“The world of reason and the world of faith – the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief – need one another and should not be afraid to enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue for the good of civilization.”
— Pope Benedict XVI
Address to the assembled parliamentarians, academic, & cultural leaders, London, 9/17/2010
ITEST Board of Directors
Top row: Dr. Ralph Olliges (Treasurer and ITEST Bulletin Editor), Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP (Director), Father Earl Muller, SJ (Theology Advisor)
Second row: Sister Carla Mae Streeter, OP, Sister Marianne Postiglione, RSM (ITEST Bulletin Senior Editor), Dr. Pat Castle
Third row: Dr. Tom Sheahen (Science Advisor), Sheila Roth (Secretary), Dr. Kevin Powell
Board members not pictured: Dr. Donald Boland (Philosophy Advisor), Father Kevin FitzGerald, SJ, Lauren Lester, and Patrick Panozzo
Below: The Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology has been selected for the 2020 St. Louis Awards in the category of Non-Profit Organization.
Introduction by ITEST Director, Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP
Welcome to the ITEST website. We invite you to explore the many facets of ITEST that are available here: issues of our quarterly bulletin, webinar recordings, conference proceedings, announcements of future events, multiple faith/science essays, interviews with teachers, and our educational program for elementary school children, Creation Lens: Exploring the World, Discovering God. A synopsis of our history, and our mission statement, are only a mouse-click away.
In the fewest possible words, our theme is “Be Not Afraid.” ITEST does not see science as the enemy of religion, but stresses their mutual compatibility as parallel pathways toward knowledge.
ITEST focuses on the many ways that faith and science complement each other in the advancement of human knowledge. The Nicene Creed begins “We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” What is “visible” is what reaches our senses, including via the sophisticated instruments of science. But God also created the greater realm that goes beyond physics, chemistry and biology, beyond the confines of space, time, atoms and molecules. At ITEST, we don’t regard humans as confined to the physical world alone. We don’t believe God keeps His creation compartmentalized, and so humans shouldn’t either. Religious faith is one way for humans to probe into God’s higher realm, despite our limitations. To whatever extent science and faith can help each other advance, ITEST wants to be there.
St. Augustine said (400 CE) that “the book of nature and the book of scripture were both written by the same Author, and they cannot be in conflict when properly interpreted and understood.” ITEST agrees with that completely. The dialog that we have maintained for 50+ years begins from the belief that God revealed scientific knowledge for a purpose: to use it wisely for the betterment of all humankind. God’s word in scripture is similarly intended, with a richness that transcends human experience. We view the role of religious faith in human history optimistically. Our task is to travel both paths toward God. ITEST strives to have theology and science/technology encounter each other.
Feel free to send inquiries to me via Email: Sebastian Mahfood
ITEST Episcopal Moderator
Most Reverend Mitchell T. Rozanski
Archbishop of Saint Louis
Saturday, October 21, 2023
Surviving Abortion: Inside and Out
Dr. Pat Castle
Dr. George Delgado
Dr. Cynthia Toolin-Wilson
Registration Coming Soon
Saturday, December 16, 2023
Bridging the Chasm:
How Quantum Mechanics brings together the Physical and Spiritual Worlds
Terrence D. Lagerlund, MD, PhD
Check out past webinars!
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