Prof Dr Gerald Grudzen
Dr Augustine Pamplany, Dr Job Kozhamthadam
The Two-Year Master’s Degree is joint academic program conducted by the Global Ministries University, California, and the Institute of Science and Religion, Aluva. The Degree is awarded by Global Ministries University, California. Global Ministries University is an online international contemporary theological learning platform that is inclusive, supportive of creative thinking, and honours the sacred in all religions and spiritual traditions.
Students will be required to obtain 50 credits over a period of two years from the various components of the program. One credit is equivalent of 15 hours of academic activity consisting of lecture inputs, group activities, and personal study and research.
The internal credit distribution for individual courses will be as follows:
This course aims at helping students to choose a relevant topic for research, formulate a statement of thesis, and present arguments without fallacy. Special attention will be given to the style and the presentation of one’s research with an emphasis on documentation in the form of footnotes and bibliography so as to avoid plagiarism. Its objective is to introduce the methods of research and writing to the students.
The course is envisaged to furnish the students with the essentials in philosophy who have no professional training in philosophy. It is envisaged to set the platform for the interdisciplin- ary project of science-religion dialogue. What is philosophy? How does one “philosophise”? This course seeks to introduce to the students to the philosophers of the West starting from Pre-Socratic thinkers through the Medieval Philosophers to the contemporary trends in West- ern Philosophy. While introducing the philosophers, attempts will be made to show how they tried to grapple with the perennial issues of human life that are relevant for us today. Attention is also paid towards contextual philosophising by introducing the students to the rich legacy of the Indian Philosophy, particularly the Early Hindu Thought.
This course also focusses on the twentieth century knowledge claims through a detailed study of three prominent schools of philosophy of science called Logical Positivism, Historicism and Historical Realism. Attempts will be made to show the impact these schools have made in the contemporary discussion in different branches of Philosophy. The discussion on the various schools of philosophy of science enables the students to observe the paradigm shift in interaction between science, philosophy and religion.
This course seeks to understand the essential nature of Religion and Theology and to reflect on the religious experience of the Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims with their notions of Revelation and Faith. It will also seek the development of beliefs in their respective traditions as the horizon for the phenomena of diversity of religious experiences, the pluralism in theology, the theological imperative to dialogue, and the foundation of a universal theology of religion as the ground for ecumenism. It also answers the question ‘what is Theology and how to do it?’ by familiarizing the students with the process of doing theology in the global multi-religious, socio-cultural and scientific context. They are introduced to the sources, models and methods of theology. Theology is understood as not just faith seeking understanding, rather faith seeking rational interpretation in a scientific culture.
This Course will furnish the students with a comprehensive overview of the history of the interaction between science and religion. The major dynamics of the historical interaction between science and religion is captured in three phases, such as period of encouragement, period of estrangement and the present period of engagement. The course challenges distorted picture of the warfare between science and religion and argues that a view does not withstand the test scholarly scrutiny. Having explored the historical dynamics, the course presents the cur- rent avenues of engagement of religion and science. The influence of religion upon science will be particularly highlighted. Special attention will be given to a positive reconciliation between theory of evolution and religion, whereby evolution theory is presented as a gift to theology, contrary to the popular conventions.
This course explores the history of science and religion in the three monotheistic religions during the formative period of the Religion and Science dialogue in the Middle Ages and early Modern period up to the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries and the Age of Rationalism which followed leading to attacks against the revealed religions and the formation of a Secular Age in the West. My book, Spirituality and Science: Greek, Judeo-Christian and Islamic Perspectives will be the primary text for this course.
Please read the Preface, Introduction and chapter one of Spirituality and Science Gerald Grudzen.
The first lecture will deal with the meaning of the concept of “science” within the Natural Philosophy of Aristotle. Aristotle’s Philosophy of Nature became the foundation for the study and classification of the natural world. One of the key issues raised by this philosophy was the eternity of the world within the Aristotelian philosophy. This topic became one of the major concerns of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim philosophers and theologians in the Middle Ages since the monotheistic religions claimed that the universe was created by God. We will discuss the dialogue of faith and reason that took place throughout the Middle Ages culminating in the debates between the Muslim theologians Al Ghazali and Averroes over this issue.
Please read chapter four of Spirituality and Science
I will provide a Zoom lecture on the meaning of the concept “science” or natural philosophy within the context of its origins within the field of Greek medical philosophy and the teachings and writings of Claudius Galen, the founder of the scientific study of medicine in the second century of the Common Era. The emergence of secular faculties of science in the medieval universities did not take place until the 11th and 12th centuries with the translation of Arabic texts into Latin. My lecture will trace the history of the scientific study of medicine from its origins in the second century with the writings of Claudius Galen to their translation by in Benedictine monks at the monastery of Monte Cassino under the influence of Constantine the African. This curriculum became the first medical scientific curriculum in the West known as the Articella.
Please read chapter five in Spirituality and Science
My lecture will discuss the philosophical currents of Neoplatonism, Gnosticism and Maniche- anism that influenced the development of Cosmology within Christianity and the monotheistic religions. The goodness of creation became a central tenet of the monotheistic religions and made possible the ability of these religions to support a rational order of the universe that could be discovered through rational means. One of the key texts of Greek astronomy was the Almagest which held to a geometric structure of the universe. This text was a major contributor to the study of mathematics linked to astronomy. Arabic astronomers expanded the study of astronomy in the early Middle Ages and may have played a part in the development of Galileo’s movement from a geocentric cosmology to a heliocentric cosmology. We will also discuss Saint Augustin’s role in establishing a Christian philosophy of history which provided a solution to the problem of evil in world which would provide Western culture with an open rather than a closed future.
