What happens in our bodies and in our brains when we join together in a communal liturgy, where people sing or dance or celebrate together?
The Reverend Doctor Ruth E. Shaver is the Interim Senior Pastor of First Church of Christ, Congregational, United Church of Christ, in North Conway, New Hampshire. In addition to her pastoral role, she is actively involved in ministerial education and formation as a course facilitator and secretary of the board of directors for PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia. She previously served churches in central and eastern Massachusetts and in western Pennsylvania. Shaver completed her Doctor of Ministry at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 2016 with a dissertation project titled, “I Wonder: Scientific Exploration and Experimentation as a Practice of Christian Faith.” She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Soviet and East European Studies from the College of Liberal Arts (now College of Arts and Sciences) and a Master of Divinity degree from the School of Theology at Boston University. Her love of science was fostered by her parents, who encouraged her to watch every episode of NOVA on PBS from its debut in 1976 until she went off to college, and by her grandfathers, who were both curious men with fascinations for dinosaurs, reptiles, space, and all things mechanical. Her first linkage of science and faith came at a very young age when she would pray for the safety of “her astronauts” on the Apollo moon missions. She is grateful for the opportunity to be a Sinai and Synapses Fellow and looks forward to the opportunities ahead to help people of all faiths become scientifically knowledgeable and curious.
What is the interplay between the things that make us human and the things that make us superhuman?
How does play help us understand the rules of the game for both science and religion? How can they help us better understand and create more joy in the work that we do?
We’re not even aware of how often it is that we use the scientific process to make decisions in our lives – even in our faith lives.
The creativity that named us partners with God to protect creation has been essential in our efforts to reclaim and restore what our previous arrogance wrought.
What would the earth, and the spirit of humanity, look like if the Fall had never happened?
How might we help others see themselves as vulnerable climate change, but also empowered to do something about it?
Big Stories, like the ones forged by religion, could be a powerful motivator for climate action. How might we use this way of thinking to spur action while staying scientific?
The quest for perfect vision—or any other repair or improvement in our physical bodies—often obscures bigger-picture things, like the moral and ethical implications of such research.
Is science driving emerging adults from religion? Our Sinai and Synapses Fellows discuss.