Can Religion Survive 21st Century Science?

Published: Mon 29 Sep 2014 02:02 PM
Can Religion Survive 21st Century Science?
New Zealand's foremost religious discussion forum, the "Sea of Faith Network", will bring to its members and the general public an impressive lineup of speakers at its annual Conference to be held in Dunedin from October 3 to 5.
Because SoF recognises that a well-lived life is enriched by cultivating a spiritual or a religious dimension, attitudes and opinions which challenge that assumption must be acknowledged and, in many cases, entered into dialogue with. Just as Galileo demoted the Earth's position to that of a satellite around the Sun and Charles Darwin's revolutionary account of human development made us continuous with animals, so too the discoveries of psychology and the emergence of neuroscience invite us to re-evaluate religious phenomena including: life after death; a supernatural realm of beings; miracles; and even the existence of God, when regarded as something more than a figure of speech.
The opening speaker at this year's Conference, Sir Lloyd Geering, will ask "What Goes On Inside Our Heads?" Reuben Johnson, Senior Lecturer in Neurosurgery at the University of Otago ponders "Can spirit, soul and free-will survive the scrutiny of a neuroscientist?" Psychologist and Dominican sister, Sandra Winton, surveys what happens when "Psyche meets Soul: a consideration of some of the ways in which psychological factors and religious belief interact in the individual." The lecture by High School teacher Bernard Beckett will draw on his book Falling for Science and discuss the relationship between science and story telling. Dr Richard Egan, lecturer in health promotion at the Dunedin School of Medicine, will talk on the place of spirituality in health-care.
Full details and registration information can be found at

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