Please read chapter seven in Spirituality and Science
In this lecture we will examine the impact of the Protestant Reformation upon the culture of Europe and the separation of faith from reason as popularized by Martin Luther and other Protestant Reformers. Because of the influence of William of Occam upon Luther’s theology and philosophy (e.g., Occam’s Razor), the acceptance of universal philosophical principles found in scholastic philosophy and theology based upon knowable first principles (a priori) was gradually replaced by inductive reasoning Which limited human knowledge to what could be known directly by human, testable experience. The study of Logic as developed by Aristotle and later refined in scholastic philosophy was replaced by a new form of Logic developed by Francis Bacon (1561-1636). We will examine the method that Bacon espoused which utilized mathematics as one of the criteria for discovering the nature of the universe and rejecting the system of causality that Aristotle had developed and later merged with scholastic theology that was generally accepted as normative in the medieval era. Both Descartes and Sir Isaac Newton looked upon matter as lifeless and controlled largely by mechanical forces such as the law of gravity. Missing from this viewpoint was the principle of teleological causality, the sense of the divine imprint in nature as knowable which the scholastic view of nature embraced. This would eventually lead to the rejection of any presence of the divine in nature and the Age of Reason which often rejected the validity of any revealed religion whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim.
Please read chapters 4, 9 and 10 in Spiritual Paths to an Ethical and Global Civilization by Grudzen, Raymaker, and Holland.
This lecture will focus on the evolutionary consciousness that begin to emerge in the 19th century with Hegel and Darwin. The Industrial Revolution was a new stage of human development in the West but led to many social and environmental tragedies including the misuse of technology for advancing ever more powerful weapons including those of nuclear capability and even used in World War Two. One of the great visionaries of the religion and science dialogue was Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit mystic and noted paleontologist. Teilhard envisioned a new form of global civilization in which the age of nations had passed, and technology would help to create a new consciousness which he called the Noosphere. His most famous writing was The Human Phenomena aka the Phenomenon of Man. Many of Teilhard’s disciples have continued his search for a new evolutionary consciousness which I will discuss in this lecture. Some view Pope Francis as a one of the disciples of Teilhard as they were fellow Jesuits. Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, contains many of the principles Teilhard would have embraced since this encyclical illustrates the need for a new kind of spirituality of the earth.
The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages by Edward Grant (Cambridge University Press:1996)
Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early Modern Philosophy by Stephen Gaukroger (Cambridge University Press:2001)
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin: Writings Selected with an Introduction by Ursula King (Or- bis Books:2012)
The course will focus on John Raymaker’s book published in 2021 with Wipf and Stock (Eugene Oregon), namely, Bernard Lonergan’s Method and a Medical Doctor’s Approach to Healthcare. The book focuses on and critiques Dr. Patrick Daly’s many published articles on Lonergan’s method. The first class touches on Lonergan’s important but rather-difficult-to-read published books. The plan is to focus mostly on Lonergan’s Meth- od in Theology (1972) with due reference to some of his other writings including his references to Descartes and Edmund Husserl's important works on the scientific method. Subsequent classes will develop some of the issues touched on in the first class. A major point will be to examine Raymaker's comments on Daly's approach to Lonergan's method, which although valid and perceptive, fails to address the full implications of Lonergan's method, in reality, Lonergan’s method involves two phases, namely a first mediating phase focused on the past, and a second mediated phase which looks to the future and our personal stances in life as well as our approaches to science and the humanities.
This course gives an overall view of the recent developments in physics and cosmology and explores its religious implications. Starting with Pre-Socratic understandings of nature, Plato’s Astronomy, Aristotle’s Cosmology, Copernican Revolution, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Mechanical Philosophy of Nature, we focus on recent developments. This includes Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Quantum Theory and Chaos Theo- ry. A hermeneutical intersection between the Big Bang theory and the Biblical account of creation will be attempted. Appropriation of cosmic eschatology from the scientific and theological perspective and Astrobiology and its theological implications are also dwelt upon in the course.
A central stream of argument running through this course is that modern physics challenges the very fundamentals with which we construct theology, viz., space, time, matter, and laws of nature. Physics exposes the tension between history and trans-history, the temporal and the trans-temporal, between the spatial and the trans-spatial. Thus revisioning Matter, Space and Time from the Perspective of Modern Physics provides a scientifically plausible rational credibility to dogmatic assumptions on Soul, Resurrection, Eternal Life, Miracles, etc.
While 20th century was the century of the physical sciences, the epicentre of scientific developments has shifted to the biological sciences in the 21st century with major breakthrough starting with the final decade of the 20th century, such as Cloning, Human Genome Project, Stem Cell Researches, etc. Genetic Revolution further saw the rise of Crisper Cas9 Gene Editing techniques. Synthetic biology has significant progress in recent times. Physical immortality and reversal of aging are some of the ambitious dreams underlying these projects. These developments invoke serious philosophical, religious, and ethical questions. The course explores the religious and ethical implications of the recent developments in genetics and related researches.
This course will explore the advanced philosophical, religious and ethical issues in the recent developments in neuroscience, Consciousness studies, Mathematics, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence. Topics like Neuroreligion, Neuroethics, Mathematical theology, and Science and Mysticism are dealt with in some detail. The ongoing debate between Bioconservatism and Transhumanism will be introduced to the students. Religious implications of advanced mathematical notions such as Fuzziness, Incompleteness theorems, Zero and Infinity, etc., will be particularly explored. Thus it facilitates a theological appreciation of mathematical thinking too. A special focus of the course is to give a critical response to scientific atheism. Scientific roots of contemporary atheism will be explored and students will be empowered to expose the rational, logical and conceptual bankruptcy of scientific atheism. A critical study of the writings of popular atheistic writers like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet, Sam Harris, etc., will be made.