The 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Catholic Philosophical Association will be held in St. Louis, October 27-30, 2011, and will be hosted by St. Louis University. The theme for the 2011 meeting will be ” Science, Reason, and Religion.” The deadline for submissions is April 2, 2011. From the conference committee:
Broadly speaking, the question of the compatibility of faith and reason has always been central to Catholic thinking. Nevertheless, in the public square from the side of religion, at one extreme is a fundamentalist understanding of faith which simply rejects any science which conflicts with the assertions of a literal reading of faith’s revelation. Recent creationist theories of the origins of life represent instances of such religious fundamentalism. At the other extreme is another kind of inverted “fundamentalism,” – scientism, manifest in the “new atheism”, which simply rejects as irrational any religious belief whatsoever and replaces it by an uncritical extension of particular scientific theories to comprehensive worldviews or metaphysics. Recent confrontations between such extremes call forth a fresh re-consideration of the question of faith and reason as appropriately articulated as the question of science and religion today. Accordingly, I have proposed the above theme to provide an occasion for re-thinking the question of faith and reason in light of the various scientific revolutions from the seventeenth century to today-in physics and cosmology, biology and evolution, in the social sciences, in logic and mathematics and in psychology and neuroscience. From the side of religion one might consider the developments in theology and what they portend for the question; and from a stance in-between science and religion-what might philosophy’s “reasons” offer on the question of science and religion today. Finally, what might further considerations from the ethical, social, political, historical and technological dimensions of such re-thinking of faith and reason reveal to us as beings of reason and religion?