Science Religion and Social Justice Gathering
On Saturday October 4, 2014 Dr. Kevin McDonnell cfc presented a stimulating presentation and conversation about Science, Religion and Social Justice in a time of Global Crisis. He generously shared a conceptual map and highlighted some contemporary insights from disciplines including Cosmology, Quantum Physics, Plate Tectonics and Ecology.
He reminded us of the interconnectedness of all life and the challenges of developments in climatology, neuroscience and depth psychology for all living in the 21st century. He skillfully led us to consider the effect that our particular understanding, of these issues, has on our interpretation of Biblical Works, Images of God, Theology and Spirituality, which in turn underpin life style and actions for justice.
During the conversations and feedback many seminal ideas were shared and questions posed.
Since the meeting, the words of Tim Flannery have been running through my heart and mind,
I am certain of one thing - if we do not strive to love one another, and to love our planet as much as we love ourselves, then no further human progress is possible here on earth.
Below are a few reflections from a scattering of participants at the gathering:
I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday with Kevin. I was particularly attracted to the facts about Earth-its core, mantle and crust. When Kevin spoke about the tectonic plates and the molten lava that spills out from the core of the Earth something resonated with me. The whole movement of Earth’s plates and core set me thinking about my own experience. Like Earth I too am always in a process of moving.Noni Ball
I began to feel the immensity and expansiveness of time, so graphically portrayed in the Age of the Universe clock face. I felt the within-ness of creation.
The Celtic mountain,” the mountain within the mountain” spoke to me about God’s transparency within all beings and the oneness of everything.
Our eyes of insight see through the illusion of separateness from all being.
Our eyes of compassion draw us into caring and living justly for the sake of all being.
Our eyes of imagination develop futures that last to sustain all being.
I suppose the thing that most struck me, and that named a reality for me, was when Kevin was comparing former understandings of the universe and God with contemporary understandings. One attribute of God in former thought was that God is “all-powerful”.
In contemporary thought, God is understood not to be not “all powerful” but rather God is understood to be “self-limiting” in power with regard to the universe. Like a parent who allows a child its freedom to develop, and make mistakes and even suffer as a result, God does not step in and prevent mistakes and suffering in the development of the universe.
There was much information from Kevin, and good conversation in our groups. Kevin is obviously a teacher and presented his material in a precise, orderly manner.
This was a wonderful morning, and was typical of the great sessions we have had at Mercy Parramatta over this year and previous years. I want to thank all those responsible for organizing these events. I look forward to them so much, as they are so stimulating and gather such a marvellous group of people who share so many of my “drawings”. I sincerely hope such sessions can continue into the future
From the presentation on Saturday, I was affirmed in my feeling that the Christian story is deepened by the new revelations of science which give us a new world view…ecology-that we are one, Evolution-we are called to be more, God’s spirit moving within the evolutionary process and we given the freedom to be co-creators of the future.
The God energy luring us forward is the energy of love: a renewing energy-the more we use it/contribute to it, the more it grows. A real challenge today is to move beyond the renewable to a non- renewable energy future.
I always used to say to my students: “If you can’t say it simply you are not really on top of your subject.” Well Kevin made this very complicated field of current exploration amazing clear, and exciting, to me.Peter Hancock
Thank you Kevin for a wonderful morning and to each of you who participated and made the session so lively and inspiring.