Dr. John R. Albright is Visiting Professor of Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. John retired in 2004 from Purdue University Calumet, where he was Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics since 1995. Prior to his position at Purdue, he spent 32 years at Florida State University, where he was Professor of Physics and Associate Chair of the Physics Department, with a special joint appointment in the Humanities Program. In that connection, he taught religion and science courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels, both of which were recognized in international competitions by the John Templeton Foundation. Also at Florida State, John was nominated by his students and given a major teaching award at commencement. John has published more than ten articles and book chapters in religion and science and more than fifty articles in physics, and also co-authored a textbook, Introduction to Atomic and Nuclear Physics
. He and his wife, Carol Rausch Albright, served as regional co-directors for the Science and Religion Course Program funded by the John Templeton Foundation, first in the Southeastern United States, and then in the Midwest. He also served on several governance committees for the Lutheran Church in America, has been a featured speaker at regional church conventions, and helped to design the Lutheran Book of Worship
Bruce Booher serves as Pastor of First Lutheran Church of Plano, Illinois. He studied astronomy and physics as an undergraduate at M.I.T. He has a passion for exploring the role that mystery, awe and wonder play in both faith and science. He loves sharing this passion through retreats and workshops and also through his website, www.mysteryandawe.com. He probably owns more telescopes and meteorites than any other ELCA pastor.
Gail Phillips Bucher, trained in pharmacy and pharmacology worked in industry for thirty five years before pursuing a ministry to the poor. She is a graduate of Diakonia-Boston and serves as Service Deacon at University Lutheran Church in Cambridge. Massachusetts. In 1996, Gail joined the Lutheran Working Group Steering Committee, the predecessor to the Lutheran Alliance for Faith Science and Technology, and in 1997 become Associate Director of the New England Center for Faith & Science Exchange (F&SE). She served as F&SE Director and Administrator for the Boston Theological Institute Certificate Program in Science and Religion from 1999–2002 and served as Chair of the Alliance from 2003–2005. Gail is currently secretary/treasurer for the Society of Ordained Scientists — North American Province. Her Christian faith and scientific knowledge have never been in conflict, rather they complement each other. She also has a mortar and pestle collection includes many sizes and shapes, fashioned in a variety of materials — ceramic, wood, metal, glass from antique to current.
Karl is a geologist working for a federal agency in Denver, Colorado. His field studies have concentrated on the geology of central Idaho, with occasional research forays into New Mexico and Colorado. He also has laboratory experience in U-Pb geochronology, a method which uses the mineral zircon to determine the age of the host rock. He is pleased to support the alumni associations of Franklin & Marshall College (A.B.), the University of Southern California (M.S.), and Pennsylvania State University (Ph.D.). As a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, he has taught adult-learning classes on the dialogue between science and Christian faith, where his fellow parishioners seem to revel in asking questions completely outside the field of geology.
Ida Hakkarinen, a member of Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in College Park, Maryland, is a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She fell in love with the study of weather when she did a unit about it in the 5th grade, and received an M.S. in meteorology from the University of Maryland. Ida is part of the team developing the next generation of U.S. geostationary weather satellites, GOES-R (www.goes-r.gov). The joint NOAA/NASA project is based at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Ida has served on the Metro D.C. Synod Council and the ELCA Church Council. Her interest in the faith/science interchange is due to the exercise of her daily ministry in the scientific world. A part-time M.A.R. student at Gettysburg Seminary, her studies have included systematic theology and preaching. She thinks she's probably the only meteorologist among the 2,000 attendees at the Festival of Homiletics conferences (www.goodpreacher.com).
George Murphy received his Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins and taught in colleges for eleven years before attending Wartburg Seminary. Ordained in 1983, he has served as a pastor in Lutheran and Episcopal congregations. His first article on theology and science was published in 1977 and he has since written five books and numerous articles and continues to speak and lead workshops in this area. Pr. Murphy teaches “The Science-Theology Dialogue” at Trinity Seminary with the goal, as in other work, of helping clergy and congregations to deal with issues raised by science and technology. His most recent book, Pulpit Science Fiction (CSS, 2007) is a resource for the use of science fiction in preaching and parish education. George’s website is http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm.
Lea F. Schweitz
Dr. Schweitz is the Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology/Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and the Director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. Her research interests focus on early modern philosophy of religion and science and revolve around the question of what it means to be human. This question is uniquely illuminated by conversations between religion and science. Asking good questions is at the heart of her vocation as teacher, researcher, and director. She traces this passion back to her childhood when her dad would ask: "Did you ask any good questions today?"
Lou Ann Trost
Lou Ann teaches at San Jose State University in Comparative Religious Studies and Humanities. She has served as a parish pastor in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and (on an interim basis) in Chicago and Berkeley. She has also served as a program director at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley. Her interest in Religion and Science began when she first learned of Lynn White’s critique of religion and the environment in 1970 while a student at Michigan. She switched from an English major to Natural Resources & Environment, and has studied, taught, and written about various topics at the interface of religion, science and the natural world ever since.
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