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Phi Beta Kappa Speaker to Discuss Theology and Evolution at UW


March 28, 2008 — The National Phi Beta Kappa speaker, Alejandro Garcia-Rivera, will visit the University of Wyoming Monday, March 31, and Tuesday, April 1.

His main talk, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful: Creation in an Evolutionary World," will be Monday, March 31, at 4:10 p.m., in Room 314 of the Classroom Building.

"I will argue that the issue between evolutionary theory and theology is not a conflict with Scripture or doctrine but whether we 'speak well' of nature. Speaking 'well' of nature, as opposed to speaking correctly, demands noticing that beautiful form underlies the very nature of nature," Garcia-Rivera says. "Beautiful form then becomes the bridge where evolutionary theory and theology can find a common and mutually supportive ground."

While at UW, Garcia-Rivera will also visit with students and be featured in two classes.
The event is sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Psychology, and the M.F.A. Creative Writing Program in English. Also sponsoring are Academic Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences.

A native of Havana, Cuba, Garcia-Rivera is a former Lutheran pastor and now a Roman Catholic lay theologian. He is past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the U.S. and recognized as one of the main contributors in the developing field of theological aesthetics. He currently serves on a committee of neuroscientists and psychologists, studying the issues that cross between the disciplines of neuroscience and theology. His publications include "Little Stories," and "The Semiotics of Culture." He also writes spiritual essays for U.S. Catholic, Nuestra Parroquia, and El Momento Catolico.

Garcia-Rivera's current research and teaching interests include interfaith aesthetics, theology and the arts, theological aesthetics, suffering and the human person, the intersection between science and theology, fundamental theology, and theology and science.

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