Grand Dialogue

The Grand Dialogue in Science and Religion

The Grand Dialogue is an inter-institutional, interdisciplinary, and interfaith exploration of science and religion. The Dialogue seeks to find positive ways of relating these two great ideas in a constructive dialogue. Participating organizations each have their own unique perspectives, foci, message, and intended audience. By cooperating, we affirm the willingness to be open to various issues and perspectives in a spirit of mutual respect.

2017 Conference

Scott Davison, PhD - "Science, Faith, and Answers to Prayer"

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Scott A. Davison (PhD, Notre Dame) writes on questions about divine providence and human freedom.  His publications include a number of articles in prestigious journals, two entries in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ("Prophecy" and "Prayer"), and the first full-length book treatment of issues involving divine providence and petitionary prayer: Petitionary Prayer: a Philosophical Investigation, Oxford University Press. He is also the author of On the Intrinsic Value of Everything, Oxford.

The 2017 Grand Dialogue was presented in conjunction with another of our projects funded by the Templeton Foundation: "Abrahamic Reflections on Science and Religion." That project brings 30 scientists and philosophers from around the world, each from one of the Abrahamic religions, to address the key issues in science and religion. All speakers, respondents, and breakout session leaders at this year's Grand Dialogue were project participants. Find out more about the project here: Abrahamic Reflections on Science and Religion

Scott Davison

Alvin Plantinga, the 2017 recipient of the Templeton Prize, was also honored at this year's conference. Plantinga’s pioneering work began in the late 1950s, a time when academic philosophers generally rejected religiously informed philosophy. In his early books, however, Plantinga considered a variety of arguments for the existence of God in ways that put theistic belief back on the philosophical agenda. These arguments have now influenced three generations of professional philosophers.

2017 Keynote and responses

2015 Keynote Presentation

2015 Conference

Islamic Scholar Enis Doko - "Can a Darwinian be a Muslim?"

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Enis Doko graduated from both the Philosophy and Physics departments at Middle East Technical University. Currently he is doing a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics on many-body quantum theory and cold atomic physics. He is interested in philosophy of religion, philosophy of science and the science-religion relationship. He has written two books: Religious and Genius: Isaac Newton (2012) and Presuppositions of Science and the Quran (2015, with Caner Taslaman). He has co-edited and written chapters for two books on Kalam and philosophy of religion: "Contemporary Debates in Kalam" (2014, with Mehmet Bulen) and "Philosophy, Science and God" (2013, with Taslaman). 

2014 Conference

Dr. Alvin Plantinga - "Religion and Science: Where the Conflict Really Lies”

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Alvin Plantinga is the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University, has served as President of the American Philosophical Association (Western Division) and Society of Christian Philosophers, and has delivered the Gifford Lectures in Scotland three times.

He is the author of God and Other Minds, The Nature of Necessity, Warrant and Proper Function, and Warranted Christian Belief. His newest book is Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism (Oxford University Press). In 1979, he was described in Time magazine as “the leading philosopher of God."

2014 Keynote Presentation

2012 Keynote Presentation

2012 Conference

Dr. Gerald Schroeder - "God in the Hebrew Bible, Science in the Modern World? Can Both Be True?" 

March 24, 2012

Dr. Gerald Schroeder earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Applied Nuclear Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences. He has taught at MIT, the Weizmann Institute of Science and Hebrew University. He currently teaches at the Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. In addition to publishing over 60 peer-reviewed articles, Schroeder is the author of four books that explore the relationship between science and religion: Genesis and the Big Bang, The Science of God, The Hidden Face of God, and God According to God.

2011 Conference

Nancey Murphy, PhD, ThD - "Do Humans Have Souls? Perspectives from Science and Religion"

April 16, 2011

Nancey Murphy is a professor of Christian philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA. She has two doctorates, a Ph.D. in philosophy of science from U.C. Berkeley and a Th.D. in theology from the Graduate Theological Union. Her first book, Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning(Cornell, 1990), won the American Academy of Religion award for excellence. She is author of nine other books, including Anglo-American Postmodernity: Philosophical Perspectives on Science, Religion, and Ethics (Westview, 1997); and On the Moral Nature of the Universe: Theology, Cosmology, and Ethics(with George F.R. Ellis, Fortress, 1996). She also has co-edited 11 volumes, and published many articles in science and religion.

2011 Keynote speaker and responses

2010 Keynote Presentation

2010 Conference

B. Alan Wallace, PhD - "Experience, Reason, and Faith in Science and Religion: A Buddhist Perspective"

March 20, 2010

B. Alan Wallace, PhD is a practicing Buddhist and the author of several books including, Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness (2008), Embracing Mind: The Common Ground of Science and Spirituality (2008), Contemplative Science: Where Buddhism and Neuroscience Converge (2007), Buddhism and Science: Toward a New Science of Consciousness (2003, and The Taboo of Subjectivity: Toward a New Science of Consciousness (2000).

2009 Conference

Brian Malley, Ph.D. - "Why Do People Believe in Gods?"

March 14, 2009

Dr. Malley received his Ph.D in anthropology from the University of Michigan, where he currently lectures in psychology. His work and writing is part of the new and growing field of cognitive study of religion. While in graduate school, he received the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion's Distinguished Article Award for his article "Explaining Order in Religious Systems." His book How the Bible Works is an ethnographic study of Bible use in an evangelical community and has become a touchstone for subsequent work on scripture use. 

Brian Malley

Page last modified March 12, 2018