Despite a robust history of engagement between theology and the sciences within the Catholic intellectual tradition, the majority of young Catholics in the United States, like their non-Catholic peers, are formed by our broader culture to assume an inherent conflict between science and faith. Those who attend secular universities are rarely challenged to grapple with the relationship between faith and science.
A number of independent institutes for Catholic thought have arisen that help address this issue, and yet there exists no organization, consortium, or association that will assist them in their work, and even more importantly, facilitate collaboration between institutes for greater efficacy. As a result, their impact, while meaningful, has yet to reach their full potential.
To address this deficit, the John Templeton Foundation awarded a generous grant in support of a new project, titled “In Lumine: Supporting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide” (Grant #62372). This project will establish the In Lumine Network, providing funds to six independent institutes for Catholic Thought located at elite research universities in the U.S. to advance dialogue between theology, philosophy and the natural and social sciences on their campuses.
The founding members of the network include the Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago, the Nova Forum at the University of Southern California, the Saint Anselm Institute at the University of Virginia, COLLIS at Cornell University, the Collegium Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Harvard Catholic Forum at Harvard University. The Lumen Christi Institute will convene this newly-formed consortium of institutes, working collaboratively to organize programming towards building sustainable institutional capacity, helping to refine respective on-campus offerings, and to collaboratively organize eight summer seminars for students from across the nation.
Through the development of the In Lumine Network, institutes for Catholic thought at secular universities will be better prepared to humbly but confidently remind the academy of the importance of the Catholic intellectual tradition in the centuries-old dialogue between science and faith. By advocating for the complementarity of epistemologies too often cast as opposites, fruitful and enriching dialogue will certainly result.
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In Lumine Network Members