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Get ready for a bunch of nerdy fun.

Sarah Lane Ritchie is Lecturer in Theology and Science at the University of Edinburgh. She has a PhD in Science and Religion from the University of Edinburgh, where her doctoral work focused on the question of divine action in the human mind. A Michigander by birth, Sarah also holds a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Spring Arbor University, an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary, and an MSc in Science and Religion from the University of Edinburgh. Her published work focuses on questions arising from the intersection of theology, philosophy, and the various brain-related sciences. Sarah’s research interests include divine action, philosophy of mind, naturalism, cognitive science of religion, and the psychology of belief formation.

Dr. Sarah Lane Ritchie joins the podcast to discuss her upcoming book Divine Action and the Human Mind and a bunch of other topics including…

  • Her story of coming out of Southern Baptist Fundamentalism
  • spiritually integrated physicalism
  • the Hard Problem of Consciousness
  • physicalists, dualists, panpsychism, and more
  • theologians should NOT be scared of scientific accounts
  • embodied cognition’s rejection of downloadable consciousness
  • why no more machine imagery, but organism!
  • the problem with the contemporary Divine Action debate
  • i proceed to offer Philip Goff’s Russellian Monism as an option
  • the combination problem and the zombie thought experiment
  • how the scientific study of religion has uncovered how natural it is
  • why Mainline Protestants are working against sharing their faith with their children
  • rethinking psychedelics for spiritual traditions (here’s the Rupert Sheldrake episode we mention)
  • i told a story of bourbon, fasting, ketosis, mindfulness, and getting consumed by a skull
  • we discuss divine action and why Sarah thinks Philip Clayton is almost right
  • the relationship of divine action, the problem of evil, and theory of mind
  • Sarah finished her Mdiv at Princeton without actually reading Karl Barth
  • the ethical quandary of sex-bots and Tripp’s high quality sanitation dodge
  • the relationship of religious traditions to spiritual practices

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Dr. Michael J. Murray is the President of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and former Arthur and Katherine Shadek Chair in Philosophy and the Humanities at Franklin & Marshall College and Senior Vice President of Programs at the John Templeton Foundation.

He received his BA from Franklin and Marshall and his MA and Ph.D from the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on two primary areas. The first is seventeenth century history of philosophy and theology, with a particular focus on the work of Gottfried Leibniz. The second is contemporary philosophy of religion. His most recent work focuses on the problem of evil and animal suffering, and cognitive and evolutionary accounts of the origin and persistence of religious belief and practice. In our wide-ranging conversation we discuss…

  • fine-tuning
  • gene-editing
  • climate change
  • the theological significance of science
  • cognitive science of religion
  • evolutionary psychology
  • cultivating vocations in science among the church
  • the origins of religion (thorough and clear description of the different options)
  • revelation’s relationship to history and religions
  • situated knowledge and contextual for religious truth
  • the historical Adam
  • the pain and suffering within nature
  • Extraterrestrial and Artificial Intelligence
Books by Dr. Murray

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Dr. Michael J. Murray is the President of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and former Arthur and Katherine Shadek Chair in Philosophy and the Humanities at Franklin & Marshall College and Senior Vice President of Programs at the John Templeton Foundation.

He received his BA from Franklin and Marshall and his MA and Ph.D from the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on two primary areas. The first is seventeenth century history of philosophy and theology, with a particular focus on the work of Gottfried Leibniz. The second is contemporary philosophy of religion. His most recent work focuses on the problem of evil and animal suffering, and cognitive and evolutionary accounts of the origin and persistence of religious belief and practice. In our wide-ranging conversation we discuss…

  • fine-tuning
  • gene-editing
  • climate change
  • the theological significance of science
  • cognitive science of religion
  • evolutionary psychology
  • cultivating vocations in science among the church
  • the origins of religion (thorough and clear description of the different options)
  • revelation’s relationship to history and religions
  • situated knowledge and contextual for religious truth
  • the historical Adam
  • the pain and suffering within nature
  • Extraterrestrial and Artificial Intelligence
Books by Dr. Murray

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John D. Caputo is a hybrid philosopher/theologian who works in the area of radical theology. Prof. Caputo has spearheaded a notion he calls “weak theology,” by which he means a “poetics” of the “event” that is harbored in the name (of) God, or that “insists” in the name (of) “God,” a notion that depends upon a reworking of the notions of event in Derrida to theological ends.

Dr. Caputo joins the podcast to invite you to join our summer course in Theology of Culture. It is an open course, so clearly you should join.

