Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture: Dr. Ursula Goodenough

Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture: Dr. Ursula Goodenough

UrsulaGoodenough_000“One can start from the perspective of a religious naturalist or from the perspective of the world religions and arrive at the same place: a moral imperative that this Earth and its creatures be respected and cherished.” – Ursula Goodenough

Ursula W. Goodenough, Ph.D., an internationally recognized cell biologist and religious naturalist, will present the Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture at Virginia Wesleyan College on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, at 7:30 p.m., in the Boyd Dining Center.  Dr. Goodenough’s talk is entitled “The Humpty Dumpty Project: Putting Evolution and Religion Together Again.”

Goodenough is Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, where she also co-teaches a course on The Epic of Evolution.  She is author of three editions of the widely used textbook Genetics, but is perhaps best known for her best-selling book on the relationship of science and religion, The Sacred Depths of Nature.  For the past twenty years, she has served on the governing council of the Institute on Religion in and Age of Science (IRAS), including four years as president.  Her many professional and public service roles include review panels for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, presidency of the American Society for Cell Biology, the Mind and Life Institute seminar on Western science for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and editorial boards for several professional journals, including Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science.

UrsulaGoodenoughSacredDepthsofNatureCoverScience & Spirit magazine describes Goodenough as “a warm, brilliant and embracing woman, [whose] contradictions make up a harmonious whole – sort of like nature itself,” and calls her book The Sacred Depths of Nature “a poetic and accessible bestseller.”

The Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture series is named for the Center’s founding director, Dr. Catharine Cookson.  Previous speakers include Dr. Martin Marty (2006) and Dr. Diana Eck (2008).


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