Science and Religion: The Myth of Conflict

a Magi Project event

When: Tues, April 24th | 6:30 pm, with light refreshments at 6:00pm

Where: Stiteler Hall, Rm B6


An evening with Prof. Stephen Barr

It is widely supposed that science and faith are inherently incompatible and historically have been at war.  In this talk, it will be shown that this is a myth based largely on bad history and misunderstandings of traditional religious concepts.  He will start by clearing up some common misconceptions about Christian (and specifically Catholic) beliefs about God and Nature.  He will then survey some of the remarkable and little-known story of the Church’s involvement with science, which has been overshadowed by the Galileo case.  Finally, he will argue that several discoveries of twentieth century physics are more consonant with traditional Christian and Jewish ideas about the universe and our place in it than they are with atheistic and materialist ideas.


About our Speaker: Professor Stephen Barr

Prof. Stephen Barr works in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Delaware.  His main areas of research include grand unified theories, theories of CP violation, theories of neutrino masses and mixing, and particle cosmology.  He is the president of the Society of Catholic Scientists, the author of several popular books on science and faith and was awarded the  Benemerenti medal for services to the Church by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.


Sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation

Global Health & Provider Responsibility

a How to Heal Luncheon in Medical Humanities

When: Wed, April 18th | 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Where: Claire Fagin Hall, Rm 214

Dr. Tony Luberti (medical director of informatics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and Dr. Andrew Steenhoff(medical director of the Global Health Center of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) join Caritas, the Catholic Healthcare Professionals of Penn, and Collegium for a discussion on global health and the responsibilities of healthcare providers in relation to it.  Lunch Provided

RSVP to Elizabeth Feeney at

Meet our speakers:

Dr. Steenhoff graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, South Africa with a distinction in pediatrics. He completed pediatric training in South Africa, England and the United States. Following pediatric residency and chief residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, he did an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) from 2004 to 2007. Dr. Steenhoff combines clinical and research skills to improve pediatric outcomes in the developing world. His research focuses on pediatric infectious diseases with a particular interest in tuberculosis, HIV, pneumonia and gastroenteritis. Dr. Steenhoff is the author of over 75 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and has worked at CHOP since 2004. He teaches and mentors students, residents and fellows in Botswana, the Dominican Republic and Philadelphia.

Dr. Luberti received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a masters in Information Science from Penn State University. He has more than 10 years experience with the implementation of several Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems at CHOP in both ambulatory and inpatient settings. Dr. Luberti also serves as Medical Director of CHOP’s nurse triage call center, and is a supervising/attending physician for pediatric residents in CHOP’s Resident Continuity Clinic.  He is the medical director of informatics education in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Since February 2009, Dr. Luberti has been involved in various aspects of CHOP’s Global Health programs and the Botswana UPenn Partnership (BUP) including the development and application of database programs and the use of various technologies and distance learning methods to support a number of educational and research efforts in Botswana.

The Financial Crisis: 10 Years Later

4th Annual Penn Club Reception

When: Tuesday, May 8th | 6:00pm

Where: Penn Club of New York

               30 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

Mistakes, or moral failures?  The actions of a few individuals, or systemic problems? Join Collegium for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a panel discussion exploring the causes of the 2008 Financial Crisis, the changes that have been made in its wake, and the work that remains to be done.


Professor Maureen O’Hara

Robert W. Purcell Professor of Management

Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University

Professor Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh

David S. Loeb Professor of Finance

Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University

Professor Mauro Guillen

Dr. Felix Zandman Endowed Professorship in International Management

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Registration Required.  Early Registration closes April 24th.

Please direct any questions or comments to Elizabeth Feeney at

2018 Reception Panelists:

Maureen O’Hara is the Robert W. Purcell Professor of Finance at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, and she also holds a Professorship at the University of Technology Sydney.

