Seeing Reality: Conversations in Science, Faith and Philosophy

June 5th-9th 2017
Collegium Institute
at the University of Pennsylvania

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 residential Collegium Summer Seminar will address these questions, welcoming a small cohort of graduate students to Philadelphia for an intensive course led by eminent scholars across the disciplines.   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 universe, the relationship of space and time, freedom and determinism, physics and metaphysics, nature and grace, the human and the divine.


Drawing together insights from the sciences, theology and philosophy we will build a toolkit to explore how we can describe reality in an integrated, intellectually rigorous way.  


Each day of the workshop is devoted to a specific theme: 

Monday: Philosophy of Science  

Tuesday: Physical Sciences

Wednesday: Biological Sciences

Thursday: The Human Person

Friday: Summation


Rev. Dr. Andrew Pinsent, Oxford University & Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion.

Prof. Hans Halvorson, Princeton Departments of Philosophy and Mathematics

Prof. Karin Öberg, Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics

Prof. Marie I. George, St. John’s University, Department of Philosophy

Rev. Dr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, National Catholic Bioethics Center