June Magi Lectures

Seeing Reality:

Conversations in Science, Faith, and Philosophy

How do we understand the universe and our place within it?  To what extent should our answer to that fundamental question be different whether we approach it as scientist, philosopher, or theologian?  What are the methodological differences that must be respected and which frameworks could enable them to fit together into a coherent whole? Faced with the widespread fragmentation of disciplines, how can we seek fruitful exchanges of insight in the modern academy? 

This one-week Collegium Summer Seminar will address these questions, through a daily series of lectures in which students will examine both cutting edge research and foundational wisdom that enables them to evaluate descriptive models of the universe, the relationship of space and time, freedom and determinism, physics and metaphysics, nature and grace, the human and the divine.

Public Lectures

Select lectures are free and open to the public. The Magi Project welcomes guests to explore themes of science, faith, and philosophy any or all of the following lectures. Morning lectures begin promptly at 9AM and afternoon lectures at 2PM.


Monday, June 5th
Tuesday, June 6th
Wednesday, June 7th
Thursday, June 8th

Mornings 9am

On Philosophy
"I Count Therefore I Am?" 
Science & Faith in a Cartesian Age
On Physics
The Physical World
and Machine Metaphors
On Biology
Biological Worldview:
Ends, Providence, and Purpose
On Persons
Persons and their Brains
*All morning lectures are presented by
Rev. Dr. Andrew Pinsent

Afternoon 2pm

What Does Theology have to do with Physics Anyways?
Prof. Han Halvorson, Princeton University
Faith, Reason, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Habitable Worlds
Prof. Karin Öberg, Harvard University
The Loss of Understanding of Living Things Prevalent in Contemporary Biology
Prof. Marie George, St. John's University
Seeing Reality:
The Biomedical Researcher and the Human Embryo
by Rev. Dr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk,
National Catholic Bioethics Center


All lectures will take place at the Perry World House: 3803 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Please direct any questions or comments to


Rev. Dr. Andrew Pinsent, Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at Oxford, Research Fellow of Harris Manchester College, and Faculty in Theology and Religion at Oxford University.  Additionally, he has contributed to dozens of publications in physics, theology, and philosophy, and he has spoken widely on science and theology, including interviews on BBC and EWTN.  His personal research interests include: philosophy of religion, virtue ethics, metaphysical issues in contemporary science and theology, and philosophy of persons.  


Prof. Hans Halvorson, Stuart Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University.  His current research focuses on applications of category theory in mathematical logic.  He has also done research in philosophy of physics. Ultimately, he aims to move from science to wisdom: Is science the only source of knowledge, or can knowledge arise from moral intuitions, religious traditions, etc.?  Although such questions are more speculative, he has written about the relationship between science and religion, such as methodological naturalism.


Prof.  Karin Öberg, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Thomas D. Cabot Associate Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University. Prof. Öberg's academic passion is the connection between planet formation, astrochemistry and origins of life. Her research aims to uncover how chemistry and physics interact during star and planet formation to shape the bulk and organic compositions of nascent planets. Among other awards she is the recipient of the AAS Newton Lacy Pierce Prize, the Packard Fellowship, and the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship.


Prof. Marie I George, Professor of Philosophy at St. John’s University, NY where she teaches philosophy of biology, philosophy of science & religion, and environmental ethics.  Prof. George is an Aristotelian-Thomist whose interests lie primarily in the areas of philosophy of nature and of science.  She was co-recipient of a Templeton grant for an interdisciplinary project entitled:  "The Evolution of Sympathy and Morality” and is author of Extraterrestrials and Christianity?.”  Currently, she is working on the question of whether empathy is present in non-human animals.


Rev. Dr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. He directs the Center's Certification Program in Health Care Ethics. He earned undergraduate degrees in philosophy, biochemistry, molecular cell biology, and chemistry. Later he earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University. He worked for several years as a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Rev. Dr. Pacholczyk has taught bioethics classes at several universities and seminaries.  He writes and speaks widely on bioethics and medical ethics throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including commentaries for numerous media outlets, such as the NBC Nightly News and the New York Times.

The Magi Project: Religious Belief in the Era of Astrophysic
delivers courses, workshops, lectures, and seminars on science and religion. For more information, please visit our website.