Monday, April 21, 2008

The UCC Pastoral Letter, "A New Voice Arising," was the subject of an article in today's issue of the science and religion magazine, Science & Spirit. The article, written by Ashley Makar, is based on interviews with UCC President John Thomas and others who were involved in developing the pastoral.

Makar also talked to one of the historic founders of the recent reengagement between science and religion, physicist Ian Barbour. Barbour is the author of many books, including the classic Theology in an Age of Science, based on his Gifford Lectures. He taught physics as well as science and religion courses for years at Carleton College. He and his wife, Deane, have been active leaders in the United Church of Christ for decades.

The Science & Spirit article focuses on the UCC ad campaign that accompanied the release of the Letter. The ads appeared on blogs that are popular sources of information on science, technology, and ethics. As Makar points out, they were designed to provoke both smiles and some serious thought. If you missed the ads, you can see them here.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome to Faith, Science and Technology

Welcome to “Faith, Science and Technology,” the official blog of the United Church of Christ Science and Technology Network (UCCSTN). The purpose of the blog is to carry on a conversation across the UCC about how our church can engage the extraordinary developments of today’s science and technology.

From cosmology to neuroscience and from evolution to genetics, the sciences are accelerating in their pace of discover. Technology—not just information technology but biotechnology, nanotechnology, and beyond—are growing in their powers to change the natural world, including human nature. More than ever, the church is needed to help people reflect on what is going on and what it might mean. How can we put the pieces together into a coherent vision of human flourishing in a sustainable relationship with nature?

In January 2008, the United Church of Christ issued a ground breaking statement, “A New Voice Arising: A Pastoral Letter on Faith Engaging Science and Technology.” In that statement, John Thomas, the General Minister and President of the UCC, was joined by members of the UCCSTN to offer one of the clearest statements ever made by any church on why science contributes new insight to our theological perspective.

This blog is intended to take up some of the specific themes and issues that are raised in “A New Voice Arising.” Members of the UCCSTN, together with others from across our church, will post on various themes. Sometimes the topic will be very specific, such as a recent development in scientific research or in the relationship between science and religion.

Everyone is invited to respond to blog postings. The UCCSTN sees this as a new way, not just to carry on a conversation, but to enrich and expand the partners joining the conversation. After all, the UCCSTN is a network, expanding and open, not a committee with limited membership. If you share our concerns and are excited by our vision, we hope you will join us, not just by reading but by commenting, challenging, correcting, and adding to what we have to say.

The task—being a faithful church in dynamically changing times—is very great indeed. Everyone’s help is needed.