Evolutionary Christianity

I just got an announcement to the effect that “The Clergy Letter Project has just become a co-sponsor of a free on-line series hosted by Michael Dowd and entitled ‘The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity: Conversations at the Leading Edge of Faith.’ This exciting series begins this Saturday, 4 December.” As a Nice Jewish Boy, not to mention a nonbeliever, I doubt I will participate, but I noticed several panelists of whom I think highly – not least John Shelby Spong, John Haught, and Ian Barbour. Additionally, biologist Ken Miller is on the panel, as are physicists Charles Townes and my former colleague at NIST, Bill Phillips, and astronomer Owen Gingerich. In case any of our readers are interested, I will post the gist of the announcement, which I got from Michael Zimmerman, below the fold.

Specifically, Professor Zimmerman writes,

This tele-series (telephone & computer, not television) will feature Michael Dowd and 30 other leaders in the nexus of science and religion (a number of whom who are Clergy Letter Project members), including two Nobel laureates, three Templeton Prize-winners, and more than two dozen others who exemplify by word and deed that religious faith can be positively strengthened and enriched by a science-honoring, evolutionary view of the world.

Some of the things that will be discussed include:

• How scientific and historical evidence, interpreted meaningfully, can enhance our lives and faith;

• Compassionate responses to both those who reject science and those who reject religion;

• How an evolutionary view of human nature can validate and deepen our appreciation of scriptural and traditional wisdom;

• And much more . . . . [ellipsis in original]

Your involvement will help make this event a catalyst for furthering public awareness of a religious approach to life that celebrates the findings of science and that transcends the polarizing voices of scriptural literalists at one extreme and the “new atheists” at the other.

In fact, one of the goals of this series is to show America and the world that those and other combative perspectives, which often garner all the media attention, are actually in the minority. Rather, those who embrace both evolution and faith, share values and perspectives crucial for these times – even while acknowledging (indeed, celebrating) our differences. There is more that unites us than divides us.

Organizers expect more than 20,000 people to register for this landmark series. You can listen and participate live or experience the online audios later at your convenience.

Before anyone gets his or her knickers in a twist, let me state that I am not endorsing this teleconference, just announcing it.