Science and the Hispanic Community of Faith
By Rev. Ruben Ortiz, MTS
- A presentation of the key findings arising from the Ciencia, Fe y Esperanza (Science, Faith, and Hope) Clergy survey. These findings were compiled from a sample of 30 Clergy members representing 24 congregations within Philadelphia’s Hispanic community.
Epidemiology and Disease Transmission
By Dr. Dawn Shell
- A presentation of epidemiology and disease transmission from a scientific perspective that takes into account the biblical and faith-related implications of how to deal with them. From common infectious diseases to the COVID-19 pandemic, the paper proposes a systematic approach and a sensible response to these important issues.
Learning How to Forgive is Built on a Bridge Between Faith and Science: Forgiveness Amidst the Intertwined Pandemics of Hate and COVID-19
By Rev. Dr. Michael Barry and Dr. Loren Toussaint
- A proposal that involves the development of an integrative faith-science approach to forgiveness in the age of COVID-19. This paper focuses on the need for forgiveness education with an aim to yield an improved understanding of forgiveness and its benefits to mental, physical, and spiritual health and wellbeing.
The Church’s Responsibility for the Community of Faith
By Dr. Richard J. Mouw
- A comprehensive look at what churches are experiencing during the Coronavirus crisis from a faith-based perspective. This paper proposes a response rooted in a communal response to the isolation, the polarization, and the confrontations we are currently experiencing.
Q&A with Dr. Ed Rosado, Associate Project Director
- What drew you to this project?
I was attracted to the Science, Faith, and Hope project because, although my academic research focuses on Wesleyan Christology and how our faith in Christ can be used as a tool to bring about social change, I am also very interested in the convergence of faith and science because they can help us in understanding our human experience from two different, but compatible points of view.
- What relevance it has to our communities? Why is important?
Research and anecdotal data suggest that there is a marked mistrust and a lack of understanding around the issues related to science and theology within the Hispanic communities of faith. On this basis, this project will be instrumental in educating our communities, in encouraging young Latino students to consider STEM-related careers and in spurring a cultural shift around the issues of science and theology within our communities of faith.
- Why is this important, in light of the health situation taking place? What can we learn?
I think it is important because it will help our communities of faith in making informed decisions that are compatible, not only with science but also with their Christian beliefs. As people of faith, we put our trust in God and pray for His protection and guidance. However, we should heed the advice garnered through scientific and medical advances. After all, like James 1:17 declares, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (NIV).
Ciencia Fe Y Esperanza – Advisory Council
Rev. Dr. Nelson Rivera, Associate Professor of Theology, Moravian Seminary.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Rivera earned his PhD in Religion from Temple University. An ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, he has served parishes in various pastoral capacities in his native Puerto Rico and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His main area of teaching and research is Systematic Theology, with pronounced interest on the evolution of Christian doctrine, theological language, and how they inform the practices of ministry. His published work covers topics on confessional statements of faith as well as the application of evolutionary epistemologies in theology and the sciences, the latter found mostly in his book The Earth is Our Home (Imprint Academic, 2010). Translator of several liturgical and church resources, he is also the editor of Ritos Ocasionales (Augsburg Fortress, 2000), a compendium of rites for the practice of ministry.
Rev. Joanne Rodríguez, Executive Director, Hispanic Theological Initiative.
Rev. Joanne Rodríguez is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, since 2011. From 1999, she has worked collaboratively with students, faculty, deans, directors of non-profit educational programs, and presidents to ensure that HTI doctoral students complete their doctoral studies and become leaders that make an impact in theological and religious education as well as in the larger landscape of education. Rev. Rodríguez received her Th.M. (2002) and M.Div. (1999) fromPrinceton Theological Seminary, and her B.A. (1986) from Pace University. She is a teaching elder at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Trenton, New Jersey.
Rev. Dr. Wendell Scanterbury, Director of Pastoral Care at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Wendell is the Director of Pastoral Care at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia where he cares for patients and families through spiritual and emotional support, education, and counseling. Wendell speaks on several topics in relation to cancer, including caregiving, communicating with children, cancer ministry, men’s issues, survivorship, and grief and bereavement. He has given several interviews and workshops on these topics throughout the Northeast United States. He is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Christian Association for Psychological Studies.
Dr. Catherine Wilson, Associate Professor, and Chair, Department of Public Administration, Villanova University.
