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Creighton welcomes national speakers for science and faith conference

Mar 25, 2024
3 min Read
Rev. Robert Spitzer
The Rev. Robert Spitzer, SJ, PhD, pictured above, will be the keynote speaker at the science and faith conference in Omaha.


Creighton University will host a two-day conference in Omaha on Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5, exploring the relationship between science and faith.
The “Reconciling Science and Faith Conference: Contemplating Reason and Relationship” will include national speakers along with presentations from Creighton students and faculty.
“I hope people can see how robust and deep and widespread this dialogue really is, and how top-notch scientists and theologians are engaged in this work and pursuit,” said the Rev. Chris Krall, SJ, an assistant professor of theology and neuroscience at Creighton, and one of the event’s organizers. 
When does life begin and end? What are the origins of the universe? Where or when do we draw an ethical line with genetic engineering? Fr. Krall said that as a Jesuit, Catholic university with a tradition of excellence in the sciences, Creighton is a “fertile bed where these kinds of questions can be asked.”
The conference features a keynote address by the Rev. Robert Spitzer, SJ, PhD, on April 4 at the new Kiewit Luminarium along Omaha’s downtown riverfront. There will be a reception from 6-7 p.m., followed by his talk at 8 p.m. Fr. Spitzer's address is sold out. The following day will include both national speakers and presentations from Creighton students and faculty.
The conference is open to the public and is free to Creighton faculty, staff and students. To register, visit the “Reconciling Science and Faith” website.

Fr. Spitzer Keynote Address

Fr. Spitzer is a former president of Gonzaga University, having served in that role from 1998 to 2009. He is also an author and current president of the Magis Center for Reason and Faith and the Spitzer Center for Visionary Leadership.
One of his most recent books, Science at the Doorstep to God: Science and Reason in Support of God, the Soul, and Life After Death, will serve as the basis for his address. Francis Beckwith, PhD, professor of philosophy at Baylor University, calls the book “a compelling answer to those who claim that belief in God is contrary to the deliverances of the sciences.”
Fr. Spitzer has taught courses on faith and reason, metaphysics, philosophy of God and philosophy of science to graduate and undergraduate students at Georgetown University, Gonzaga, Seattle University and St. Louis University.
He has produced two television series for EWTN and received a Templeton Grant for teaching physics and metaphysics. He has made multiple media appearances, including Larry King Live (debating Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow and Deepak Chopra on God and modern physics), the Today Show (debating on the topic of active euthanasia), the History Channel in “God and The Universe,” and a multiple part PBS series “Closer to the Truth.”

Other Speakers

The second day of the conference will feature the following national speakers:

  • Joseph Vukov, PhD, an associate professor of philosophy at Loyola University Chicago and the author of Navigating Faith and Science, in which he writes that, at their best, faith and science converge in their relentless pursuit of human truth. Vukov's research explores questions at the intersection of ethics, neuroscience and philosophy of mind. In a forthcoming book, he will explore questions arising from new forms of artificial intelligence.
  • Lisa Miller, PhD, a professor of psychology and education at Columbia University, director and founder of the Spirituality, Mind, Body Institute and New York Times best-selling author of The Spiritual Child, which explores the scientific link between spirituality and health and shows that children who have a positive, active faith life are more likely to experience better mental and physical health. She is the editor of the Oxford Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and Weekend Today as an expert.
  • John Evans, PhD, the Tata Chancellor’s Chair in Social Sciences, professor of sociology, associate dean of social sciences and co-director of the Institute for Practical Ethics at the University of California, San Diego, is an expert on the ethics of human gene editing and more generally in the ethics of science and technology. He is the author of seven books, including Morals Not Knowledge, which upends the notion that there is a fundamental conflict over the way that scientists and religious people make claims about nature.