Darwinism, so secularist theories of modernity hold, opened the door to mass unbelief. Irrigation yields atheism, the joke goes, as the new technology eliminates the sense of dependence on God. Are theories declaring the death of faith sustainable as a matter of reason and science? This course is a two-part investigation of theology, evolutionary theory, and technology. The first part is an in-depth study of philosopher Alvin Plantinga’s Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism, among the most rigorous critiques of the idea that evolution can replace God as an explanation for the world. We will investigate and evaluate each step in Plantinga’s argument to come to our own assessment of the issue. The second part of the course will focus on the theological, anthropological, and ethical dimension of the issue: How are we as humans to understand ourselves faced with the technology made possible by modern science? Which theological patterns help us to make sense of technological progress? We will read a variety of classical and recently published texts on the relation between theology, science, digital humanities, religion, and technology by Hans Jonas, Karl Barth, and contemporary theologians like Hanna Reichel and Peter Dabrock.
Class Format: In the week before each reading, Prof. Pally and Dr. Hoehne will post on Moodle.
Guiding Questions for the next class to assist students in identifying the critical ideas in each text. Each class will begin with a 15-minute review of the Guiding Question in small student groups. This will be followed by whole-class discussion of the Guiding Questions and other ideas that emerge from them. Students should be prepared to participate. This is a seminar, not a Vorlesung, and will work only with your active engagement.
Students should speak to Prof. Pally and Dr. Hoehne about presentations, exams, or papers to fulfill degree requirements. Please do so as early in the semester as possible.
Melden Sie sich bitte über die Moodle-Plattform (Kennwort: Richard#) bis zum 14.04.2020 an.
The course is suitable for students in theology and religious education, students interested in ethics, and students interested in the intersection between religion and culture, especially religious and scientific thought structures. The class will be given in English, but both Prof. Pally and Dr. Hoehne understand German. Students may talk and ask questions in both languages.