Evolutionary theory and theology meet at 2017 Theological Institute

July 14, 2017 by

 

Evolutionary theory about creation has not always received a cordial welcome in Christian faith, according to Dr. Gloria Schaab, SSJ, Ph.D., and speaker for the 2017 Theological Institute that began July 13 at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia. However, they need not be mutually exclusive, she assured the crowd.

“My core principal is that evolutionary theory and theology can serve as interpretive lenses or context for each other,” said Dr. Schaab as she promised to immerse the more than 50 attendees of the institute into an understanding of how theology and evolutionary science can coexist.

“We try to express the eternal truths of faith in ways that are accessible in a particular time and culture,” she said. “The language of translation we are using this weekend is science.”

Dr. Schaab has published and lectured extensively on the mystery of God through the lens of evolutionary science. The topic of the 2017 Theological Institute is “God in an Evolving Cosmos.” The institute will continue at the Motherhouse through July 16.

Dr. Schaab is a Sister of St. Joseph of Philadelphia, a professor of systematic theology and director of graduate programs in theology and ministry in the Department of Theology and Philosophy and Associate Dean for general education, College of Arts and Sciences, at Barry University in Miami, Fla. Schaab’s scholarly research focuses on the theology of God as Trinity, Christology, pneumatology, evolutionary theology, feminist theology and contextual theology. She is a recipient of the 2015 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal for outstanding contributions in theology to church and world.

The 2017 Theological Institute will explore what an evolutionary view of the cosmos may reveal about the Living God and the relationship between God and the world. Based on the proposal that everything is full of sacred presence, it contends that everything has the capacity to reveal the Living God. Plumbing the mysteries of ongoing creativity, emergent novelty and the strange attractor, the institute will explore the mystery of the Triune God who promises, “See, I am doing something new!”

The Sisters of St. Joseph established the annual Theological Institute a way to continue their long-standing educational tradition, exemplified by the schools they founded and staffed, including Marymount College in Salina. The program is held each summer in Concordia.

The 2018 Theological Institute is scheduled for July 12-15 and will feature Nancy Pineda-Madrid, PhD, speaking on the topic, “A Multi-Cultural Church in a Secularized Society: Hope, Promise, Possibility and Fulfillment.” She is an associate professor of Theology and Latino/a Ministry, Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry; Vice President, International network of Society of Catholic Theology; past-president, Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States; author of “Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juarez,” and “Hope: Promise, Possibility and Fulfillment.”

For more information on reserving a spot for the 2018 Theological institute, visit www.mannahouse.org.

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