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Science and Religion


Woodstock's project on Science and Religion studies the fascinating and sometimes tense relationship between these two critical fields, with regard to topics such as cosmology, genetic engineering, and evolutionary theory. It seeks to create clarification and a deeper public understanding of the fundamental compatibility of science and religion. Through this project, Woodstock's Research Fellows promote active engagement in the heated public debates on science and religion, to present in a reasoned and accessible way the best contemporary fruits of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

A special emphasis of the project has been the preservation of the intellectual legacy of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

Selected Activities

  • "Evolution and God: Darwin and Theology 150 Years after The Origin of Species" was the topic of a Woodstock Forum held in January 2009, and organized by Senior Research Fellow John Haught, author of such well-known texts as God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution; Deeper than Darwin: The Prospect for Religion in the Age of Evolution; and God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens. The Forum also featured Dr. Kenneth R. Miller, a Professor of Biology at Brown University and author of Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution. The Forum explored questions such as "Why has Darwinian evolution been so disturbing to many people of faith?", "Is a Christian theology of evolution possible?", "Why are some prominent evolutionists also outspoken atheists?", and "What responses can theology make to their impassioned claims that Darwin has destroyed any plausible belief in divine providence?" Video from the Forum is available through the Center's Multimedia page.
  • An exhibit on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., in the Woodstock Theological Center Library
  • "Teilhard de Chardin and His Relevance for Today" was the theme of a April 2005 Woodstock Forum with James Salmon, S.J., Nicole Schmitz-Moormann, Philip Hefner, and Harris Wofford, which was featured in Woodstock Report No. 82, June 2005.
  • The Preface to the Journal of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., by Nicole Schmitz-Moormann details her insights gained from years of painstaking work in transcribing Teilhard's hand-written Journal into digital format. the Preface includes her Introduction to the Journal, along with sections describing "Themes and Abbreviations" encountered in the Journal, and Ms. Schmitz-Moormann's "Editor's Notes".