Speakers & Respondents

Speakers

 

Philip Clayton

Philip Clayton

Philip Clayton is the Ingraham Professor at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California.  Professor Clayton has taught or held research professorships at Williams College, California State University, Harvard University, Cambridge University, and the University of Munich. His research focuses on biological emergence, religion and science, process studies, and contemporary issues in ecology, religion, and ethics. In books and lectures, Clayton works to formulate constructive theological responses to developments in contemporary science and philosophy. He has also been a leading advocate for comparative theology and the internationalization of the science-religion dialogue. He is the recipient of multiple research grants and international lectureships, as well as the author of numerous books, including The Predicament of Belief: Science, Philosophy, Faith (2011); Religion and Science: The Basics (2011) and In Quest of Freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World (2009). He also edited The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science (2006).

photo of Terrence Deacon

Terrence Deacon

Terrence W. Deacon is an American Neuroanthropologist who received his Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University in 1984.  He has held faculty positions at Harvard University, Boston University, and Harvard Medical School, before assuming his current position as Professor of Biological Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He has contributed to over 100 research papers spanning diverse fields and is the author of the award winning books The Symbolic Species: The Coevolution of Language and the Brain (W. W. Norton, 1997) and Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter (W. W. Norton, 2012).  His research extends from laboratory-based cellular-molecular neurobiology (including neural xenografting) to the study of semiotic processes underlying animal and human cognition and communication (including language origins). His theoretical interests focus on self-organizing and evolution-like processes at many levels, including in embryonic development, neural signal processing, language change, and social processes, exploring how these different processes interact and depend on each other. He recently turned his attention to the problem of explaining so-called emergent phenomena, such as characterize the origin of life, the evolution of language, the nature of information, and the generation of conscious experience by brains.

Timothy O'Connor

Timothy O'Connor

Timothy O’Connor is Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University, where he has taught since 1993, apart from visiting research fellowships at the Universities of Notre Dame, St. Andrews, and Oxford and an appointment as Distinguished Professor at Baylor University. His interests lie in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. Professor O’Connor is the author of two books, Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008) and Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will (Oxford, 2000). He has edited or co-edited six books and has written numerous academic papers on the topics of free will, emergence, philosophical theology and epistemology. He also writes online reviews for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.  His work in the area of philosophy of mind focuses on reductionist versus emergentist views of the mental and the relationship of consciousness and intentionality.  He is currently trying to make sense out of an emergentist, property dualist view of conscious animals such as ourselves and hopes to produce a monograph on the metaphysics of human persons in the near future.  He has co-edited three volumes of topics of related interest including A Companion to the Philosophy of ActionEmergence in Science and Philosophy, and an interdisciplinary compendium of views on the status of empirical research on the human will, titled Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will.

 

Sr. Ilia Delio

Sr. Ilia Delio

Ilia Delio, OSF, a Franciscan Sister of Washington, D.C. holds the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova Universe.  Her area of research is Science and Religion with interests in artificial intelligence, evolution, quantum physics and the import of these for religion and culture. She holds a doctorate in Pharmacology from Rutgers University-  Biomedical and Health Sciences and a doctorate in Historical Theology from Fordham University.  She is the author of eighteen books and numerous articles.  Her recent books include Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness and The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love, for which she won the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award.  Her latest book A Hunger for Wholeness:  Soul, Space and Transcendence will be published by Paulist Press (2018).  

Respondents

 

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller (born 1959, New York City) graduated from Columbia University in History & Sociology before gaining an M.Phil. from Cambridge and PhD from Pittsburgh, both in History and Philosophy of Science. He currently holds the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology. He is most closely associated with the research program of social epistemology. Originally trained in the history and philosophy of science (Ph.D., 1985, University of Pittsburgh), he is the founder of the research program of social epistemology. It is the name of a quarterly journal he founded with Taylor & Francis in 1987, as well as the first of his more than twenty books. His most recent work has been concerned with the future of humanity, or 'Humanity 2.0'. He has spoken in over 30 countries, often keynoting professional academic conferences, and has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 1995. He was awarded a D.Litt. by Warwick in 2007 for significant career-long contributions to scholarship. He was appointed to the Auguste Comte Chair in Socal Epistemology in 2011, and is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Breakthrough Institute, the leading 'ecomodernist' think-tank and an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, the leading 'transhumanist' think-tank. His writings have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Jack Caputo

John D. Caputo

John D. Caputo, the Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion Emeritus (Syracuse University) and the David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy Emeritus (Villanova University) is a constructive theologian who has spearheaded a notion he calls “weak theology,” by which he means a “poetics” of the “event” that is harbored in the name (of) God, or that “insists” in the name (of) “God,” which depends upon a reworking of the concepts of the event in Derrida to theological ends. In his majors works he has argued that interpretation goes all the way down (Radical Hermeneutics, 1987), that Derrida is a thinker to be reckoned with by theology (The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida, 1997), that theology is best served by getting over its love affair with power and authority and embracing what Caputo calls, taking a phrase from St. Paul, The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event, 2006), which won the American Academy of Religion award for excellence in the category of constructive theology. Just this year he published a new book entitled Hermeneutics: Facts and Interpretation in the Age of Information (Penguin/Pelican, 2018) and a second edition of On Religion. Keith Putt has edited The Essential Caputo (Indiana UP, 2018) a collection of his work from the early 1970s to the present. His latest book Cross and Cosmos: A Theology of Difficult Glory is forthcoming from Indiana UP in 2019. Since retiring in 2011, he has also been speaking to various church and community groups interested in a more progressive concept of religion, and addressing more general audiences in books like What Would Jesus Deconstruct? (2006), and Hoping against Hope: Confessions of a Postmodern Pilgrim (2015).