Saint MarySaint Mary's biology students celebrate Darwin's birthday

Welcome to the inaugural issue of
Quest: An Online Journal of Religion and Science!

This journal is one of the fruits of the recent Quest Project:  Women Exploring the Science/Religion Interface.  Funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, this two-year long project was directed by the Center for Spirituality (CFS) at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN.  The project involved a series of events and lectures by several significant and renowned scholars working in the area of religion and science, culminating with a conference in the spring of 2009.

The first issue of the journal is devoted to the Quest Project, particularly to the conference events.  The project was a collaborative effort that was envisioned and led by Sr. Kathleen Dolphin, PBVM, Director of CFS.  In addition to the leadership of Sr. Kathleen, the project and conference drew from the talents and efforts of Michelle Egan, Associate Director of CFS, Kathy Guthrie, Administrative Assistant, Saint Mary's faculty, staff, and students, as well as several partnering institutions.

Included in this issue, you will find three essays and a video link to the panel discussion that opened the Quest conference in April of 2009.  Presented at Saint Mary's in April 2008, Nancey Murphy's essay, "Neuroscience, Christian Anthropology, and the Role of Women in the Church," draws from developments in the neurosciences to develop further challenges to dualistic understandings of the human body and soul, and argues even for Christians to discard the concept of the soul.  Next, in "God and the World: Sharing a Common Space?" Joseph Bracken puts his Neo-Whiteheadian position into conversation with the theologies of Jozef Zycinski, Archbishop of Lublin, Poland, and Alfred North Whitehead.  Bracken utilizes Whitehead's metaphysical framework, with modifications, to build on Zycinski's theological engagement with evolution.  Finally, Carolyne Call's "Forgiveness: Theological, Psychological and Evolutionary Perspectives," as the title readily suggests, is a multidisciplinary exploration of the nature of forgiveness.  Call encourages a "more robust discussion" on forgiveness, pointing out its importance on many levels, individual, regional, and global, and in multiple spheres, politically and psychologically.

We hope you find this issue interesting and enlightening, and look forward to your comments as we move toward future issues!