Monday, February 27, 2012

Science Conversation Public Lecture

Title: “From Neurons to Politics--Without a Soul”

Description: This lecture begins with the thesis that developments in neuroscience are calling for a “nonreductive physicalist” account of the person. The prevalence of physicalism in the academic world calls on Christians to re-evaluate centuries of dualistic anthropology. What difference might a physicalist account of human nature have made in Christian attitudes toward politics; what would Christians have been doing all these years if there had been no such thing as souls to save? Perhaps concerning themselves more with Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom of God on earth?

Speaker: Nancey Murphy, Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA.

Professor Murphy’s research interests focus on the role of modern and postmodern philosophy in shaping Christian theology, on relations between theology and science, and on relations among philosophy of mind, neuroscience, and Christian anthropology. Her first book, Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning (Cornell, 1990) won the American Academy of Religion award for excellence. She is author of nine other books, including Anglo-American Postmodernity: Philosophical Perspectives on Science, Religion, and Ethics (Westview, 1997); and On the Moral Nature of the Universe: Theology, Cosmology, and Ethics (with G.F.R Ellis, Fortress, 1996). Her most recent books are Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? (Cambridge, 2006); and (co-authored with Warren Brown) Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will (Oxford, 2007).

Where: St. Olaf College, Tomson Hall, room 280

When: 3:30-4:45, Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This public lecture is initiated and sponsored by St. Olaf College’s Science Conversation program, with support from the Leraas Fund and the Religion and Philosophy Departments.

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