.- Earlier today, the findings of one of the most prestigious current research programs on the relationship between science, philosophy and theology was unveiled at the Vatican.
The presentation was based on results of the second phase of the STOQ Project (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest), coordinated by the Pontifical Council for Culture.
Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Council, indicated in his talk that the project involves the Pontifical Lateran and Gregorian Universities, the Pontifical Athenaeum "Regina Apostolorum”, as well as a number of other pontifical universities, which have varying degrees of involvement.
The John Templeton Foundation along with numerous sponsors from various countries is financially supporting the project.
Cardinal Poupard pointed out that the project "consists of a series of organically-coordinated initiatives at three different levels: the first and fundamental level is that of teaching, with the object of forming specialists in the field of dialogue between science and faith.”
“This will take place”, he said, “by means of graduate studies programs in each university with a view to attaining a degree (bachelors or masters), and with the possibility of exchanging academic credits between the various universities involved in the project."
The council president noted that the project also includes: "the definition of joint programs with other public and private universities, with the possibility of attaining a form of double recognition; scholarships for doctoral theses; and the organization of an international congress in November 2005 on the theme 'Infinity in Science, Philosophy and Theology,' in which scientists, theologians and philosophers from all over the world will participate."
The final aim of the project, Cardinal Poupard said, is "to contribute to dialogue between areas of research and study that, in the modern age, have slowly become separated."
He noted that in order to reach this, its is necessary "to build firm bridges and create fruitful exchanges between science, philosophy and theology through dialogue among their respective practitioners.”