Renowned physicist-priest Rev. John Polkinghorne to lecture on 'The Interaction of Science and Theology,' April 26

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The Rev. John Polkinghorne, one of the foremost thinkers and writers on the correlation of science and religion, returns to Cornell University to deliver a Templeton-American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) Lecture titled "The Interaction of Science and Theology," Monday, April 26, at 8 p.m. in 200 Baker Laboratory. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Polkinghorne last spoke at Cornell in 1998 on "The Friendship of Science and Theology."

"As a distinguished physicist and a highly productive theological writer, Polkinghorne serves as an influential bridge between science and religion," said Robert Fay, Cornell professor of chemistry and chemical biology and Templeton-ASA Lecture coordinator.

A respected scientist turned respected Anglican priest, Polkinghorne worked for many years as a theoretical elementary particle physicist, mostly at the University of Cambridge, England, where he was professor of mathematical physics from 1968 to 1979. He then resigned his professorship to train for the ministry in the Church of England.

After five years in parish ministry, Polkinghorne returned to Cambridge, first as fellow, dean and chaplain at Trinity Hall and then as president of Queens' College, Cambridge, from 1989 until his retirement in 1996. He is a fellow of the Royal Society, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 and was the 2002 winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

Over the past 20 years, Polkinghorne has written more than 15 books on science and religion, including The Faith of a Physicist (Fortress Press, 1996), Belief in God in an Age of Science (Yale University Press, 1998) and Faith, Science, and Understanding (Yale University Press, 2000). Some of his books are on display at the Cornell Store.

Polkinghorne holds that science and theology provide a complementary perspective on the world. "Both believe that there is a truth to be sought and found through well-motivated belief," he states. "I need the binocular approach of science and religion if I am to do any sort of justice to the deep and rich reality of the world in which we live." The lecture is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, in Radnor, Pa., which is dedicated to exploring the boundary between science and theology. The foundation promotes inquiry through its ASA lecture series, presentations by distinguished scientists, theologians and other scholars in seminaries, colleges and universities across the United States.

Polkinghorne's lecture is sponsored by the Templeton Foundation, the American Scientific Affiliation, Cornell United Religious Work and Chesterton House, a local Center for Christian Studies. For more information, contact Fay at (607) 255-3636 or .

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