Catherine has taught undergraduate and graduate classes since 2005. She received a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova University, an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the Edmund J. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Her fields of study include nonprofit management, immigrant integration, and cultural competency. Catherine is interested in the role that community and grassroots organizations play in delivering services to minority communities – ethnic, racial, and cultural minorities as well as immigrants – in the United States. She is the author of the book, The Politics of Latino Faith: Religion, Identity, and Urban Community (NYU Press, 2008), which was the first systematic treatment of Latino faith-based organizations in the United States. She is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for Catholic Social Services in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ciencia Fe Y Esperanza – Leadership Coalition
Dr. Carmelo Santos, Professorial Lecturer, Georgetown University.
Carmelo Santos was born in Puerto Rico and grew up by the beach across the bay from San Juan, in a small town called Catano. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Rico, where he specialized in Organo-metalic synthesis. For his seminary and Ph.D. work he chose the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago because they had the Zygon Center for Religion and Science as well as an emphasis on Hispanic Ministries. His academic interests are in the intersection of science (specifically brain and cognitive science) and theology (particularly Liberation and Postcolonial theologies with an emphasis on Pneumatology and Theological Anthropology). For the last five years he has taught undergraduates at Georgetown University the course “God & the Brain.” He is fundamentally interested in the question of how concrete religious practices, symbols and narratives actually shape the ways our brains (and nervous system in general) and how they can facilitate the decolonization of colonized people’s imaginaries.
Dr. Richard Mouw, President Emeritus and Professor of Faith and Public Life, Fuller Theological Seminary.
Richard is a theologian, philosopher, scholar and author that has served as Fuller’s provost and senior vice president for four years prior to his presidency, and as professor of Christian philosophy and ethics beginning in 1985. Before coming to Fuller he served for 17 years as professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has also served as a visiting professor at the Free University in Amsterdam. Mouw has a broad record of publication. He has been an editor of the Reformed Journal and has served on many editorial boards, including currently Books and Culture. He is the author of more than 20 books, including The God Who Commands, The Smell of Sawdust, He Shines in All That’s Fair, Culture and Common Grace, Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, The Challenges of Cultural Discipleship, Talking with Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals, and, most recently, Adventures in Evangelical Civility: A Lifelong Quest for Common Ground. Mouw served for many years as a panelist in the online forum “On Faith” offered by the Washington Post. In 2007, Princeton Theological Seminary awarded him the Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. Mouw has also participated on many councils and boards, serving a term as president of the Association of Theological Schools. He served for six years as cochair of the official Reformed-Catholic Dialogue, and is a leader in interfaith theological conversations, particularly with Mormons and Jewish groups.
Mr. Amit Easow, MBA, MSE.
Amit is Seasoned technology leader with expertise in software development, product management and operations. Broad experience in building software and hardware products at public and private companies. He has led cross-functional engineering teams in the design, development and certification of wireless E-stop mechanisms for warehouse automation machines. He has also worked in the development and maintenance of software applications, documentation of processes and procedures for functional safety in engineering, manufacturing, production, service and support. Amit has experience as Lead Could Services Engineer for websites and mobile applications, as Web Services Engineer developing and maintaining continuous API-testing infrastructure and as Engineering Support Specialist.
Dr. Oscar Gonzalez, Researcher, Tropical Ecology, and Conservation Laboratory.
Oscar is an ecologist whose research focuses on ecology, censuses, reproduction, distribution, and inventories of bird species and bird communities. He has worked as Assistant Professor at Universidad SEL, Peru, as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, at the University of Florida, as Research Professor at Universidad de Huánuco, Peru. He has extensive experience in interdisciplinary ecology, tropical conservation and development, and wildlife ecology and conservation.
Rev. Dr. Michael S. Barry, ordained in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Michael has pastored churches throughout the mid-west (Arkansas, Texas and Illinois) before being called to serve as the Director of Pastoral Care at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia, where he served for 10 years. He now proudly claims the title of Director of Pastoral Care, Emeritus, at CTCA in Philadelphia. Michael has written four books: A Reason for Hope, A Season for Hope, The Art of Caregiving (Cook Communications Pub.) and The Forgiveness Project (Kregel Pub.). All of these books attempt to address the spiritual needs of cancer patients at a time when their faith was both challenged and critically important. Currently, Michael serves as the Co-Director of the FoRGo forgiveness education program (luther.edu/forgo), which is anchored at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
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