|Dear WesleyNexus Colleague:
Summer is here and I hope you are enjoying the first week of summer. Below you will find some
event announcements that are coming up in the next few weeks. We also note several links to some
interesting videos and a NY Times article that you may find of interest. If you know of any events
that should be included, please let us know. We can post them on the website and include them in
next month’s newsletter. You may email us at WesleyNexus@aol.com. I hope you enjoy this
Rick Barr, WesleyNexus
Ian Ramsey Center for Science and Religion
The Ian Ramsey Center for Science and Religion
will be presenting their its 2013 conference at
St. Ann’s College, Oxford from July 17-21, 2013.
The theme of the conference is
The Second-Person Perspective in Science and
the Humanities. The pioneering work of Martin
Buber, Emmanuel Levinas and others in the twentieth century has been augmented by new data from
the empirical sciences, especially the study of joint attention and conditions such as autistic spectrum
disorder, Williams Syndrome and prosopagnosia, characterized by atypical second-person
responsiveness as well as research stimulated by the controversy as to whether certain non-human
primates have a “theory of mind” and can entertain another’s point of view. The implications of such
developments can scarcely be exaggerated, shaping the foundations of ethics and personal identity, but
touching also on other areas of philosophy, social cognition, neuroscience, developmental psychology,
ethology, theology and many aspects of the humanities generally. Such research is also seen as having
implications for society in a broader sense, especially at a time of rising concern about narcissism and
apparent deficits of empathy and social cohesion.
The aim of the conference is to present, discuss and debate these developments from a variety of
perspectives, crossing interdisciplinary boundaries to elucidate the purported distinctiveness of the
second-person perspective and explore its implications. Information on the conference can be found
Science and Religion at the Smithsonian Institution
Dialogue on the relationship between scientific and religious perspectives on human evolution
On Friday, July 26, 2013 from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm in the
Worldwide Theater in the Hall of Human Origins at the
Natural History Museum in Washington, DC , there will
be an open discussion of the relationship between
scientific and religious perspectives concerning human
origins. The event is free and no tickets are required. For those of you who are not able to go the
Smithsonian in person, check out “A Primer on Science, Religion, Evolution and Creationism” which
can be found online here.
The 59th Annual IRAS Summer Conference at Silver Bay, New York
From July 27 to August 3, 2013, The
Institute on Religion in an Age of
Science (IRAS) will convene for their
yearly conference at Silver Bay, New York.
This year’s program will focus on Scientific,
Spiritual and Moral Challenges in solving the World Food Crisis. Conference Co-Chairs are Solomon
Katz and Pat Bennett. Dr. Katz is director of the Krogman Center for Childhood Growth and
Development at the University of Pennsylvania. Katz is also a leading expert on the anthropology of
food. To register, go to http://www.iras.org/2013.html
David Wilkinson to speak at Metropolitan United Methodist Church
David Wilkinson is a physicist, theologian, Methodist
minister and Principal of St Johns College,
Durham University (UK) who has been engaged in
the science and religion dialogue for many years.
He is the author of a number of books including
Christian Eschatology and the Physical Universe .
He will be visiting Metropolitan United Methodist
Church in Washington, DC on August 18, 2013. Details will be posted on WesNex.org as they
Science and Religion Forum
Chance or Providence?: Religious Perspectives on Divine Action
Also in England, the
University of Chester
will convene a
conference on Chance and Providence?: Religious Perpectives on Divine Action. It will take place
from September 5 -7, 2013. The keynote Gowland lecture will be given by Philip Clayton, Dean of
Claremont School of Theology and Provost of Claremont Lincoln University in Claremont, CA.
Additional speakers will be Mark Harris, Daniel Langton, Bethany Sollereder, Rabie E Abdul-Halim,
and Christopher Knight. Information on the conference can be found here.
Dr. Philip Clayton has been a formative thinker in the Science and Religion dialogue for two decades.
His major books include Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness (Oxford, 2004), The
Re-Emergence of Emergence (Oxford, 2006), In Quest of freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the
Natural World (Gottingen: 2008), and Adventures in the Spirit: God, World, and Divine Action
(Fortress, 2008). For more perspective on the recent work of Dr. Clayton, particularly as his thinking
has evolved in recent years, see his continuing blog at http://clayton.ctr4process.org/2008/09/10/11/12/.
Dr. Clayton is also a leader in the developing international movement to bring critical theological
analysis to laypeople in the churches, bringing theology out of the academy for impact on the thinking
of “everyday Christians,” while taking seriously the best in contemporary scientific thinking. For more
on this movement, we suggest that you bookmark the following websites:
World Science Festival
TThe World Science Festival is a production of
the Science Festival Foundation, a 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization headquartered in New
York City. The Foundation’s mission is to
cultivate a general public informed by science,
inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the
future. Video’s from this year’s festival, which took place the end of May, can be found at http:
//worldsciencefestival.com/ The festival presented a wide array of topics ranging from physics to
biology, medicine and mental health.
Math Wars and Critical Thinking Skills
A recent NY Times article, Alice Crary
and W. Stephen Wilson discusses current
issues concerning the methods and
philosophy of mathematics teaching in
our schools. Alice Crary is an associate professor of philosophy at the New School for Social
Research and Eugene Lang College, and W. Stephen Wilson is a professor of mathematics and
education at Johns Hopkins University. The article can be accessed here.
Another NY Times article highlights a recent development in the “bible-belt.” The emphasis on the
need for “spiritual community” is especially interesting: In the Bible Belt, Offering Atheists a Spiritual
|June 25, 2013