits; include names, addresses, and telephone numbers of your hosts.
  • For other materials, please refer to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

NOTICE:

Should your application be denied, the organizing committee cannot change the decision of visa officer, nor will ICSPHS engage in discussion or correspondence with the visa application center on behalf of the applicant. The registration fee CANNOT be refunded when the VISA application of individual being denied.

Attend in person:

If you want to attend the workshop on-site, please email the Conference Committee: info@icsphs.org.