Professor O’Hara’s research focuses on issues in market microstructure, and she is the author of numerous journal articles as well as the classic book Market Microstructure Theory (Blackwell: 1995). Recent research looks at the how ETFs affect market stability, liquidity issues in corporate bond markets, and corporate governance problems in banks. Dr. O’Hara also publishes widely on a broad range of topics including banking and financial intermediaries, law and finance, experimental economics, and finance and ethics, with her book “Something for Nothing: Arbitrage and Ethics on Wall Street” (Norton:2016). Professor O’Hara has served as President of the American Finance Association, the Western Finance Association, the Financial Management Association, the Society for Financial Studies and the International Atlantic Economic Society. She currently serves on the Boards of several institutions, including NewStar Financial, Investment Technology Group, Inc. (ITG), and the SEC Equity Market Structure Advisory Board.  She was the Executive Editor of the Review of Financial Studies, and Co-Editor of the Review of Asset Pricing Studies.

Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh is the Director of the Center for Real Estate Finance Research and David S. Loeb Professor of Finance at New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business, which he joined in 2003.

His research lies in the intersection of housing, asset pricing, and macroeconomics. One strand of his work studies how financial market liberalization in the mortgage market relaxed households’ down payment constraints, and how that affected the macro-economy, and the prices of stocks and bonds. In this area, he has also worked on regional housing prices and on household’s mortgage choice. He currently studies real estate price formation, the impact of foreign buyers on the market, and mortgage market design. Professor Van Nieuwerburgh has published articles in numerous journals, including the Econometrica, The Journal of Political Economy, and the Journal of Finance, and he is Editor at the Review of Financial Studies. He is a Faculty Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and at the Center for European Policy Research. Professor Van Nieuwerburgh was awarded the 15th Edition of the Bérnácer Prize for his research on the transmission of shocks in the housing market on the macro-economy and the prices of financial assets. The Bérnácer Prize is awarded annually to a European economist under the age of 40 who has made significant contributions in the fields of macroeconomics and finance.

Mauro F. Guillén is the Director of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute at Penn, a research-and-teaching program on management and international relations. He holds the Dr. Felix Zandman Endowed Professorship in International Management at the Wharton School and a secondary appointment as Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology of the University of Pennsylvania.

He is a member of the advisory board of the Escuela de Finanzas Aplicadas (Grupo Analistas), and serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals. He is an Elected Fellow of the Macro Organizational Behavior Society, a former Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow and a Member in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2005 he won the IV Fundación Banco Herrero Prize, awarded annually to the best Spanish social scientist under the age of 40.

His current research deals with the internationalization of the firm, and with the impact of globalization on patterns of organization and on the diffusion of innovations.  His most recent books are Global Turning Points (2012) and Emerging Markets Rule (2012).  His research has appeared in a variety of academic journals in four separate fields: management, sociology, area studies, and applied policy.  He is an Associate Editor of the Administrative Science Quarterly, and serves or has served on the editorial boards of the American Sociological Review, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, and Journal of International Business Studies.


Photo credit: Charging Bull, by Sam Valadi, via Flickr

Faith & Film: a Magi Project Module


When: Sundays, April 8, 15 & 22 | 7:30-9:00 pm

Where: Penn Newman Center, 3720 Chestnut St


Modern cinema broaches many of the topics that have prompted conversation between scientists and persons of faith.  How did the universe come into being?  Does God exist and, if so, what role did God play?  The more we learn about the universe, the more we realize that we know so very little.  There is mystery still.  Join us for three evenings of conversation as part of Magi’s Faith & Film 3-part series as we navigate the relationship between science and faith and perhaps, in our searching, uncover some answers.

Session I: Interstellar

In Christopher Nolan’s groundbreaking science fiction epic, the Earth has been devastated by famine. There is only one way to ensure mankind’s survival: interstellar travel. A newly discovered wormhole in the far reaches of the solar system allows a team of astronauts to go where no man has gone before, in search of a world that may hold the key to humanity’s future.

Session II: Theory of Everything

Stephen Hawking was given just two years to live following the diagnosis of a fatal illness at 21 years of age. He became galvanized, however, by the love of fellow Cambridge student, Jane Wilde. James Marsh’s biography charts the life and legacy of one of the most celebrated theoretical physicists of the modern age.

