|September 19, 2015
Dear WesleyNexus Colleague:
We at WesleyNexus have put out on a regular basis newsletters full of relevant content of interest
to our participants. This month, in spite of our workaday schedules we have again pulled together a
number of articles and events for your viewing. Three we want to highlight are of particular importance to
First, WesleyNexus, The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Salem United
Methodist church in Brookeville, MD are sponsoring a workshop where participants will be offered
answers to the questions: "What should pastors know about science"? The writeup is below along with the
link to register. You can also find the announcement on our www.wesnex.org.
Secondly, we have two book reviews that may be of interest to our participants written by participants.
We at WesleyNexus produce this newsletter and develop our programs as a labor of love and as a response
to a call from that ultimate mystery just mentioned. To enrich our programs, we need your support.
THANK YOU TO THOSE OF YOU WHO ACTUALLY SENT RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS. We
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Thanks in advance for your support.
Rick, Maynard, and the rest of the
WesleyNexus Board of Directors
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“What Pastors Should Know about Science.”
That will be the theme of a “day-retreat” hosted by WesleyNexus, Inc
and Salem United Methodist Church in Brookeville on October 17, 2015.
This is the second annual WesleyNexus Fall retreat open to all members
and pastors of churches in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference.
Hosted by Pastor Sue Shorb-Sterling at Salem UMC (12 High Street, Brookeville, MD 20833),
the event will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the morning, and will include lunch and a follow-up discussion in the
afternoon, ending at 2:00 (no later than 3:00 depending on interest).
Focus of the morning presentation will be the Science for Seminaries project, which began in 2014. This
project is spearheaded by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER), and is part of the
program's efforts to advance science and serve society by encouraging productive dialogue between
scientific and religious communities. The project was launched in partnership with the Association of
Theological Schools, the seminaries’ central accrediting body.
Mr. Curtis Baxter, from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, will be the morning
speaker, and we expect several representatives from Wesley Theological Seminary to participate in the
discussion. The program will be open to the first 40 persons to register; there is no cost to register.
Donations to cover the cost of the lunch will be welcome.
Both pastors and lay members of the BWC churches are encouraged to attend. To register, send an email
to firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the webpage to register directly. Registration will remain open as long as
space is available for participants. Additional information will be posted on the website: www.wesnex.org.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Other Upcoming Events of interest:
Modern Cosmism Conference
Dates: October 10, 2015
Location: New York, NY
The conference will address fundamental philosophical issues that arise
with the future design and use of artificial consciousness, mind-uploading
and cyber-immortality. How will our concepts of subjectivity, perception,
and morality change, if we will live in a mega-consciousness environment
where you can experience multiple presences, personality, gender (or no gender at all) and unlimited kinds
of artificial feelings? What are the possible ramifications and consequences of digital consciousness?
Cosmism suggests that the profound nature of the reality is also digital and it utilizes an existential source
code coming from Being that is using “radiant humanity” for its own preservation and modification. Our
keynote and plenary speakers are well-known international protagonists of Cosmism, Transhumanism and
interdisciplinary researchers. Their lectures will discuss the most important current issues of Modern
Cosmism from the point of view of philosophy, technology, ethics, robotics, psychology, and anthropology.
For more on Cosmism and the event, click here.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
International Society for Science and Religion
This annual event is convened just on the eve of the Annual Meeting of the
American Academy of Religion. For the latest, please check out the website
Dates: 20-21 November 2015. Location: Atlanta downtown hotels.
This year, we start our events on Friday Morning. In fact, if you can get to Atlanta, you won’t want to miss
this session, featuring a team of highly informed theologians, philosophers, and neuroscientists responded to
the latest developments on “mirror neurons” and empathy.
As before, all our events are free. No need to register. And there’s no need to register for AAR, although of
course you’ll want to check out the science and religion events that are part of the main schedule. See AAR
for details on their program, at https://www.aarweb.org/annual-meeting/program
For more information on ISSR, contact Professor Ron Cole-Turner at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Religion, Science and the Future Conference
Deadline Extended by Popular Demand to 20 September 2015
The 10th Anniversary Conference of the The International Society
for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, will be held 14 -17
January 2016 at The University of Florida, Gainesville.
The response to the initial Call for Paper deadline yielded many excellent
proposals from around the world, generated a lot of interest, and many requests
that we extend the deadline for proposals To accommodate these requests the ISSRNC board has
approved an extension of the submissions deadline to 20 September 2015. The conference page is here.
The Call For Papers in English: https://goo.gl/z33PnX
Award for Best Student Conference Paper
Submission Deadline 1 November 2015: https://goo.gl/BhM8vS
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Pope Francis and the Encyclical Laudato Si'
On June 18 the Vatican officially released the long a waited and greatly
anticipated encyclical on climate change, a document that is already drawing
strong criticism from conservative detractors, since it clearly identifies human
factors as the primary cause for global warming. Citing the precipitous rise of
greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide among others) as
documented in numerous scientific studies, the Pope also addresses issues
such as air pollution, water quality, population density, and the loss of
biodiversity as matters of critical concern. Importantly, the Pope addresses not just those in the Roman
Catholic community, but he calls on all the peoples of the world to join in forging global strategies to alter
the course we are on. Most importantly the Pope highlights the impact on the world's poorest people:
Experts have long argued that deforestation, biodiversity loss, water shortages and poor water quality, loss
of traditional lands and any number of climate change effects have disproportionate impacts on developing
countries and the world’s poorest people. This constellation of factors is what lies behind the diminishing
quality of human life, social degradation and planetary inequalities.
As the Pope visits New York, Washington and Philadelphia in the coming weeks, there will be several
excellent discussion groups that will focus attention on the Pope's words, including: (1) the Science and
Theology Group sponsored by the seminaries in the Washington Theological Consortium, meeting on
Friday September 18 on the campus on St. Paul's College; and (2) the ASA Washington Metropolitan
Section, meeting at the Cosmos Club on Saturday evening September 26 at 7:00 p.m. We at WesleyNexus
welcome the advent of Laudaro Si' and urge that our colleagues in congregational discussion groups give
the text extended attention to mobilize influences on public policy. For a summary of the ten key points in
the encyclical that can serve as a framework for discussion, click here.
For the full text in English of the 192 page document, including its 172 footnotes, click here:
Oord, Thomas Jay. The Uncontrolling Love of God: An Open and Relational Account of
Providence. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2015. 220 pages (in press).
Reviewed by Rev. E. Maynard Moore, PhD, President WesleyNexus, Inc.
Dr. Tom Oord has been a member of the WesleyNexus Advisory Board since
our inception. He has published a number of books in the science and religion field,
and his newest proves to be one of the most exciting. It is due for a November 2015
publishing date. The review can be found here.
Copies may be pre-ordered at Amazon.com.
Heintzman, Paul. Leisure and Spirituality: Biblical, Historical, and Contemporary Perspectives. Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015. 324 pages. ISBN 978-0801048722 (pbk).
Reviewed by S. Scott Mapes, D. Min. candidate in Science and Theology, Pittsburgh Theological
Seminary, and Lead Pastor, Paden City, WV, Church of the Nazarene.
This is a comprehensive treatment of the subject, one often overlooked by those of us in the science and
religion field, but a subject getting increasing attention in the neurosciences. The review can be found here.
360.org... Power Through Paris Workshop.
Washington Theological Consortium...CERTIFICATE IN ECOLOGY AND THEOLOGY