The John Templeton Foundation has recently listed "A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God is Good and Faith Isn't Evil" as its Featured Book. The book, published by Jossey-Bass/Wiley in 2008, has already attracted highly positive reviews from Alister McGrath, Michael Shermer, Francis Collins, Owen Gingerich and others. The Templeton review notes:
A very significant report has just been released by the UK public theology think-tank Theos in conjunction with the Faraday Institute. It considers the public awareness and acceptance of evolution in the UK. The preamble describes the report thus:
Rescuing Darwin is the title essay of a wide-ranging project exploring the extent and nature of evolutionary and non-evolutionary beliefs in the UK today and their perceived relationship with theism and atheism.
The project is managed and run by Theos, the public theology think tank, in partnership with the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.
The Science Religion Society program at Trinity College Theological School – which is part of the United Faculty of Theology – with the assistance of the Melbourne College of Divinity, is sponsoring a conference to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s, The Origin of Species. The theme of the conference, After Darwin, is set out below. The conference will be held at The Centre for Theology and Ministry from 21-23 July, 2009. Dr. Christopher Southgate from the Department of Theology at Exeter University will commence the conference by giving a public lecture at 7.00pm, 21 July. The lecture will be via an interactive satellite link in the Woodhouse Theatre at The University of Melbourne.
The Rev Dr John Polkinghorne presented this lecture at St.Andrews University on 9 October 2008 as one of the James Gregory lectures, a series of presentations from eminent international speakers promoting open dialogue and exchange of ideas on manny intriguing points of contact between Science and Religion.
ISCAST members may be pleased to learn that the 2008 James Backhouse lecture by Prof. George Ellis is now available for download as a PDF from the Quakers' Australia website:
In this fascinating paper, Ellis argues that a moral reality as well as a physical reality and a mathematical reality underlies the world and the universe, and that human moral life is a search to understand that true nature of morality, which is centred in love, with the idea of kenosis ('letting go') playing a key role.
Hard copy booklets may also be purchased from the ISCAST Store.
Noted author and researcher Michael Poole has published an article in the September 2008 issue of the School Science Review entitled "Creationism, Intelligent Design and Science Education" in which he attempts to diffuse some curent tensions over the teaching about origins, contending that a rejection of creationist or ID arguments does not by extension entail rejection of other traditional concepts of creation and design that have been historically held by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
A full copy of his article is available here:
The Centre for Public Christianity has recently produced a fascinating interview with world-renowned philosopher and theologian Professor Keith Ward. Ward has held positions teaching philosophy and theology at Glasgow, London and Cambridge Universities before taking up the position of Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford. In this four-part interview, Ward discusses atheism, philosophy, science and belief.
Ward's latest book, "Why There Almost Certainly Is A God" is available now through Lion Hudson. (ISBN 978-0-7459-5330-4)
On 15th November, ISCAST Fellow Ross Macmillan and Mark Zimsak, the National Coordinator of the Australian Network to Ban Landmines gave a challenging and thought-provoking presentation which discussed the technical and political challenges involved with developing technologies and strategies to eliminate anti-personnell mines and cluster munitions.
For those wishing to learn more about the effects of these devices, or how they can assist with this campaign, please visit: