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This course examines the nature of both science and religion and attempts to explore the possible relationships between them. The primary purpose is to dispel the popular myth that science and religion are entrenched in a never-ending conflict. As a result, this course argues that if the limits of both science and religion are respected, then their relationship can be complementary. Topics include: Science and Religion Categories and Foundational Principles, Definitions of Science and Religion, Science-Religion Models and Relationships, Intelligent Design and Natural Revelation, the Galileo Affair, Geology and Noah’s Flood, Evolution and Darwin’s Religious Beliefs, the Modern “Evolution” vs. “Creation” Debate, the Problem of Evil, and Interpretations of the Biblical Accounts of Origins in Genesis 1-11. The course employs a Constructive Teaching Style in order that students can develop their personal views on the relationship between science and religion and on each of the topics listed above. St. Joseph's College is a Catholic, undergraduate, liberal arts college on the University of Alberta campus. It is an independent institution that is affiliated with the University of Alberta.

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Approx. 33 hours to complete

Sugerido: 6 hours/week
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Subtítulos: English

Cursos 100 % en línea

Comienza de inmediato y aprende a tu propio ritmo.

Approx. 33 hours to complete

Sugerido: 6 hours/week
Comment Dots


Subtítulos: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course


3 hours to complete


During the first week of the course we will introduce the new and exciting Science-Religion Dialogue and point out that simple dichotomies and conflations lead to the commonly perceived warfare relationship between Science and Religion. As an initial move away from the conflict approach, this section examines the longstanding notion of a peaceful relationship known as the “Two Divine Books.” The Book of God’s Words is Scripture; the Book of God’s Works is nature. The definition of numerous categories (or terms) will begin the process for you to think critically about the issues and to defend your provisional position on the relationship between Science and Religion. We also introduce the first of the two foundational principles in this course. It is a philosophical principle termed “The Metaphysics-Physics Principle.”...
17 videos (Total 122 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video17 videos
Summary of Course Topics16m
Tips on How to Use Course Materials4m
Episode 1: The Problem: Science & Religion Warfare9m
Episode 2: Common Understanding of "Religion" & "Creation"6m
Episode 3: Lamoureaux's Position. New Science-Religion Dialogue (Scientific Community)9m
Episode 4: New Science-Religion Dialogue (Religious Community), Dawkins Criticism of Dialogue7m
Episode 5: Provisional Science-Religion Relationships & Conclusion5m
Episode 6: Key Thoughts6m
Episode 7: Theology: General Categories4m
Episode 8: Christianity: General Categories6m
Episode 9: Categories of Divine Revelation7m
Episode 10: The Two Divine Books & Categories of Divine Action9m
Episode 11: Philosophy: General Categories6m
Episode 12: Philosophy: General Categories (Continued) The Metaphysics-Physics Principle5m
Episode 13: The Metaphysics-Physics Principle (Continued)5m
Greek Alphabet5m
Reading1 readings
Week 1 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Introduction & Categories I20m


2 hours to complete

Categories & Principles II & III

In this final section on Categories and Principles, we will consider foundational and religious epistemological (theory of knowledge) categories. In particular, does a belief in God, or a lack of belief in God, impact the step of faith or intellect jump in the Metaphysics-Physics Principle? This week also introduces the second foundational principle of this course termed “The Message-Incident Principle.” This is a hermeneutical principle for interpreting religious texts dealing with statements about the natural world. In order to develop a peaceful relationship between Science and Religion, it is critical to understand that religious texts like the Bible feature an ancient understanding of nature (i.e., an ancient science). During this week we also outline the basic positions on the origin of the universe and life—Young Earth Creation, Progressive Creation, Evolutionary Creation, Deistic Evolution, and Dysteleological Evolution....
16 videos (Total 97 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video16 videos
Episode 15: Philosophy: Epistemological Categories (Continued)6m
Episode 16: Philosophy: Epistemological Categories (Continued)6m
Episode 17: Hermeneutical Categories5m
Episode 18: Eisegesis, Exegesis & Hermeneutical Horizons8m
Episode 19: Hermeneutical Gaps & Biblical Inerrancy5m
Episode 20: Categories of Biblical Statements7m
Episode 21: Categories of Poetic Language & Phenomenological Perspective4m
Episode 22: Categories of Biblical Concordism & Correspondence6m
Episode 23: The Message-Incident Principle & Origins Debate: General Categories6m
Episode 24: Origins Debate: General Categories (Continued)6m
Episode 25: Origins Debate: Specific Categories5m
Episode 26: Practical Considerations5m
Episode 27: Conclusion: Categories & Principles 1-35m
Episode 28: Conclusion: Categories & Principles 1-3 (Continued)3m
Hebrew Alphabet8m
Reading1 readings
Week 2 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Categories II & III20m


2 hours to complete

What Is Religion?

This is a course on the relationship between Science and Religion, and in order to develop a relationship between them we first need to define them. Five different definitions of religion from various academic schools are presented, including those from religious studies, psychology, and philosophy. Notably, the academic definition of religion is wide and quite inclusive. In light of this information, we then outline the academic understanding of the Doctrine of Creation. During this week, we begin to examine specific Hermeneutical Principles. The Principle of Accommodation is the most important interpretive principle in Science and Religion allowing individuals to move away from scientific concordism and the notion that religious texts like the Bible offer scientific facts....
20 videos (Total 100 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video20 videos
Episode 30: Statistics on Religious Belief (Continued)4m
Episode 31: Religious Studies Definition of Religion5m
Episode 32: Religious Studies Definition of Religion (Continued)4m
Episode 33: Conclusion: Religious Studies Definition of Religion4m
Episode 34: Psychological Definition of Religion I4m
Episode 35: Psychological Definition of Religion II5m
Episode 36: Conclusion: Psychological Definitions of Religion I & II5m
Episode 37: Philosophical Definition of Religion I3m
Episode 38: Excursus: Criticisms of Philosophical Approaches to Religion4m
Episode 39: Philosophical Definition of Religion II4m
Episode 40: Types of Religions4m
Episode 41: Excursus: Doctrine of Creation5m
Episode 42: Conclusion: What is Religion?4m
Episode 43: Conclusion: What is Religion? (Continued)4m
Episode 44: Toward a Working Definition of Religion (Lamoureux)6m
Hermeneutics 1: Literalism5m
Hermeneutics 2: Literary Genre3m
Hermeneutics 3: Accommodation8m
Hermeneutics 4: Textual Criticism4m
Reading1 readings
Week 3 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises


3 hours to complete

What Is Science?

In continuing with our exploration of the terms Science and Religion, this week we introduce five different definitions of science using historical examples—prehistoric science, Egyptian and Mesopotamian science, Greek science, modern science, and post-modern science. Notably, we will note that science has powerfully impacted religion throughout history. Like that of religion, the academic definition of science is wide. In particular, it has been intimately/inevitably connected to metaphysical beliefs. This section also outlines Critical Realism. This is philosophy of science embraced by a majority of Science and Religion scholars....
25 videos (Total 123 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video25 videos
Episode 46: Conceptions of Science: Ancient Space4m
Episode 47: Prehistoric Science & Oral Tradition4m
Episode 48: The Account of Origins in Oral Traditions: Is It Science?4m
Episode 49: The Account of Origins in Oral Traditions: Is It Science? (Continued)4m
Episode 50: The Account of Origins in Oral Traditions: Is It Science? (Conclusion)4m
Episode 51: Oral Tradition & Genesis 1-114m
Episode 52: Oral Tradition & Genesis I-II (Continued)5m
Episode 53: Oral Tradition & Message-Incident Principle4m
Episode 54: Egyptian & Mesopotamian Science5m
Episode 55: Egyptian & Mesopotamian Science (Continued)8m
Episode 56: Greek Science5m
Episode 57: Conclusion: Ancient Science. Modern Science4m
Episode 58: The Peak of Scientism5m
Episode 59: The Peak of Scientism (Continued)4m
Episode 60: The Peak of Scientism (Conclusion). Post-Modernity & Anti-Realism4m
Episode 61: Early 20th Century Scientific Discoveries. Categories of Anti-Realism4m
Episode 62: Critical Realism: Between Scientism & Anti-Realism4m
Episode 63: Theory Laden Character of Science: Social & Personal Factors5m
Episode 64: Excursus: Critical Realism - A New Philosophy of Science5m
Episode 65: Conclusion: John Polkinghorne & Critical Realism5m
Episode 66: Conclusion: What is Science? Toward a Working Definition of Science (Lamoureux)6m
Hermeneutics 5: Dynamic Equivalent Translation4m
Hermeneutics 6: Sufficiency & Proficiency2m
Hermeneutics 7: Implicit Scientific Concepts6m
Reading1 readings
Week 4 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises


3 hours to complete

Models on the Relationships between Science & Religion

This is one of the most important weeks in the course. We outline the Science and Religion models of two of the founding members of this new academic discipline. Their models each include four different relationships between Science and Religion. John Haught’s model incorporates the relationships of Conflict, Contrast, Contact, and Confirmation. Ian Barbour has Conflict, Independence, Dialogue, and Integration relationships in his model. During this week, we will consider the hermeneutical principle of Historical Criticism. This is the notion that ancient Near Eastern motifs of origins—De Novo Creation, Lost Idyllic Age, Great Flood, and Tribal Formation—have been re-cycled and re-interpreted in the biblical accounts of origins (Genesis 1-11)....
25 videos (Total 138 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video25 videos
Episode 68: Conflict Relationship & Scientific Skeptics4m
Episode 69: Conflict Relationship & Biblical Literalists. (2) Contrast Relationship4m
Episode 70: Science Conflated with Religious Belief: Concordism4m
Episode 71: Excursus: God-of-the-Gaps4m
Episode 72: Science Conflated with Secular Belief: Scientism4m
Episode 73: (3) Contact Relationship5m
Episode 74: Contact Relationship (Continued)5m
Episode 75: (4) Confirmation Relationship4m
Episode 76: Confirmation Relationship (Continued) Conclusion: Haught’s Science & Religion Model5m
Episode 77: Science & Religion Model of Ian G. Barbour4m
Episode 78: (1) Conflict Relationship. Scientific Materialists4m
Episode 79: Scientific Materialists (Continued)5m
Episode 80: Biblical Literalists3m
Episode 81: Biblical Literalists (Continued)5m
Episode 82: (2) Independence Relationship3m
Episode 83: (3) Dialogue Relationship4m
Episode 84: Dialogue Relationship (Continued). (4) Integration Relationship4m
Episode 85: Examples of Natural Theology (Intelligent Design Arguments)4m
Episode 86: Natural Theology & Intelligent Design (Continued)6m
Episode 87: Excursus: Intelligent Design Theory. Theology of Nature6m
Episode 88: Theology of Nature: Examples of Reformation5m
Episode 89: Conclusion to Barbour’s Model. Toward a Working Model of Science & Religion (Lamoureux)7m
Hermeneutics 8: Scope of Cognitive Competence14m
Hermeneutics 9: Historical Criticism6m
Reading1 readings
Week 5 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Science-Religion Models20m


2 hours to complete

Intelligent Design & Natural Revelation

The topic of intelligent design continues to be intensely debated today. Building off the Metaphysics-Physics Principle, we will differentiate between the Argument from Design to Nature and the Argument from Nature to Design. The three classic biblical passages dealing with Intelligent Design are explored—Psalm 19, Romans 1, and Wisdom of Solomon 13. In order to offer balance in this section, we will also examine the views of the famed atheist Richard Dawkins. He believes that intelligent design is merely an illusion experienced by the vast majority of people that have ever lived....
10 videos (Total 60 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video10 videos
Episode 91: Richard Dawkins & Intelligent Design6m
Episode 92: Scripture & Intelligent Design: Psalm 19:1-64m
Episode 93: Scripture & Intelligent Design: Romans 1:19-236m
Episode 94: Scripture & Intelligent Design: Wisdom of Solomon 13:1-95m
Episode 95: Christian Tradition & Intelligent Design. Conclusion: Natural Revelation & Intelligent Design5m
Episode 96: Conclusion: Natural Revelation & Intelligent Design (Continued). Toward a Working Model of Intelligent Design (Lamoureux)7m
Episode 97: Toward a Working Model (Continued)6m
Hermeneutics 10: Authorial Intentionality5m
Hermeneutics 11: Baconian Hermeneutic5m
Reading1 readings
Week 6 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Intelligent Design20m


2 hours to complete

Astronomy & the Galileo Affair

This is the first of three weeks examining historical events related to Science and Religion in order to draw lessons for today. Beginning with the famed astronomer Galileo, we will discover that he was a devout Christian and that he fully embraced the Two Divine Books (Book of God’s Word & Book of God’s Works) relationship of Science and Religion. His “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina” (1615) is a rich source of insights on how to interpret Scripture and how to relate science and Christianity. We will then apply lessons from the Galileo Affair to the debate over biological evolution in ordered to assist people struggling with this science today. This week also begins an extensive series of Hermeneutical Principles demonstrating that the Bible has an ancient understanding of the structure of the world known as the “3-tier universe.”...
22 videos (Total 106 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video22 videos
Episode 99: Brief History of Astronomy (Continued)4m
Episode 100: Copernicus. On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (1543)5m
Episode 101: Conclusion: Brief History of Astronomy. Brief History of Galileo Galilei (1564-1585)5m
Episode 102: Brief History of Galileo Galilei (1589-1609)4m
Episode 103: Brief History of Galileo Galilei (1610-1613)4m
Episode 104: Brief History of Galileo Galilei (1615-1624)4m
Episode 105: Brief History of Galileo Galilei (1631-1642)3m
Episode 106: Conclusion: Brief History of Galileo Galilei3m
Episode 107: Galileo’s Hermeneutics and Science & Religion Relationship. (1) Foundational Principle: The Two Divine Books5m
Episode 108: (2) Nature: The Book of God’s Works4m
Episode 109: (3) Scripture: The Book of God’s Words4m
Episode 110: Scripture: The Book of God’s Words (Continued). (4) Conflict between Galileo & His Critics5m
Episode 111: Conflict between Galileo & His Critics (Continued)4m
Episode 112: Conclusion: Galileo’s Hermeneutics and Science & Religion Relationship3m
Episode 113: Galileo’s Hermeneutical Gaffe: Literalism & Concordism5m
Episode 114: The “Apology to Galileo”4m
Episode 115: Conclusion: Astronomy & the Galileo Affair3m
Episode 116: Conclusion: Astronomy & the Galileo Affair (Continued)2m
Hermeneutics 12: St. Augustine's Pastoral Perspective regarding Science & Religion3m
Hermeneutics 13: Phenomenological Perspective of Nature: The 3-Tier Universe3m
Hermeneutics 13A: The Earth & Ancient Geography14m
Reading1 readings
Week 7 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises


3 hours to complete

Geology & the Biblical Flood

Over the 20 years that I have taught this course, I have found that religious students struggle the most with the topic of Noah’s flood in the Bible (Genesis 6-9). The first half of this section is a brief history of geology, beginning with the worldwide flood as the central paradigm and ending with its complete elimination from science. This is another example of science powerfully impacting religion. In the second half, the three basic views of the biblical flood are presented—Global Flood, Local Flood, and Re-Cycled & Re-Interpreted Flood Motif Theory. In particular, the challenging topic of whether or not Noah was a real person in history is explored. We also consider the notion that the biblical flood (Genesis 6-9) is composed of two original sources (Jahwist and Priestly sources)....
22 videos (Total 122 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video22 videos
Episode 118: Biblical Texts on the Flood (Continued) Brief History of Geology & the Biblical Flood4m
Episode 119: The Early Church & the Flood. Flood Scholarship4m
Episode 120: Flood Scholarship (Continued). St. Augustine on the Flood4m
Episode 121: St. Augustine on the Flood (Continued)5m
Episode 122: The Middle Ages & the Flood. The Early Modern Period & the Flood5m
Episode 123: The Early Modern Period & the Flood (Continued)4m
Episode 124: Niels Steensen & Principle of Superposition. Global Flood Theories5m
Episode 125: The Beginning of Geology. James Hutton & Principle of Actualism4m
Episode 126: Catastrophism. Adam Sedgwick’s Recantation5m
Episode 127: Conclusion: The Beginning of Geology. 19th Century Modern Geology4m
Episode 128: 19th Century Modern Geology (Continued) The Anti-Geologists3m
Episode 129: 19th Century Modern Geology (Continued) The Harmonizers4m
Episode 130: Conclusion: Brief History of Geology & the Biblical Flood7m
Episode 131: What about Noah’s Flood? (1) Global Flood Theory7m
Episode 132: (2) Local Flood4m
Episode 133: (3) Re-Cycled & Re-Interpreted Flood Motif Theory5m
Episode 134: Re-Cycled & Re-Interpreted Flood Motif Theory (Continued)5m
Episode 135: Origin of the Biblical Flood Account (Gen 6-9)4m
Episode 136: Evidence for Two Sources in Biblical Flood Account (Gen 6-9)9m
Episode 137: The BIG Question: Who Was Noah?5m
Hermeneutics 13B: The Heavens & Ancient Astronomy (Part I). The Firmament8m
Reading1 readings
Week 8 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Geology & Flood20m


3 hours to complete

Evolution & Darwin’s Religious Beliefs

This week we deal with the fascinating topic of the religious beliefs of Charles Darwin. To be sure, the theory of biological evolution has significant implications for religion. Evidence is drawn from Darwin’s notebooks, diaries, letters, and books, including his most famous book outlining the theory of evolution, On the Origin of Species (1859). To the surprise of most people, the belief in Intelligent Design was a concept that consumed Darwin throughout his life. In addition, we will also discover that only a few years before his death, he firmly stated, “It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man [or woman] may be an ardent theist & an evolutionist.” In other words, Charles Darwin thought it was perfectly logical to be both a religious person and also one who accepts biological evolution. Finally, this section considers the well-known proclamation of Richard Dawkins that “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”...
26 videos (Total 126 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video26 videos
Episode 139: Brief History of Charles Darwin3m
Episode 140: Cambridge University (1828-1831) & Paley’s 3 Premises of Nature4m
Episode 141: Cambridge University (Continued). Conclusion3m
Episode 142: HMS Beagle Voyage (1831-1836)4m
Episode 143: Conclusion: HMS Beagle Voyage4m
Episode 144: 1st Period of Religious Reflection & Formulation of Theory of Evolution (1837-1838)3m
Episode 145: Darwin’s Arguments against Divine Action & Christianity4m
Episode 146: Formulation of a Teleological Theory of Evolution4m
Episode 147: Formulation of a Teleological Theory of Evolution (Conclusion)4m
Episode 148: Origin of Species (1859)4m
Episode 149: Origin of Species (1859) Conclusion5m
Episode 150: 2nd Period of Religious Reflection (1860-1861)3m
Episode 151: Letter to Asa Gray (May 1860)5m
Episode 152: Letter to Asa Gray (May 1860 & November 1860)5m
Episode 153: Descent of Man (1871)5m
Episode 154: Descent of Man (1871) Continued. Autobiography of Charles Darwin (1876)4m
Episode 155: Autobiography of Charles Darwin (1876) Continued4m
Episode 156: Autobiography of Charles Darwin (1876) Conclusion5m
Episode 157: The Final Years (1879-882) Conversation with the Duke of Argyll5m
Episode 158: Conclusion: Evolution & Darwin’s Religious Beliefs5m
Episode 159: Conclusion (Continued)3m
Hermeneutics 13C: The Heavens & Ancient Astronomy (Part II). The Heavenly Sea4m
Hermeneutics 13D: The Heavens & Ancient Astronomy (Part III). The Upper & Lower Heavens14m
Excursus: Water Canopy Theory3m
Excursus II: Water Vapour Theory3m
Reading1 readings
Week 9 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises


