Above are some of the ITEST Board of Directors; from left to right: Dr. Ralph Olliges (secretary), Patrick Panozzo, Dr. Tom Sheahen (director), Dr. Mariette Baxendale, Sister Marianne Postiglione, RSM (associate director), Sister Carla Mae Streeter, OP, Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP (treasurer), and Sister Marysia Weber, RSM.
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 Dr. Thomas P. Sheahen, Director, ITEST
Welcome to the ITEST website. We invite you to explore the many facets of ITEST that are available here: issues of our quarterly bulletin, past conference proceedings, announcements of future events, and our educational program for elementary school children, 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: Tom Sheahen