The Role of Life in Death”: Dean Chairs Templeton Symposium in Italy

5-7 June 2013 •  Off–Campus

Seminary Dean and Professor of Patristics The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr traveled to Castel Gandolfo, Italy to participate in a conference hosted by the John Templeton Foundation, titled, "The Role of Life in Death." Father John, who had originally suggested the topic for the gathering, was invited Fr. John Behr  Commencement, 2013Fr. John Behr Commencement, 2013to chair the three-day symposium, which had been organized for the purpose of "convening preeminent thinkers and ensuring the representation of all major viewpoints" on the theme.

Templeton's Humble Approach Initiative has hosted invitation–only workshops such as this one since 1998, annually sponsoring a small group of scholars and scientists to meet and focus on a particular theme within an interdisciplinary framework. This particular symposium assembled an eminent list of participants, including physician and philosopher Dr. Jeffrey Bishop, who spoke at St. Vladimir's Seminary in March and is widely recognized for his work in medical ethics in the field of death and dying.

"We expect to identify key research themes in the sciences, philosophy, and theology that will lead to new scholarly collaborations," wrote Chair and President John M. Templeton, Jr., M.D., during the planning stages of the symposium. "Our wider objective is to contribute both to professional and public understanding of the often unexpected ways in which the broad domains of science and religion can inform each other."

The John Templeton Foundation is a philanthropic trust which funds research across academic disciplines; its purpose is to examine a broad range of philosophical questions and examine various quests for the purpose and meaning of life. Father John serves on the Board of Advisors for the Foundation and participated in a "Humble Approach Initiative" conference held in Denmark in August of 2011. 

See Fr. John Behr's own work on the topic: The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death.

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Templeton Conference Agenda 2013.pdf82.79 KB