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For a long time I have been a fan of John Haught’s work. He is a Catholic theologian, invested in the conversation between religion and science, who brings together two of my favorite thinkers – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Alfred North Whitehead. His recent award winning book, The New Cosmic Story: Inside Our Awakening Universe, Haught’s mature theological voice is at work in a serious way. There he argues that an adequate understanding of cosmic history requires attention to the emergence of interiority, including religious aspiration.  We discuss that and a number of other topics in this conversation including…

  • Big History and its inside story
  • the relationship of religion and science
  • Layered Explanations of reality and meaning
  • 3-fold pattern of growth: Divergence, Convergence, and Emergence
  • the cosmological literalism of the New Atheists – a modernist form of fundamentalism
  • the narrative shape of the cosmos
  • Teilhard, Lonergan, Whitehead, Polyani
  • the nature of religion in the evolution of homo sapiens
  • ethical predicaments from the ecological crisis to abortion
  • the role of beauty in the cosmos
  • His article, Trashing Teilhard: How Not to Read a Great Religious Thinker

John F. Haught is Senior Fellow, Science & Religion, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University. He was formerly Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University (1970-2005) and Chair (1990-95). His area of specialization is systematic theology, with a particular interest in issues pertaining to science, cosmology, evolution, ecology, and religion.

Zesty books from John Haught

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I am pumped to share this episode with you. For a long time I have enjoyed the work of biologist Kenneth R. Miller and over the course of this conversation we cover a number of topics which include…

  • How the poetry of Thomas Merton help bring Ken back to faith
  • His role in the debates between Creation Science, Intelligence Design, and Evolution
  • “if Augustine and Aquinas were around today, they would be evolutionists”
  • on the craft of being a baseball umpire
  • the nature of Biblical truth and scientific discovery
  • stories from the legal battles over Intelligent Design
  • the overwhelming evidence for a common ancestor
  • how humans are unique among the natural world
  • the failure of Sam Harris’ argument on free will
  • a sweet E.O. Wilson story on free will and its necessity for science
  • his friendship and disagreement with Stephen Jay Gould about NOMA
  • Ken’s theory of mind and consciousness
  • he argues against Nagel about the nature of consciousness
  • we discuss emergence via complexity
Score some free books

Kenneth R. Miller is Professor of Biology. He did his undergraduate work at Brown, and earned a Ph D in 1974 at the University of Colorado. He spent six years as Assistant Professor at Harvard University before returning to Brown University in 1980. His research work on cell membrane structure and function has produced more than 60 scientific papers and reviews in leading journals, including CELL, Nature, and Scientific American.

You should definitely follow him on twitter and check out his visit to the Colbert Report.

Kenneth Miller’s Texts

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This summer we are hosting a class with the one and only John D. Caputo. I am super excited about it and would love to all ye interested nerds to check it out and join the fun.

Here’s the reading for the class

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The dynamic duo of dialectical theology – David Congdon & Travis McMaken – are on the podcast. These two scholars, friends, and theological provocateurs are here to bring you some dialectical theology.
This conversation was recorded in their hotel room at the American Academy of Religion. Their room may or may not have had a bunch of crystals surrounding a giant collection of analytic theology texts.
Travis was on the podcast in the past talking about Why God loves Justice and Why Go Barthian?.
David joined the podcast to talk Bultmann’s Mission of Demythologizing.
In this podcast we discuss….
– the day David convinced Travis the bodily resurrection wasn’t necessary
– dialectical theology’s relationship to theological tradition
– what does the term “event” mean for DT?
– humans are messed up and are not the solution of our problem
– the kenosis of the patriarchy
– theology for the religiously unaffiliated
– sadly Travis has no inner-life
– how Badiou should relate to Theology… a theology of the trace
– what makes an event christian
– the contrast between dialectical theology and salvation history
– tripp gets upset about theology without existential register
– David is not happy about St. Andrews, analytical theology, or NT Wright’s historical confidence
– analytical investigations of Kierkegaard aren’t cool
– doing historical investigations doesn’t lead to the existential encounter of faith
– the need to embrace the secularity of faith
A Dialectical Theology Reading List

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Baseball, Beer, Pizza, and other divine things from Chicago - YouTube

This summer I am going on a baseball pilgrimage to Chicago with my friends at Point Above. When they approached me about sponsoring the podcast I clicked over to check out the trip and immediately knew two things: 1) I wanted to go and 2) If this trip is for you, then you will know it that quickly. I responded and got a chance to talk with Herb about the trip. I am definitely pumped to head to Chicago this August. If you are interested let me know. It would be cool to take a selfie on homepljte at Wrigley Field!!

Here’s the Highlights

  • 5 Nights hotel suite accommodations at the Hilton Magnificent Mile
    (including Executive Club access)
  • Chicago Cubs home game (vs. Oakland A’s)
  • Chicago White Sox home game (vs. Oakland A’s)
  • Milwaukee Brewers home game (vs. Texas Rangers)
  • Private Tour of Wrigley Field
  • Themed Event at the Chicago Sports Museum 
  • Chicago Architecture River Tour 
  • Tasting some of Chicago’s finest culinary offerings at Harry Caray’s Steakhouse, 7th Inning Stretch, and the legendary Portillo’s Hot Dogs
  • Progressive lunch through three neighborhood pizzerias (you’ll try it all from deep dish to smores!)
  • Chicago Blues Event at Buddy Guy’s Legends
  • Pre-Game “warm-up” lunch at the world-famous Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville
  • Beer Capital of the World – “immersion tour” in Milwaukee (Visit major and not-so-major brewhouses)
  • Welcome Reception plus breakfast, lunch and dinner each day
  • Motor coach transport to all activities
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