The Science and Religion Cluster’s workshop in Braga

The core group met in Braga, Portugal, between 26-29th of April 2019. Five of us turned up for the meeting in person (Bruno Nobre, Francois Euvé, Ulf Jonsson, Josef Quitterer, Jacek Poznański) and Georg Gasser from Innsbruck joined us on Skype at Saturday’s evening session.

We were guests of the Jesuit Community of the scholastics (Jesuits in formation) in Braga. We spend two nice days with them, celebrating masses, eating together and discussing philosophical, theological and everyday questions.

Saturday we dedicated to the organizational issues. We started with discussion on our conference which is to take place in Centre Sèvres in Paris, 8th-9th of October 2019. The title of the conference is “A Powerful Universe – Levels of Powers. Dispositions and their applications in Science, Metaphysics, and Theology”. It is the final event of the three years of existence of the Science and Religion Cluster of the HEST Programme. We invited for the conference a number of key scholars on powers and dispositions. We will try to enter in dialogue with them on the important issues concerning metaphysics, anthropology, sciences and God.

Francois Euvé informed us about the preparations in Paris, accommodation and other things. Bruno Nobre will take care about the registration issues. We spoke about our guests and the arrangements of the talks. We will design also a website of the conference. The second big issue was the social transformation dimension of our project. Firstly, we would like to get together the scholars from European Jesuit institutions who are interested in science and religion. We want to invite to the conference our colleagues from places like Madrid, Barcelona, Muenchen, Namur, Zagreb, Bratislava, Vatican Observatory. Secondly, we plan to put together the results of our research and conference in an influential publication. We hope to find a renowned publisher house willing to help us in this task.

We agreed to continue our cooperation after the finishing the three years period of HEST project. Our proposal is to organize a regular International Science and Religion Seminar for the PhD and MA students. The seminar could use the structures of our universities, and probably we can try to insert this seminar into curricula of our PhD or MA students and provide them with ECTS. We will work a bit more on this proposal and we send this to others for discussion.

Sunday, the second day of our seminar, was dedicated to the presentation and discussion of the working papers we had been preparing for the conference. We cleared out our understanding of the concepts and ideas in powers and dispositions, as well as confronted the materials prepared by us with other points of view.

We are thankful to the Jesuit community in Braga, and especially Bruno Nobre, for all the great efforts to make our time there as nice and fruitful as possible. We thank also the dean of the Jesuit Faculty of Philosophy and Social Science in Braga for the financial support.

Jacek Poznański

August 2020
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