Augsburg News

News Archives - 1997

Augsburg College receives second Templeton award for course focusing on science and religion

Course to include appreciation of ancient world views, design of ideal space colonies

May 01, 1997

For some people today, the wonder of modern science-based technology is their only religion, while for others, modern science appears to threaten the most personal and valued parts of their lives, including their faith. Students at Augsburg College will soon have a chance to find some middle ground between these polar opposite views.

An Augsburg College physics professor and a colleague from the religion faculty, both also Lutheran pastors, are preparing to teach a course on issues in science and religion thanks to a $10,000 award from the Templeton Foundation.

Mark Engebretson of the Augsburg physics faculty and religion professor John Benson will teach the course next year. The award was given through the annual Templeton Science-Religion Course Program competition.

This is the second such award from the Templeton Foundation to Augsburg. In 1995 Templeton selected the Augsburg course "Creation and Complexity," taught by Augsburg professors Larry Crockett, computer science, and Bruce Reichenbach, philosophy.

Benson and Engebretson's course on issues in science and religion will first study the ancient world view of the Bible and the medieval world view, together with scientific and technological knowledge that went along with these views. Next the course will examine the modern period, from about 1520 to the present, emphasizing the different ways that the Christian world received the scientific developments of this period.

Finally, the class will divide into groups of five or six each and -- using what they have learned in the course so far -- create space colonies. Each group will decide on the structure of its space colony: its system of government, its ecology, its constitution and laws, its educational system, and its religious beliefs and practices.