Religious people feel threatened by secular, scientific-worldview people, and secular people, conversely, feel threatened by religious thought. How do we find common ground?
Dr. Tom Wassink is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and a faculty member in the University’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics. His medical work comprises a number of activities: 1) providing psychiatric care to veterans through an affiliated local VA hospital; 2) pursuing a program of research investigating the genetic basis of mental disorders, particularly schizophrenia and autism; and 3) providing instruction for medical student and residents, with a particular focus on the intersection of religion and mental health.
Tom is also a staff pastor of Sanctuary Community Church of Iowa City (Iowa City, IA), a church his wife and he founded in 1999 (she is the full-time Lead Pastor, Tom is part time). Sanctuary Community Church self-defines as some mash of post-evangelical, emergent, charismatic/ Pentecostal, being formally affiliated with a new group of churches called Blue Ocean Faith. Sanctuary thrives in a secular academic setting, with many members who work and study in the biological and health care sciences.
How will our knowledge of the DNA-building process and our efforts to replicate it through technologies like the CRISPR system change our sense of self and the society around us?
How do our competing cognitive systems – one fast and one slow, as described by Daniel Kahneman – frame our experience of God?
Science is the best way we can appreciate “what is,” and religion helps move us towards “what could be.”
What do we learn from failure? What happens when our dogma — whether scientific or religious — turns out to be wrong?