2013 Program


8:30 am Registration and Breakfast (HYH118)

9:00 am Devotional, Trevor O’Reggio, Professor of Church History, Andrews University

9:20 am Welcome, Jiri Moskala, Seminary Dean, Andrews University

9:30 am Stephen Harnish, Professor and Chair of Mathematics, Bluffton University, A Natural Bridge and Meeting Ground for Faith and Reason

10:15 am Karl Bailey, Associate Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Program Coordinator, Andrews University, Believing Brains? Cognitive Approaches to Faith and Reason

11:00 am Ante Jeroncic, Associate Professor of Religion, Andrews University, The Quest for “La Sapienza”: Elaborations on Roy Bhaskar’s Critical Realism

11:45 am Paul Keim, Professor of Bible, Religion & Foreign Languages, Goshen College, With Heart, and Mind and Strength: Pursuing Reasonable Faith in the Maelstrom of Biblical Studies

12:30 pm Lunch (HYH207)

2:00 pm Panel Discussion, moderated by Gary Burdick, Professor of Physics and Associate Dean for Research, Andrews University

3:00 pm Breakout sessions

4:00 pm Synthesis

4:30 pm Worship

5:00 pm Supper (HYH207)


Stephen Harnish, A Natural Bridge and Meeting Ground for Faith and Reason

As widely assumed, the essence of mathematics is the dispassionate pursuit of numerical and logical certainty—moving from axioms, definitions and conjectures to clearly stated theorems, proofs and applications. In this light, mathematics is impersonal and indifferent to matters of faith. Or, is it? Deeper considerations of mathematical process, attitudes and ideas challenge this common assumption, and a sampling of perspectives from classical masters and modern communicators of mathematics presents a much more robust picture. Indeed, mathematics--that ‘unreasonably effective’ source of concepts and tools for the sciences, can also serve as a natural bridge and meeting ground for faith and reason.

Karl Bailey, Believing Brains? Cognitive Approaches to Faith and Reason

From its infancy in phrenological false promises, the idea that faith and reason should leave physical marks on the human brain has attracted both empirical and popular interest. The simple localization of faith or reason to a clearly defined brain area is, however, unlikely at this point, and the practice of using appeals to brain imaging to justify the existence of psychological constructs—neurorealism—is increasingly under critical fire. While we do not yet have a clear picture of the intricate networks that provide for the human experiences of faith and reason, some basic principles derived from a blending of psychology and neuroscience suggest the types of cognition that we would expect to underpin both faith and reason.

Ante Jeroncic, The Quest for “La Sapienza”: Elaborations on Roy Bhaskar’s Critical Realism

During the last several decades, critical realism has proven to be a fruitful site of convergence fort those interested in the dialogue of science and religion. As a methodological framework, it aims at presenting an alternative to both poststructuralist and foundationalist modes of reasoning by conjoining a realist conception of reality with that of epistemic fallibilism implied in constructivist accounts of knowledge. In this paper, I will focus on selected key postulates of Roy Bhaskar’s critical realist perspective by briefly delineating their significance for the stated dialogue, including questions of theological methodology and ethical responsibility. The discussion itself will be placed against the backdrop of pope Benedict XVI’s controversial nonappearance at the “La Sapienza” University of Rome in 2008 and the controversy that subsequently ensued.

Paul Keim, With Heart, and Mind and Strength: Pursuing Reasonable Faith in the Maelstrom of Biblical Studies

Faith seeking understanding gave rise to the systematic study of scripture in synagogue, church and mosque. Biblical studies, along with the ancillary disciplines of religious studies, Ancient Near Eastern studies and archaeology, arose out of this milieu and have found their place in the academy. The application of modern empirical methodologies to the Bible and its cultural environment has transformed modern approaches to and understanding of the Bible, but has also given rise to a form of biblical studies increasingly distanced from theology and the needs of faith communities. Yet religious consciousness and religious experience have always strained to find expression in rational discourse. At the moment when faith is defined and constrained by language, faith and reason become partners in a hermeneutic that transcends all confessional boundaries.

About the Speakers

Stephen H. Harnish, Professor and Chair of Mathematics, Bluffton University

After theological studies at AMBS, Steve Harnish received his Mathematics Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, working under proof theorist Gaisi Takeuti—a friend and protégé of Kurt Gödel. He has since served at Neumann (PA) and Bluffton Universities, and as a founding member of the steering committee of the MRSS. Steve’s professional commitments include mentoring NSF and MCRC-supported undergraduate research in logic, network theory, high performance computing, mathematical physics and the science and religion dialogue.

Karl Bailey, Associate Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Program Coordinator, Andrews University

Karl Bailey received his PhD in psychology, with a specialization in cognitive science, from Michigan State University. He has taught at Andrews University since 2004, and has directed the Behavioral Neuroscience Program since 2011. Bailey is one of the most active undergraduate research mentors on campus, supervising over 100 individual projects since arriving at Andrews. He and his students are currently working on problems in visual cognition, internalization of religious behavior, and cognitive load.

Ante Jeroncic, Associate Professor of Religion, Andrews University

Ante Jeroncic holds an MA in Systematic Theology from Stellenbosch University and a PhD in Theology from the University of Chicago Divinity School. His academic interests deal with questions of religion and violence, the relationship of ethics and aesthetics, as well as various issues of theology and culture. More specifically, his current research centers on the moral philosophy of Iris Murdoch, particularly her delineation of the Good as a form of ethical transcendence. Before joining Andrews University, Dr. Jeroncic worked as a minister in the Chicagoland area.

Paul Keim, Professor of Bible, Religion and Foreign Languages, Goshen College

The primary focus of Paul Keim’s academic training and scholarly work has been the Hebrew Scriptures. He spent a sabbatical year as Visiting Professor at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. He has also led international study groups to Israel/Palestine, Germany and Morocco.


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