Tuesday, November 8, 2016 -
4:00pm to 6:00pm
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HUCE Seminar Room 429, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

Narratives of Hope: Science, Theology and Environmental Public Policy

The Program on Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School invite you for a discussion with Tom McLeish, Durham University, with introduction by Sheila Jasanoff, HKS. Light refreshments will be served.

Recent analyses of public debates on nanotechnology, GMOs and other environmental impasses have unearthed powerful, yet submerged, driving ‘narratives of despair.  Their religious resonances (e.g. ‘Pandora’s Box’, ‘Sacred Nature’) suggest a search for countering ‘narratives of hope’ within theological sources. A close reading of the ancient Book of Job, alert to resonances with natural philosophy, recasts ‘science’ as a deeply human, social and ancient. Jobhas spawned a rich literature of environmental commentary; we attempt to shape a deeper story of purpose in engaging nature, through classical, patristic, medieval, and early modern sources into a framework for late modern technologies. The resulting reconciliatory ‘Theology of Science’ meets the narratives of despair head-on.  It suggests a transformation of the way political discussions of 'troubled technologies' are framed, and pathway to mobilising religious communities in support of a healthier public debate

Contact Name: 

Shana Ashar

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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