2 hours to complete

Genesis 1-11: Biblical Accounts of Origins

Building upon the hermeneutical principles presented throughout this course, this section examines the biblical accounts of origins in Genesis 1-11. In particular, it explores the notion that the opening chapters of the Bible are structured on four major origins motifs—De Novo Creation, Lost Idyllic Age, Great Flood, and Tribal Formation. More specifically, these ancient Near Eastern motifs were re-cycled and re-interpreted with the inspired spiritual truths of the ancient Hebrews. Numerous ancient features in Genesis 1-11 are identified—ancient cosmogony and historiography, ancient poetry and stylistic techniques, and ancient editing of two original sources (Jahwist and Priestly sources)....
20 videos (Total 105 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video20 videos
Episode 161: Ancient Accounts of Origins: Introductory Categories6m
Episode 162: Ancient Accounts of Origins: Introductory Categories (Continued)5m
Episode 163: Origin of Genesis 1-11: Re- Cycled & Re-Interpreted ANE Motifs of Origins Theory5m
Episode 164: Genesis 1:1-3 & the Pre-Creative State5m
Episode 165: Genesis 1:1-3 (Continued). Genesis 1: The Six Day Creation5m
Episode 166: Genesis 1 (Continued)5m
Episode 167: Genesis 2: The Creation of Adam & Eve4m
Episode 168: Genesis 2 (Continued). Excursus: Story, Allegory & Historicization4m
Episode 169: Genesis 3: The Fall3m
Episode 170: Excursus: Genesis 3 & Theodicy. Genesis 4: 1st Family, 1st Murder & 1st Genealogy4m
Episode 171: Genesis 4 (Continued) Excursus: Origin of the 1st Genealogies5m
Episode 172: Genesis 5: Genealogy of the Hebrews Before the Flood. Genesis 6-9: Noah’s Flood3m
Episode 173: Genesis 6-9 (Continued) Genesis 10: The Table of Nations4m
Episode 174: Genesis 10 (Continued)4m
Episode 175: Genesis 11:1-9. The Tower of Babel. Genesis 11:10-32. Genealogy of the Hebrews After the Flood5m
Episode 176: Genesis 11 (Continued) Conclusion: What Is the Literary Genre of Genesis 1-11?6m
Episode 177: Conclusion (Continued)5m
Hermeneutics 14: Attribution of Divine Action in Origins3m
Hermeneutics 15: Phenomenological Perspective of Nature: The Living Organisms9m
Reading1 readings
Week 10 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Genesis 1-1120m


