Non-Credit Course - Faith, Science, and Reason

Apr 5, 2022
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Peter Bernardi, SJLumen Christi Institute

This weekly non-credit course is open to current Chicago area students and faculty. Others interested in attending should contact us. Registrants are free to attend as many sessions as they choose. Sessions do not presuppose previous attendance or prior knowledge of the subject.


If the new Cosmic story, that started with the Big Bang about 13.8 billion years, were likened to a 30-volume encyclopedia, each volume consisting of 450pp., each page the equivalent of a million years, modern humans appear on the last page of the last volume. Are we humans a random consequence of evolving mindless matter or the crowning achievement of God’s creative plan? 

Can a Christian believer reconcile the findings of the modern natural sciences with their religious beliefs?  What about the Church's condemnation of Galileo and the apparent atheism of Darwinian evolution?  Are religious faith and scientific reason intransigent enemies or convergent collaborators on the fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of human life?  This non-credit class will discuss these questions with theologian Fr. Peter Bernardi, S.J., and a series of guest speakers from the natural and social sciences, as well as philosophy. 



6:00 PM Dinner | 6:30 PM Lecture




April 5 | The Biblical Doctrine of Creation and Scientific Evolution: Conflict or Convergence?


April 12 | What does Athens (Philosophy) have to do with Jerusalem (Religious Faith)? 


April 19 | The Aristotelian Revolution & St. Thomas Aquinas’s ‘Summa’ on Faith and Reason


April 26 | Can an intelligent person still be an atheist?  An Updated Assessment of Modern Atheism 


May 3 | Navigating Science and Religion: From Conflict to Dialogue with Humility - Prof. Joseph Vukov (Loyola University Chicago)


May 10 | Conservation and Consumption in a Laudato Si Context - Prof. Christie Klimas (DePaul University)


May 17 | Genetic Manipulation - Prof. Gayle Woloschak (Northwestern University)


May 24 | Biological Evolution and the Christian Tradition - Dr. Peter Tierney (Lumen Christi Institute)

Fr. Peter Bernardi, SJ is scholar-in-residence at the Lumen Christi Institute and Associate Professor Emeritus of Theology at Loyola University of Chicago, where he taught from 2010 to 2020. Before coming to Chicago he taught at Loyola University New Orleans from 1996 to 2010. Fr. Bernardi holds an Honors B.A. in Classical Languages from Xavier University (Cincinnati), an MA in Philosophy from the University of Detroit, a Master of Divinity from Regis College of the Toronto School of Theology, an STL from the Weston School of Theology with a thesis concerning soteriology, and a PhD in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America. His areas of interest include modern Christian thought; John Henry Newman, Maurice Blondel, and the Renewal of Catholic Theology; Theology of Vatican II; Christology & Soteriology. He is the author of Maurice Blondel, Social Catholicism and Action Française: The Clash over the Church’s Role in Society During the Modernist Era (CUA Press, 2009).  His most recent scholarly publications are "Blondel, Maurice (1861–1949)" in the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophers (2020), "Louis Cardinal Billot, S.J. (1846–1931): Thomist, Anti-Modernist, Integralist" in the Journal of Jesuit Studies 8 (2021): 585-616, and "Maurice Blondel's diagnosis of extrinsicist 'Monophorism': An enduring critique of Christian Integralism," in Pesando-Revista de Filosofia. Vol 13, No 30 (2022) Dossie Maurice Blondel, 100-113.