Terry Lecture Series by Cambridge University Particle Physicist Focuses on Belief in God in a Scientific Age
John Polkinghorne, president of Queens’ College at the University of Cambridge, will explore belief in God in a scientific age in a lecture series at Yale University titled “Science & Religion: Patterns of Collegiality.” The four Dwight H. Terry Lectures, which are free and open to the public, will begin at 4 p.m. on Oct. 8, 10, 15 and 17 in Davies Auditorium, Becton Center, 15 Prospect St.
Dr. Polkinghorne, who is an expert in elementary particle physics as well as an ordained priest, received his doctorate degrees in both philosophy and science from Cambridge University and was a professor of mathematical physics there from 1968 to 1979. He attended Westcott House at Cambridge from 1979 to 1981, and was ordained a deacon in 1981 and a priest in 1982. He was a curate in Cambridge and Bristol from 1981 to 1984, and was Vicar of Blean in Kent from 1984 to 1986.
The titles and dates of Dr. Polkinghorne’s Yale talks are “Belief in God in an Age of Science” on Oct. 8, with an introduction by Gene Outka, the Dwight Professor of Philosophy and Christian Ethics at the Yale Divinity School; “Finding Truth: Science & Religion Compared” on Oct. 10, with an introduction by Robert M. Adams, professor and chairman of philosophy; “Does God Act in the Physical World?” on Oct. 15, with an introduction by Thomas Appelquist, dean of the Yale Graduate School and the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics; and “A Continuing Dialogue Between Science & Religion” on Oct. 17 with an introduction by Thomas W. Ogletree, professor of theological ethics at the Divinity School.
“Dr. Polkinghorne is interested in the relation between religious assertions and scientific assertions, especially where ideas in the two realms are compatible and where they seem to collide,” Professor Outka said. “He is particularly interested in exploring religion from the perspectives that physics has opened up.”
Dr. Polkinghorne served as a fellow, dean and chaplain of Trinity Hall at Cambridge University from 1986 to 1989, at which time he became president of Queens’ College. His many books on science and theology include “The Particle Play,” “Models of High Energy Processes,” “The Way the World Is,” “The Quantum World,” “Science and Creation,” “Reason and Reality,” “Science and Christian Belief,” “Quarks, Chaos and Christianity,” and “Serious Talk.”
The Dwight H. Terry Lectureship at Yale was established in 1905 by a gift from Dwight Harrington Terry of Bridgeport, Connecticut, for lectures on religion as it relates to science and philosophy. Previous Terry lecturers have included John Dewey, Carl Jung, Erich Fromm, Rebecca West, Margaret Mead and Stephen Jay Gould.