Discussion Topic/Title: Let’s reconcile the science and faith communities, and let’s do it through: community resilience for health and well-being, communication resources, and creative co-rehabilitation
Community: Picture an America where discussion, collaboration, and creative co-design are the values and norms prescribed for healthy communities. Imagine hateful words stopped by a hand on a shoulder, a soft smile, and a refusal to fight. “I’m sorry. Let’s reconcile.” Has more strength than a factual, “you’re wrong, and here’s why” followed by a diet of bullet points or concordance references.
Equity: There is common ground we can unite on, and it is a powerful driver of change, but division is a forceful multiplier of fear and anger. The National Council for Science and Faith seeks to fill a chasm in our country by building bridges across the many divides that exist between science and faith, not to prove one right way, but to be advocates for a constructive, non-adversarial, dialogue between science and faith.
Humanities: Science and faith are not polar opposites, yet the false dichotomy persists as a cultural myth clinging to our educational and media systems, reinforced such that often freshman level high school and college science learners believe their faith is challenged by education. Scientists and scholars may succumb to the same false dichotomy. Dialogue between the science and faith communities will lead to resource production surrounding cultural norms associated with faith traditions. Deliberate communication may resolve the misunderstanding regarding the conflict of faith for the student, leading to a learning experience for the educator. Thus, a co-learning environment ensues for the scientist and the faithful learner, bridging divides and healing wounds spanning centuries of rhetorical conflict.
Placemaking: A resilient place is a community connected by values and healthy dialogue, nurturing seeds that grow into ethics of reconciliation. As a national organization with three locations, our place will be the workshops we hold and our online content. Resources developed by fellows in the cities of Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, and Denver will be made available publicly online at no charge. As our networks, vectors, and relationships grow, we hope resources will flow like allegorical loaves and fishes from both faith groups to scientists and scientists to faith groups bringing healing to a divided land.
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Workshop © National Council for Science and Faith 2017