The Epic of Evolution & The Christian Future
Oriented for clergy, open to others.
Six Weeks, Friday Mornings 9:30 – 12:00 AM
October 12th – November 16th, 2012
How do we connect with and integrate the cosmic story being handed to us by science with our Christian tradition? How can the wisdom traditions nourish us today? How do we reinvent ourselves and our institutions during this time of such monumental change? Writers such as Thomas Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, Brian Swimme, Ilia Deleo, Linda Gibler, Mary Coelho, and numerous others have shown how Christian mysticism, sacraments and symbols point to dynamics within the universe as a whole, thus opening Christianity to far deeper levels of understanding. Further, Christianity can bring a sense of the sacred and depth of wonder to the cosmic story. This course will be an in-depth look at what’s pressing into consciousness with the cosmic story and the tremendous vitality that it can bring to Christianity. Through lecture, discussion, storytelling, readings, music and meditation, the course may open up Christianity for you in entirely new ways. You may come away with a sense of trust, hope and excitement about the tradition that has nurtured us for two thousand years. Bring your restlessness to the course...that’s where the future is pressing in.
Week 1: The Cosmic Story
Week 2: Meaning, Belonging, Identity and Governing Themes
Week 3: Images of God
Week 4: The Wisdom of Religious Traditions
Week 5: Discernment
Week 6: Reinventing the Human and Our Institutions
Readings: Journey of the Universe by Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker; Born With a Bang, From Lava to Life, and Mammals Who Morph by Jennifer Morgan; and Thomas Berry’s Twelve Principles, available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Berry. Handouts given in each class.
Quotes from Participants:
If religion, re ligio, is about tying together again, then Jennifer Morgan’s course provided refreshing, insightful, mind expanding insights about the origin and nature of our universe. With a variety of teaching and learning methods, Morgan covered a vast amount of information while keeping us engaged and looking forward to each session. -- Rev. Elizabeth B. Congdon, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Trenton
As a pastor I am challenged to delicately place the new cosmology told by the sciences along side of the creation stories in the Bible (stories taken to be historical/literal by many) without destroying, but deepening their faith. In this course Jennifer Morgan puts the awe back into science and spiritual depth back into the scriptures so the two can compliment each other. Not an easy task, yet one she does creatively and invitingly. -- Scott A. Widmer, Pastor, Marshallton United Methodist Church, PA.
With her totally engaging style, Jennifer shared the beauty and mysteries of our universe and our being in a way that unexpectedly "connected the dots" for me and also kept the shivers coming up my spine. As a professor of science, I wasn't expecting to have such a profound experience.
-- Gail F. Arnold, PhD.
Former research professor of chemistry and chemical biology, Rutgers University
For me as a non-scientist, Jennifer Morgan's work - her books, classes, workshops and yes - even performances - have been mind altering. Doors of scientific inquiry which have been closed and even locked are now open. The origin story that science is developing becomes - through Jennifer's teaching - exciting, transcendent and even spiritual in the deepest sense of that word.
-- Linda Fitch, Founder/Director of Isle La Motte Preservation Trust, Isle La Motte, VT.
As a retired engineer and technical manager, I find that Jennifer Morgan's courses and presentations create a unique community where I can discuss a mix of scientific and deeply spiritual issues. This is a rare opportunity not easily found anywhere else. Jennifer enlivens the story of the universe, presenting it as my story, dramatically and soulfully speaking to me on many levels- scientific, logical, emotional, existential, psychological, and spiritual.
-- Ken Frank
Former District Manager, AT&T Network Systems
Jennifer has a way of explaining the most complex concepts in ways that make them clear and fully illustrated with stories, images, quotes, as well as hard data and facts. She has facilitated opportunities for us to talk with scientists and environmentalists to fully question and understand the concepts most interesting to us. These courses are so rich and unique to the individual, in that I can treat it as a graduate level class when I want, and really study the content, or I can merely show up and be enthralled in the supportive group dynamic that Jennifer provides. The choice is mine.
-- Gwen Shangle, Montessori Elementary Teacher
and Director of Elementary Teacher Education,
Princeton Center for Teacher Education