Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

March 29, 2001

Gonzaga, Whitworth Host Conference on Physics and Faith

As scientific discoveries reveal new insights into the origin and nature of the universe, believers in the creator God of the Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions face new opportunities and challenges to integrate their faith with modern science. To explore what the latest research can contribute to the understanding of human beings and their relationships to God and the universe, Gonzaga University and Whitworth College are sponsoring a weeklong program of public lectures and academic symposia April 23-27 titled "Physics and the God of Abraham."

"The purpose of this program is to provide university faculty and students, as well as the public, the opportunity to discover and discuss recent work on the relationship of theistic religion and modern physics," says Michael Tkacz, associate professor of philosophy and director of the Institute for Christian Philosophy & the Natural Sciences at Gonzaga. Tkacz is coordinating the conference with Whitworth Professor of Physics Lois Kieffaber.

The program will bring together several leading clergy-physicists who have written and lectured extensively on science and religion. The featured speakers include John Polkinghorne, an ordained Anglican priest, past president of Queens College at the University of Cambridge and former professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge; the Rev. William R. Stoeger, a Jesuit priest who is staff scientist at the Vatican Observatory and visiting professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona; and the Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., president at Gonzaga University and author of an upcoming book on faith and reason.

These speakers will deliver lectures on the Whitworth and Gonzaga campuses (see attached schedule). The topics of the lectures range from the relationship of faith and physics to the doctrine of creation in light of modern cosmology. The lectures are open to the public and are free of charge.

The program is co-sponsored by the Weyerhaeuser Center for Christian Faith & Learning at Whitworth and the Institute for Christian Philosophy & the Natural Sciences at Gonzaga. Additional support is being provided by the John Templeton Foundation, Betty S. Wheeler, and Mr. & Mrs. James May.

Physics & the God of Abraham Conference Program

Monday, April 23, 2001

7 p.m. Hughes Auditorium, Gonzaga University
Official Welcome & Introduction
Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Gonzaga University
"The Faith of a Physicist"
John Polkinghorne, University of Cambridge
This lecture is open to the general public and is free of charge.

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

11 a.m. Cowles Auditorium, Whitworth College
"Is Human Consciousness More than Brain Circuitry?"
Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Gonzaga University
This lecture is open to the general public and is free of charge.

7 p.m. Seeley Mudd Chapel, Whitworth College
"Does God Do Anything? Divine Action in the Cosmos"
John Polkinghorne, University of Cambridge
This lecture is open to the general public and is free of charge.

Wednesday, April 25, 2001

3:30 p.m. Schoenberg Center, Gonzaga University
Faculty Colloquium: God's Action in the Universe
Panel: John Polkinghorne, University of Cambridge; Lois Kieffaber, Whitworth College; Eric Kincanon, Gonzaga University This colloquium is open to invited university and college faculty of the Inland Northwest.

7 p.m. Schoenberg Center, Gonzaga University
Student Colloquium: God in a Quantum Universe
Panel: Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Gonzaga University;William R. Stoeger, S.J., Vatican Observatory; Gonzaga Philosophy Club This colloquium is open to invited students from Gonzaga University and Whitworth College.

Thursday, April 26, 2001

7 p.m. Hughes Auditorium, Gonzaga University
"Physics & Faith: Metaphysical Complementarities"
Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Gonzaga University
This lecture is open to the general public and is free of charge.

Friday, April 27, 2001

7 p.m. Jepson Auditorium, Gonzaga University
"Creation in Physics & Theology"
William R. Stoeger, S.J., Vatican Observatory
This lecture is open to the general public and is free of charge.

Contacts:

Lois Kieffaber, professor of physics, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4207, or lkieffaber@whitworth.edu.

Michael Tkacz, associate professor of philosophy, Gonzaga University, (509) 323-6760 or tkacz@calvin.gonzaga.edu.

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