2 hours to complete

Modern Origins Debate

Every course on Science & Religion deals with the fascinating topic of the modern origins debate. The 5 most important views of the origin of the universe and life are presented in detail— Young Earth Creation, Progressive Creation, Evolutionary Creation, Deistic Evolution, and Dysteleological Evolution. The importance of scientific and historical concordism for each position is explained. We also explore the challenging topic of whether or not Adam was a real person in history by presenting the 4 best-known positions on human origins—De Novo Creation of Adam, Evolutionary Monogenism, Punctiliar Polygenism, and Gradual Polygenism. These different approaches to Adam are viewed in the light of the Apostle Paul’s letters in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 and St. Augustine’s Doctrine of Original Sin....
14 videos (Total 89 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video14 videos
Episode 179: Young Earth Creation & Progressive Creation11m
Episode 180: Evolutionary Creation & Deistic Evolution9m
Episode 181: Dysteleological Evolution7m
Episode 182: Human Origins: The Final Frontier. Biblical Texts on Human Origins3m
Episode 183: Western (Catholic & Protestant) Theological Tradition on Human Origins6m
Episode 184: Western Theological Tradition (Continued)4m
Episode 185: Evolutionary Creation: Toward a Christian Hypothesis on Human Origins. (1) Human Origins & Metaphysics-Physics Principle. (2) Human Origins & Manifestation of Spiritual Realities5m
Episode 186: Evolutionary Creation: Human Origins (Continued)7m
Episode 187: Evolutionary Creation: Human Origins (Continued). (3) Human Origins & Message-Incident Principle4m
Episode 188: Evolutionary Creation: Human Origins (Continued). (4) Human Origins & the Apostle Paul4m
Episode 189: Conclusion. Evolutionary Creation & Human Origins4m
Hermeneutics 16: Science & Scripture: "Conservative" or "Liberal" Interpretations4m
Hermeneutics 17: Biblical Inerrancy: Toward an Incarnational Hermeneutic6m
Reading1 readings
Week 11 Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Origins Debate20m


2 hours to complete

The Problem of Evil

The final section of the course deals with the problem of evil. If God is all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful, then why are there horrid natural realities like cancers and earthquakes, as well as moral evils like rape, murder, and genocides? Four basic approaches to theodicy (justifications for evil in the world) are presented—Augustinian, Irenaean, Hick’s Irenaean-Evolutionary, and Process Theology. In particular, we examine Greater Good and Pedagogical Arguments in theodicies. In light of the two foundation principles of this course, we conclude that it is possible for Science and Religion to be a peaceful and fruitful relationship. The Metaphysics-Physics Principle cautions us not to conflate our metaphysical beliefs with science. In particular, the belief that biological evolution is necessarily atheistic is a misguided conflation. It is perfectly logical, through a step of faith, to believe evolution has been ordained and sustained by a Creator. The Message-Incident Principle underlines that the Bible is not a book of science offering facts of nature ahead of their discovery by scientists. It is quite reasonable for religious people to embrace a non-concordist hermeneutic and to believe that God accommodated to the intellectual level of the ancient biblical writers by employing their ancient science to deliver inerrant spiritual truths. ...
12 videos (Total 65 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video12 videos
Episode 191: Traditional Approaches to Theodicy. Categories of Evil. Augustinian Theodicy4m
Episode 192: Irenaean Theodicy & Hick’s Irenaean-Evolutionary Theodicy4m
Episode 193: Hick’s Irenaean-Evolutionary Theodicy (Continued) Process Theodicy4m
Episode 194: Toward a Christian Hypothesis on Theodicy (Lamoureux). (1) Biblical Considerations5m
Episode 195: Toward a Theodicy (1) Biblical Considerations (Continued)6m
Episode 196: Toward a Theodicy (2) Logical Considerations4m
Episode 197: Toward a Theodicy (2) Logical Considerations (Continued)4m
Episode 198: Toward a Theodicy (3) Experiential Considerations4m
Episode 199: Conclusion: Toward a Christian Hypothesis on Theodicy4m
Hermeneutics 18: Augustine's Warning to Christians regarding Science & Religion5m
Episode 200: Course Conclusion9m
Reading3 readings
Week 12 Survey10m
Hermeneutical Principles Survey10m
Course Conclusion Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Problem of Evil & Course Conclusion20m

Top Reviews

By DJNov 25th 2017

This course has many insights that can help one integrate one's faith and one's science. I recommend it highly. The teacher put in a massive amount of work in this project and it shows.

By CRDec 11th 2017

A must-take course for anyone interested in the interface between science and religion. It provides useful foundations that would take a lot of time and reading to arrive at otherwise.



Denis Lamoureux

Associate Professor

About University of Alberta

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