A week ago I attended a conference at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana, given by Ilia Delio, Heidi Russell, and John F. Haught. They are theologians who write and teach in areas at the intersection of science and religion. I had been reading their works for the past few years – not necessarily grasping the full meaning of their books. The conference was challenging and rewarding. In future posts, I will attempt to synthesize the highlights of their teaching. In the meantime, I recommend the books listed on the “Favorites of 2018” page on this blog.
On the last evening of the conference, Ilia Delio asked the audience of 150 people what we would come away with from the conference. Her question stayed with me for a few days. Not in any particular order, I came away with:
- A better understanding of the writings of Ilia, Heidi, and John. (Note the way we are on a first-name basis, now!)
- That these three highly intelligent theologians are warm and funny human beings
- The motivation to continue reading in the areas of faith and science
- The need for me to focus my spiritual reading and teaching so that I don’t feel quite so scattered
- The need and desire to shift my worldview from traditional Catholic doctrine to an anticipatory future worldview
- The universe is unfinished and interconnected and moving toward unity
- Hope for the future of the universe
- A paradigm shift in my notion of God. I have been thinking of God as three persons (really, three Gods), instead of focusing on God is One
- God is drawing the world, including you and me, toward more-being and unity from up ahead.
- A desire to plan programs at my church on science and religion once I have synthesized and integrated what I am learning from multiple sources
- A theological and scientific basis to my programs in ecological spirituality
- An appreciation for the women who continue to live consecrated lives in community, as well as their commitment to lifelong learning. About 2/3 of the audience was comprised of women in religious communities.
Ilia closed one of her lectures with the following wish for us:
Live in the “in-between.”
Live with inner space to welcome the new.
Live on the cusp of the future.
Live with wonder and awe.
Live in the realm of life’s many possibilities.
Focus the mind; widen the heart.
Love to the point of tears.
This is my wish for you, as well.