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The Origin of Life and Nature Before Sin: Scientific and Theological Perspectives

Apr 1 at 9:00 am - Apr 2 at 6:00 pm

The Origin of Life and Nature Before Sin: Scientific and Theological Perspectives

1-2 April 2022

Location: Angelicum – Aula Minor
Main presentations will be livestreamed

Language: English

One of the most fundamental and, paradoxically, least understood problems in biology is the origin of life. All possible scenarios – ranging from life emerging as a result of a supernatural event; life being coeternal with matter; life having an extraterrestrial origin; life arising spontaneously and readily from nonliving matter in short periods of time; to life being an outcome of an evolutionary process extended in time and of increasing complexity – raise intriguing philosophical and theological questions.

Another crucial step in the history of the universe was the origin of the human species. Here, the continuously challenged and revisited, yet commonly accepted scenario developed by evolutionary anthropogenesis faces the Biblical account of creation and the Christian understanding of human nature.

Further, if we accept the evolutionary scenario of the origin of species, a challenging question arises about natural disasters, suffering, struggle for existence, and animal death before the emergence of humans and their sin. Related to this is the condition of human nature before the fall. Were Adam and Eve truly immortal and free from any pain and suffering in the world in which natural and physical evil were already present?

Trying to answer these and other questions concerning the origins, we bring into conversation distinguished specialists working in natural science as well as philosophical and systematic theology from Europe and North America. Our aim is to offer a meaningful contribution to the ongoing dialogue between science and religion, from the point of view of classical theology and the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Friday, 1 April

9:00 | On the Origin of Life: A Scientific Perspective
Christopher Shingledecker

10:30 | Causes and the Origin of Life: Philosophy of Nature, Metaphysics, and Theology
William Carroll

12:00 | Apes, Hominins, and the Scientific Evidence for Human Origins
Kieran McNulty

14:30 | The Origin of the Human Species: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives
Mariusz Tabaczek, O.P.

16:00 | Breakout Sessions (not livestreamed)

Saturday, 2 April

9:00 | Can Nature be ‘Red in Tooth and Claw’ in the Thought of Augustine?
Stanley Rosenberg

10:30 | Fallen Angel Theodicies: A Philosophical Assessment
Kent Dunnington

12:00 | The Faith of Adam in Paradise. Imagining Original Justice with Aquinas
Piotr Roszak

14:30 | On the Death of Adam and Eve
Randall Rosenberg

16:00 | Breakout Sessions (not livestreamed)

Click here to download the conference brochure.

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