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Science & Theology Dialogues: what's "Made in God's Image" mean w/DNA Science?

Something to ponder: "What does it mean to claim that humanity is made in the "Image of God" (Imago Dei in Latin) in light of the new science of human genomics (the Human Genome Project, DNA research, etc)?  Does this branch of science (though obviously adding to our core of knowledge) undercut human dignity or enhance it?"  That's the cluster of questions this month's Science & Theology Dialogues will take up.  The DC Theology Pub & Emerging Christianity meetups continue the Science & Theology Dialogues on Sunday, January 12th.

While we usually pick a topic from the Templeton Foundation (click here), this time we are going to look at a paper from the Faraday Institute in England which works on some of the same issues.  They have published an interesting exploration of the January topic on their website, so participants can just download it and avoid ordering and reading a whole book (click here for the article).  Also, check out these other essays (click here and click here).

We are switching to essay discussions: With this conversation, we are switching gears a little bit.  Our last few discussions required that we purchase and read a book.  Many indicated to me that they felt like they could not participate since they did not have the time to purchase and or read the book. Because these Templeton & Faraday essays are online they can be downloaded and read on your mobile devices.

Your input is needed and valued: The Templeton and Faraday essays promise to be a great resource for our conversations. If you know of any other sites that have interesting topics that would make a great source for our conversations, please share with the group by placing the links in the comment sections. Also if you are not able to attend this conversation gathering, please vote for your topic choice for our next gathering.

Hope you can join us for this interesting conversation!

Best, Larry

More about the Purpose of the "Science & Theology Dialogues:" We are trying to create a safe space for people to pose basic questions about how their faith background and science training & interests interrelate.  Many people either have given up on this quest (they never could fit the pieces together), or they try to make hard-and-fast rules where there's a lot of ambiguity and mystery.  We, on the other hand, have not given up on the quest to integrate faith and science.  But, to be clear, our group never seeks to "prove" God or any claim, but to "explore" and "evaluate" new ideas and theological models over a beer or meal.  We don't really have debates as much as conversations about new ideas from a range of disciplines (science, social science, theology, literature) that help us make sense of the world and our place in it.

More about our Facilitator of our "Science & Theology Dialogues": Going forward we are hoping Larry Branch and others interested in faith and science issues can host future "Science & Theology Dialogues" through DC Theology Pub & An Emerging Christianity Conversation in DC.  Larry’s interest in science & theology comes from his life experiences in the areas of computer science, social justice, and local church involvement. Larry is a software developer working on a number of projects as a contractor at the US Department of Labor. He lives in Loudoun County where he has chaired the county Board of Social Services. While serving on this influential board, he developed a special passion for providing affordable housing to all county residents. He also has attended a non-denominational church in the county since 1985, and he has served as an elder for several of those years. Larry describes himself as a “sojourner on a spiritual quest like many others in DC; but an unusual person in the District in that I do not have a political affiliation; rather, I enjoy meeting a variety of people. Even though I am committed to the Christian discipline and worldview, I especially love conversations with those of other spiritual disciplines and worldviews.” The diversity of Larry’s experiences makes him an ideal facilitator for this science & theology dialogue.


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  • Beth G.

    Sorry, All. I originally thought I could come, but have been deployed with my church's disaster response team to Charleston WV dealing with the chemical spill.
    I read the article and hope to some follow up discussion on this page. Thanks, Larry, for keeping this going.

    January 11, 2014

    • Eduardo G

      Good for you! You're a leader of a wonderful church.

      January 14, 2014

  • Christina

    Always blessed to be part of these conversations. Thanks all!

    1 · January 12, 2014

  • Mike

    Terrific conversation.

    January 12, 2014

  • Victoria P.

    Great discussion and nice people.

    2 · January 12, 2014

  • Larry B.

    I just want to make sure everyone has the correct link for the discussion.

    January 6, 2014

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