The Harmony of Modern Science and the Catholic Faith

With Stephen Barr, Ph.D.

A five-week series exploring “the war between science and religion”

Modern Physics and Ancient Faith Invaluable Relationship

A considerable amount of public debate and media print has been devoted to the “war between science and religion”. In this online course, Professor Stephen M. Barr will demonstrate that what is really at war with religion is not science itself, but a philosophy called scientific materialism.
Modern Physics and Ancient Faith argues that the great discoveries of modern physics are more compatible with the central teachings of Christianity and Judaism about God, the cosmos, and the human soul than with the atheistic viewpoint of scientific materialism.
Scientific materialism grew out of scientific discoveries made from the time of Copernicus up to the beginning of the twentieth century. These discoveries led many thoughtful people to the conclusion that the universe has no cause or purpose, that the human race is an accidental by-product of blind material forces, and that the ultimate reality is matter itself.
Barr contends that the revolutionary discoveries of the twentieth century run counter to this line of thought. He uses five of these discoveries―the Big Bang theory, unified field theories, anthropic coincidences, Gödel’s Theorem in mathematics, and quantum theory―to cast serious doubt on the materialist’s view of the world and to give greater credence to Judeo-Christian claims about God and the universe.
Using clear language, Professor Barr will try to explain modern physics without oversimplification. Using the insights of modern physics, he will reveal that modern scientific discoveries and religious faith are deeply consonant. Anyone with an interest in science and religion will find Modern Physics and Ancient Faith an invaluable relationship.

Stephen Barr, Ph.D.

Stephen M. Barr, Ph.D. is President of the Society of Catholic Scientists and Professor Emeritus of theoretical particle physics at the University of Delaware. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1978. His research has centered mainly on “grand unified theories” and the cosmology of the early universe. In 2011, he was elected to be a Fellow of the American Physical Society “for his original contributions to grand unification, CP violation, and baryogenesis”.

He writes and lectures extensively on the relation of science and religion. He is the author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2003) and The Believing Scientist: essays on science and religion (Eerdmans, 2016). He was elected in 2010 to the Academy of Catholic Theology and was awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Benedict XVI.


Stephen Barr, Ph.D.

In addition to my profession of research and teaching in physics, I also have written and lectured extensively on the relation of science and religion. I am a believing and practicing Catholic, though my writing in the area of science and religion has been well-received by Protestants and Jews. I was elected to the Academy of Catholic Theology in 2010, and was awarded the Benemerenti Medal in 2007, a papal award given for service to the Church. I am a member of the editorial Advisory Council of First Things magazine, a leading religious intellectual journal that was founded by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, and for which many prominent Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Jews write. I have written many articles and book reviews for First Things since 1995. I have also written articles and book reviews for National Review, The Weekly Standard, Modern Age, The Public Interest, Commonweal, and other publication. I have lectured widely on the relation of science and religion, having spoken so far in 23 states, the District of Columbia, two Canadian provinces, and China, mostly on university campuses, but also at churches and synagogues. I have been interviewed on radio and television (here is a half-hour interview I gave on EWTN)

A 5-week Tuesday night series

“The Harmony of Modern Science and the Catholic Faith”

with Stephen Barr, Ph.D.

May 28, 2024 – (7 pm – 8:30 pm – Pacific Standard Time)
God and Cosmic Order: how nature points to God.

June 04, 2024 – (7 pm – 8:30 pm – Pacific Standard Time)
Is the Universe Designed for Life?
*No Class June 11

June 18, 2024 – (7 pm – 8:30 pm – Pacific Standard Time)
How Adam and Eve, Original Sin, and Evolution go Together

June 25, 2024 – (7 pm – 8:30 pm – Pacific Standard Time)
Extraterrestrials and Catholic Teaching

July 02, 2024 – (7 pm – 8:30 pm – Pacific Standard Time)
Does Science Disprove Free Will?


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