Conference Speakers

Joseph Bracken, SJ, Ph.D., (University of Freiburg, Germany), Professor, Theology, Xavier University, Cincinnati
Joseph Bracken, SJ is a retired professor of theology and director emeritus of the Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Ohio, and is the author of seven books and editor or co-editor of two other works in the area of philosophical theology. His focus in recent years has been on the God-world relationship both as it figures in the religion and science debate and in interreligious dialogue. He is a long-time student of the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead but has modified it in some measure so as to make it more compatible with traditional Christian beliefs such as creation out of nothing, the doctrine of the Trinity, and eschatology.


Mary Frohlich, Ph.D., (Catholic University of America), Associate Professor of Spirituality,
Catholic Theological Union, Chicago

A fascination with the mystical dimension of both ordinary and extraordinary human lives has focused Mary Frohlich's teaching and research. Her specific interests include reclaiming the spiritual classics as resources for today's needs, understanding the relationship between psychology and spirituality, and reflecting on the interplay of practice and theory in the developing field of spirituality. She is author of St. Therese of Lisieux: Essential Writings and The Lay Contemplative: Testimonies, Perspectives, Resources. Another strong interest of hers is the relationship between spirituality and science, especially ecological science. Following her lecture/reflection, conference participants will have personal time for reflection at various locations on campus.


Mary Gerhart, Ph.D., (University of Chicago), Professor Emerita, Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, New York

Professor Gerhart's areas of work include interpretation theory, theology, and gender studies.  In addition to the books coauthored with Allan Russell (Metaphoric Process: The Creation of Scientific and Religious Understanding (1984) and New Maps for Old: Explorations in Science and Religion (2001)), her books include The Question of Belief in Literary Criticism (1979), Morphologies of Faith (1990), Genre Choices: Gender Questions (1992), and The Christianity Reader (2007).  She was the Senior Fellow at the Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago in 2007-08.

Gerhart and Russell have taught bidisciplinary courses in science and religion since 1975 and have co-authored publications in the field of science and religion since 1984.


Barbara Bradley Hagerty, Correspondent, Religion, National Public Radio
Barbara Bradley Hagerty is the religion correspondent for National Public Radio, reporting on the intersection of faith and politics, law, science, and culture. Her forthcoming book, "Fingerprints of God: The Science of Spirituality," will be published by Riverhead/Penguin Group in May 2009. Among other awards, Barb received the 2004 Religion Newswriters Association award for radio reporting.

Before covering the religion beat, Barb was NPR's Justice Department correspondent between 1998 and 2003. Her billet included the impeachment proceedings again President Clinton, Florida's disputed 2004 election, terrorism, crime, espionage, wrongful convictions, and the occasional serial killer. Barbara was the lead correspondent covering the investigation into the September 11 attacks. Her reporting was part of NPR's coverage that earned the network the 2001 George Foster Peabody and Overseas Press Club awards. She has appeared on the PBS programs Washington Week in Review and The Lehrer News Hour.

Barb came to NPR in 1995, after attending Yale Law School on a one-year Knight Fellowship. From 1982-1993, she worked at The Christian Science Monitor as a newspaper reporter in Washington, as the Asia correspondent based in Tokyo for World Monitor (the Monitor's nightly television program on the Discovery Cable Channel), and finally as senior Washington correspondent for Monitor Radio.

Bradley was graduated magna cum laude from Williams College in 1981 with a degree in economics, and has a masters in legal studies from Yale Law School.


Thomas Parisi, Ph.D. (University of Rochester), Professor, Psychology, Saint Mary's College
Professor Tom Parisi's areas of special interest are psychobiology, Freud studies, and history and philosophy of science. He teaches courses on the natural science end of psychology as well as courses in the history of psychology and the history and philosophy of science as they connect to psychology and the neurosciences. He has also taught courses in humanistic studies as part of the college's general education program, and in interdisciplinary introductory courses with colleagues in biology, literature, and philosophy. Most recently, his course on "Dante and the Journey of Our Life" was crosslisted in Psychology and Humanistic Studies.


Allan M. Russell, Ph.D., (Syracuse University), Professor Emeritus, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Professor Russell's areas of work include experimental research and publications in molecular beams, in electron and condensed matter physics, as well as in space colonization.  In addition to the books co-authored with Mary Gerhart (listed above under Gerhart), he has published over twenty articles in scientific journals and was an editor of the book Space Colonization: Technology and the Liberal Arts (1984).


Molly Duman Scheel, Ph.D., (University of Chicago), Assistant Professor, Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Scheel is an evolutionary development biologist whose current research interests include genetic and comparative analysis of cellular growth, with emphasis on understanding axon growth and guidance, using the genetically tractable fruit fly.  This work has implications for both cancer biology and regenerative medicines.  In recent years, as mosquito-borne infectious diseases are an increasing global threat to humans, other simple arthropods such as mosquitos are used in her research.  Detailed analysis of the function of developmental regulatory genes and selective inhibition of such genes in mosquitos is a requisite step toward attaining the long-term goals of this research program, which are to selectively target mosquito developmental genes in an effort to control disease.