webinar register page

Webinar banner
Theology & Covid-19: etiological and teleological models at the nexus with science Webinar
When humanity confronts a threat to life as we know it, which includes widespread human suffering and death, conventional perspectives on the nature of reality, including the divine reality, are thrown into a tailspin. This is the old theodicy question that troubles many faithful religious devotees, including Christians. Confronting the Coronavirus, the question across the globe becomes especially acute. Each of the world’s religions has their own answers to the question “Why?” but answers seem never to be satisfactory. There are even multiple answers to the question provided by the writers of the Christian Bible. In this talk, I simply want to present two complementary perspectives, one called the etiological model, with three approaches, and the other a teleological model coming from a different direction. One approach seeks to answer the cause of suffering; in contrast, the other is focused on the purpose of suffering. The interesting thing for us to explore is what happens when these two distinctly different models meet at the nexus of science. At the end, you might feel that the original question still has not been answered, but the hope is, at least now, you will see that – even without an answer – we have no excuse for ignoring our responsibility. Human empathy still calls us to do all we can to ease the torment of those afflicted with suffering.

Jul 16, 2020 04:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

Webinar logo
* Required information


Dr. Arvin Gouw
Vice President for Research & Development, Rare Genomics Institute Nanotechnology Fellow, Stanford University School of Medicine
Arvin Gouw is the vice president for research and development at the Rare Genomics Institute (RG), where he oversees the Rare Genomics Task Force (RGTF) and the BeHEARD Challenge (Help Empower & Accelerate Research Discoveries), which provide grants globally to rare disease researchers, foundations, and patient families. In collaboration with biotech and pharma, his programs have provided various resources, including CRISPR and other genetic mouse models, that have led to the development of novel drugs for rare diseases. Arvin Gouw is also a research fellow in Oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine and affiliate scientist at UC Berkeley/LBNL, developing cancer drugs and drug screening platforms. His work has led to the filing of over half a dozen patents for novel cancer diagnostics and therapeutics and has received support and funding from Stanford, Berkeley, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Cancer Nanotechnology program.
Dr. Ron Cole-Turner
Professor @Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Ron Cole-Turner teaches at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he holds the H. Parker Sharp Chair in Theology and Ethics, a position relating theology and ethics to developments in science and technology. He is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion, and until recently served as co-chair of the American Academy of Religion Unit on “Human Enhancement and Transhumanism.” His most recent books include a study of human evolution and its theological significance, entitled The End of Adam and Eve: Theology and the Science of Human Origins (2016).