Scholars to Explore Religion, Science, and Wonder

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

January 26, 2010, New York, NY

How has modern science changed religion? What does religion have to say to science? Is Judaism exempt from or a party to the tensions between these ways of understanding the world?

“Three Conversations on Science and Religion” is a series that explores the complementary/competitive relationship between these two domains through lively conversations with award-winning authors and thinkers.

The second conversation, “Religion, Science, and Wonder,” will take place at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City, on Wednesday, February 17, at 7:30 p.m. The program will feature Dr. Janna Levin, professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College, and Rabbi Shai Held, cofounder and rosh yeshiva at Mechon Hadar and chair in Jewish Thought.

Janna LevinDr. Levin's research focuses on theories of the early universe, chaos, and black holes. She has conducted research at the Center for Particle Astrophysics (CfPA) at the University of California–Berkeley, as well as the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University, U.K. Professor Levin writes and publishes for both scientific and general audiences. Her novel, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, won the PEN/Bingham Fellowship for Writers. She is also the author of a popular science book, How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space.

Shai HeldRabbi Held has served as scholar-in-residence at Kehilat Hadar, taught at JTS, and is a Jacob Javits fellow in religion at Harvard University. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Rabbi Held was director of education and Conservative rabbinic advisor at Harvard Hillel. A graduate of Harvard, he has taught for institutions and programs such as the Drisha Institute, Hebrew College, Me'ah, UJACJP, and the Rabbinic Training Institute.

“Three Conversations on Science and Religion” is cosponsored by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS and the Center for the Study of Science and Religion at Columbia University.

The third of the series, “Science and Spirituality,” will be held on March 25, 2010. Barbara Bradley Hagerty (National Public Radio), author of The Fingerprints of God: In Search of the Science of Spirituality, will be joined by Professor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of JTS.

Since 1938, the Louis Finkelstein Institute has maintained an innovative interfaith and intergroup relations program that advances dialogue among diverse communities about matters of public significance.

Admission to all three conversations is free; reservations are required. For further information or to RVSP, call (212) 280-6093 or email Attendees are requested to have photo ID available and arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to the program to allow sufficient time for registration.