The Gospel of Jesus Christ in Big History

Tuesday March 22 - Wednesday March 23

St. Bede Theater

Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology will host a series of lectures and panel discussion on the connections between science and faith on March 22 and 23 in St. Bede Hall, located on the St. Meinrad, IN, campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The event, called “The Gospel of Jesus Christ in Big History,” is funded by a grant from the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Science for Seminaries project.

All lectures will be livestreamed and can be viewed on this page or our social media channels. Here is the schedule (all times are Central):

Tuesday, March 22, 7-8 p.m.

“The Surprising Scope of Christ’s Cosmic Love: Big History after Laudato Si,” lecture by Dr. Peter Casarella, professor of theology and director of the ThD program at Duke University.

Wednesday, March 23

9:15-10 a.m. – “Interconnectivity of Inner Subjectives in a Relational Cosmos,” lecture by Dr. Philip Kurian, principal investigator and founding director of the Quantum Biology Laboratory at Howard University.

10:15-11 a.m. – “Neither Angel Nor Brute? The Distinctly Human in the Drama of Evolution,” lecture by Dr. Jeff Schloss, distinguished professor of biology at Westmont College and senior fellow at BioLogos.

11:15-Noon – “‘Do Whatever He Tells You’: Listening to Christ, from Cana to NASA,” lecture by Fr. John Kartje, rector of Mundelein Seminary.

1:15-2:15 p.m. – Panel Discussion.

The Experts

Dr. Peter Casarella’s primary field of study is systematic theology followed by world religions and world church. He was appointed to the faculty of Duke Divinity School in 2020. Formerly, he was an associate professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame from 2013-2020 and served as director of the Latin American North American Church Concerns (LANACC) project in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

He served as professor of Catholic studies from 2007-2013 at DePaul University, where he was also the founding director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology.

Dr. Philip Kurian is a theoretical physicist, research scientist and essayist, serving as founding director of the Quantum Biology Laboratory at Howard University and visiting research professor at the University of Iowa.

Beginning his career as a math teacher in North Philadelphia, he is the recipient of fellowships, grants, and awards from the U.S.-Italy Fulbright Commission, Argonne and Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facilities, Whole Genome Science Foundation, National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

His laboratory studies how collective and cooperative quantum behaviors can explain biological phenomena at the mesoscopic, organismal, and clinical scales, including in neurodegeneration, cancer, and human consciousness.

Dr. Jeff Schloss is Distinguished Professor of Biology and T.B. Walker Chair of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Westmont College, where he also directs the Center for Faith, Ethics and Life Sciences and serves as senior scholar for the BioLogos Foundation.

He did his undergraduate study in biology at Wheaton College and doctoral work in ecology/evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan and Washington University. He taught at the University of Michigan and Wheaton College. He also was a Crosson Fellow at Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion, a Plumer Fellow at St. Anne’s College Oxford, and a Witherspoon Fellow in Theology and Science at the Center of Theological Inquiry.

His academic work involves evolutionary accounts of altruism, moral cognition, and religious faith and practice, and the philosophical and theological implications of evolutionary theory.

Father John Kartje was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2002. He has served in parish and campus ministry in both Chicago and Washington, DC, as well as Mundelein Seminary where he has taught scripture since 2009.

He was appointed the rector at Mundelein Seminary in 2015. He holds doctorate degrees in scripture (Catholic University of America) and in astrophysics (University of Chicago).

Science for Seminaries is a project of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) program in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The goal is to foster a positive understanding of science among future religious leaders and to encourage informed dialogue on scientific topics among those leaders and their congregations. The project is funded by the John Templeton Foundation.