Session III: Arrival

As nations teeter on the verge of global war, linguistics professor Louise Banks must race against time to find a way to communicate with mysterious extraterrestrial visitors.


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Magi Project Summer Seminar 2018

Creation Ex Nihilo?

Perspectives on the Origin of the Universe in Science, Theology and Philosophy

The theme of our 2018 Summer Seminar will be “Cosmic Origins”. 

What does it mean to speak about the origin of our Universe?  Why is there something rather than nothing?   Did time begin with the Big Bang?  What does it mean to speak of a Creator?  Why was Genesis 1 written? Is it still relevant today?  How do the Big Bang theory and Genesis fit together?  Can one believe in the modern physical mechanics of an inflationary Universe and also in God? 

The week-long Collegium Summer Seminar will be structured around the question of the beginning of the Universe and the Big Bang theory, with a special focus on the contribution of Georges Lemaître, as well as on planetary origins and the formation of our solar system. The Seminar will welcome a small cohort of graduate students to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia for an intensive course led by eminent scholars across disciplines of physics, philosophy, and theology. 

Through a daily series of lectures, seminars, and small group discussions, students will examine both cutting edge research and foundational wisdom that enables them to evaluate descriptive models of the origins of the universe, the relationship of space and time, physics and metaphysics, nature and grace, the human and the divine in an exploration some of deepest questions about the origins of our Universe.  

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Christ in the City 2018

May 20 – June 2, 2018
Philadelphia, PA

Collegium and Penn Newman Center cosponsor this urban service immersion program for undergraduates, to take place May 21June 3.  For more on this two-week opportunity to serve the homeless in Philadelphia while studying Christian Anthropology, New Evangelization, and Catholic Social Thought, visit the website here.

The registration cost of $700 covers housing, food, and formation for the duration of the program.  Questions can be directed to

Application Deadline: April 30th, 2018

Apply Here

About Christ in the City

Christ in the City is a Catholic non-profit dedicated to forming missionaries, volunteers and communities in knowing, loving and serving the poor.

Christ in the City began its work with Denver’s poor and homeless in the summer of 2010.  The organization began under the auspices of Catholic Charities in Denver as a way to form young people to be life-long missionaries.

In the 2011, Christ in the City was entrusted to the Christian Life Movement (CLM) as the service arm of their mission in the United States. Missionaries are spiritually guided by the priests and lay men and women of the Christian Life Movement, whose community plays a vital role in the spiritual formation of Christ in the City.

Mass, Brunch, & Musings

Penn Alumni Weekend 2018



Sunday, May 13, 2018

Morning Mass: 9:00 am at Sts. Agatha and James (3728 Chestnut St)

Brunch Reception: 10:00 am at Penn Newman Center (3720 Chestnut St)

Collegium Institute and Penn Newman Center welcome Penn Alumni, families, and friends to morning mass at Sts. Agatha and James, followed by a brunch reception at the Newman Center.  Reconnect with friends, new and old, as you explore the development of Catholic life and ministry at Penn while celebrating its long history.

Featuring brief remarks On Faith & Reason at Penn by

John Buchmann

Theologian-in Residence & Associate Director

Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture


Questions may be directed to Elizabeth Feeney, COL’15 at   Read more

Theory & Theology

a Graduate Fellows Initiative
  • January 8: Michel Foucault
  • February 5: Roland Barthes
  • March 5: Jacques Derrida
  • April 9: Affect Theory
  • May 7: Antonio Gramsci
The “household names” of the contemporary academy are often cited, but only occasionally read. The Collegium Institute invites graduate students to consider the work of these influential intellectuals under the auspices of its newest reading group: Theory and Theology. Designed for those with limited or no prior experience reading the authors, the group will examine one important text each month, sometimes in conjunction with a Christian text.  Meetings, convened at lunchtime on the first Monday of the month, are set to discuss the following: Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Affect Theory, and Antonio Gramsci.
Space is limited, so please contact Katie Becker at by to reserve your place.