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Project STOQ: Creating dialogue between science and religion around the world

Project STOQ stands for Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest. Coordinated by the Pontifical Council for Culture, STOQ aims to provide society with a deeper understanding of these topics in order to address today’s concerns and make contributions.

The idea for the project began in January of 2000, following the Jubilee for Scientists in which representatives from major worldwide groups met to discuss science and religion. In 2003, STOQ started with three universities. Today there are seven universities, all in Italy, participating with 3,200 students.

Dr. Valeria AscheriAssistant, STOQ Project“Several students come from other countries, not only from Italy, and when they return to their country they can address these ideas in their dioceses. They become a professor to promote dialogue between science and faith. We think it is very important because STOQ creates a network.”The project feels society is dominated by science and technology and often a human is considered an assembly of parts rather than a biological organism and a person of spiritual worth. While science is vital and can help find cures for diseases, STOQ coordinators say ethics and morals need to be part of the discussion.

Rev. Tomasz TrafnyVice Coordinator, STOQ Project“So while several initiatives may be very important and attractive, they also require us to reflect on their systematic methods from a philosophical or theological standpoint.”Project STOQ is geared towards scientists, theologians, students, philosophers and those interested in deepening their faith.

STOQ also organizes several workshops where they invite experts to speak on a wide range of topics.

Rev. Tomasz TrafnyVice Coordinator, STOQ Project“They share their questions with us and give us the most recent information on developments in scientific research. But they also contribute elements helpful in the study of ethics regarding such moral judgments.”

Project STOQ has published numerous essays with information gathered from workshops and renowned scientists. They serve as a teaching tool and also encourage further dialogue. The latest publication in English, ‘What is Death’, discusses causes of death, Catholic theology and near death experiences.In the future STOQ wants to create an online portal to reach those who don’t have access to the publications. They also want to create a permanent center for studies and research where people from all over the world can collaborate.

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