John Haught, PhD
BY MORRIE PONGRATZ
Los Alamos Faith & Science Forum is honored to sponsor two lectures by John Haught based on his latest two books, God after Einstein (Yale University Press, 2021); and The Cosmic Vision of Teilhard de Chardin (Orbis Press, 2022) May 30 and 31 at 6:30 p.m.at Fuller Lodge, Los Alamos
John Haught has participated in numerous lectures and panels discussing the meaning behind the writings of Teilhard de Chardin. John Haught’s books and lectures focus on a vision of reality that provides room for both scientific inquiry and a biblical understanding of God. In Haught’s perspective, everything should be open to scientific study, including human intelligence, ethical aspiration, and religion. Haught posits that science is one of many avenues to providing a fruitful understanding of nature since there are distinct and noncompeting levels of explaining all natural phenomena.
God and the New Cosmology
Lecture 1. “God after Einstein: What’s Really Going on in the Universe”
Although Albert Einstein denied the existence of a personal God, he considered himself to be deeply religious, and he thought that good science cannot take place without religious faith—as he understood it. To comprehend what he meant by religion and faith, this presentation will place the celebrated physicist in “conversation” with his contemporary, the Jesuit geologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. The two scientists had been living in the United States when they died within days of each other in the spring of 1955. They never met, but what would they have said to one another in a conversation about God, the universe, prayer, and the relationship of theology to science? This talk, with the presenter as “moderator,” will attempt to outline Einstein’s thoughts on the universe and God by placing him in a hypothetical dialog with Teilhard.
Lecture 2: “The Cosmic Vision of Teilhard de Chardin”
Over the past two centuries scientists have learned that the universe is a story still being told. The Jesuit geologist and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) saw this cosmic story as a great drama of awakening. When humans emerged, the cosmic awakening became palpably manifest in the arrival of thought, ethical aspiration, and religious faith. This lecture will provide an introduction to Teilhard’s main ideas, bringing out the contemporary significance of Teilhard’s vision of the new scientific story of the universe, along with his novel understanding of the relationship of science and religion.
John F. Haught is an American theologian. He is a Distinguished Research Professor at Georgetown University. He specializes in Roman Catholic systematic theology. with a particular interest in issues pertaining to physical cosmology, evolutionary cosmology, evolutionary biology, geology, and Christianity. He has authored numerous books and articles, including Science and Faith: A New Introduction (2012), Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and The Drama of Life ( 2010), God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens (2008), Christianity and Science: Toward a Theology of Nature (2007), Is Nature Enough? Meaning and Truth in the Age of Science (2006), Purpose, Evolution and the Meaning of Life (2004), God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution (2000, 2nd ed. 2007), Science and Religion: From Conflict to Conversation (1995), The Promise of Nature: Ecology and Cosmic Purpose (1993, 2nd ed. 2004), What is Religion? (1990), What is God? (1986), and The Cosmic Adventure: Science, Religion and the Quest for Purpose (1984).