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Vatican university ties science and faith through research seminary

2013-12-05

One of the hallmarks of his papacy, Benedict XVI was keen to build bridges between science and faith. Two areas, he said, that complement each other, not exclude.

His legacy in the field carries on within the Vatican's Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. They just began a three-year program to discuss science and theology, in the field of research. The intent is to use faith as a voice of reason within science.

GIUSEPPE TANZELLA-NITTI
Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome)
"Scientific progress is like an automobile that we have between our hands. First, we used a utilitarian one, and the driver needed very few instructions. But today, we have a sophisticated Formula 1 race-car. And the driver hasn't grown, like the technology has.”

The three year permanent seminary began in November of this year. During the first year, participants will focus on the virtues of research. The second will revolve around places and context of scientific research. And the third, on notable authors in the field like doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas.

The extracurricular program has about 50 participants who meet once a month. But only a few of them are theology students at the Vatican's universities.

GIUSEPPE TANZELLA-NITTI
Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome)
"It includes laypeople. They usually don't have the chance to take courses in philosophy or theology in our universities because they already have a career, they already have a job.”

Through its humanistic approach, the permanent seminary aims to leave behind academic documents that scientific researchers can use in the future as guides. 

They say that in addition to improving the quality of life through science, researchers are also responsible for other types of progress, including cultural, social and economic.


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