Secrets of the Universe: Scientific and spiritual perspectives Bucharest, Sala Mara, ARCUB, 84-90 Lipscani str. Monday, September 25, 2017 at 18:30 Participants: Prof. Radu Constantinescu, Dep. Rector of the University of Craiova Protopresbyter Prof. Ioan Chirilă, President of the Senate, University "Babeş-Bolyai" of Cluj-Napoca Moderator: Dr Magda Stavinschi, Director of the Institute for Transdisciplinary Studies in Science, Spirituality, Society (IT4S)
The conference addresses a particularly current and exciting theme on the dialogue between science and theology: what is the origin of the Universe in both perspectives, and how fundamental concepts such as time, space, matter, or energy are perceived.
Both approaches, scientific and theological, propose patterns on the Universe that generate questions and suggest limitations in our ability to understand and explain the world around us.
During the dialogue held by a theologian and a scientist, fundamental gnoseological issues will be brought to attention, such as:
– Unity of the Universe from the perspective of science and theology: the holistic perspective and the theme of unity of creation.
– The dynamics of the Universe between creationism and evolutionism, from causality to the principle of sufficient reason.
– The energies of the Universe: from matter to spiritual energy, from the energy of matter to the grace of the Creator.
– The particle of God and the big bang hypothesis, from assumptions to certainties, or from finite to infinite.
The debates will be illustrated with photographs, films and other media.
Department of Physics, University of Craiova
The scientist involved in the dialogue is Radu Constantinescu, professor at the Department of Physics from the University of Craiova, Romania. His main research field is Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, with contributions to the study of the fundamental interactions of the Universe, to the description of constrained dynamical systems, as well as to the study of regular versus chaotic behavior of some physical models with nonlinear dynamics.
A second field of interest is related to the Philosophy of sciences and to the dialogue between sciences and theology. Some important topics, connected with most interesting and paradigmatic patterns of nature, were tackled, as for example the memory and the spiritual existence of the human being. The main questions were: What is the origin of memory? Can we identify quantum discontinuities in human memory? Can we think of extending humankind’s memories? The thoughts related to these questions were expressed in papers presented in various conferences, as for example the contribution The Universe between the Need of Faith and the Need of Knowledge. Four Centuries of Scientific Astronomy, presented in “Cosmos, Nature, and Culture: A Transdisciplinary Conference”, July 18-21, 2009, Phoenix, USA. Other (unpublished) contributions were presented in workshops organized in the frame of the research project Memory: from Individual to Society, from Quantum to Cosmos, research projects granted by Metanexus Institute, Philadelphia, USA.
In both fields, Physics and Philosophy of sciences, Radu Constantinescu coordinated many research programs, whose results were disseminated through more than 100 papers, published in scientific journals or presented in conferences and workshops. An important part of these papers are indexed by international databases. These indexed papers can be seen for example at
President of the Senate, “Babeş-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca
Full professor at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, “Babeș-Bolyai” University in Cluj-Napoca. His areas of expertise are: Old Testament theology, exegesis and hermeneutics, Jewish literature, biblical archaeology and biblical Hebrew, interreligious dialogue, science – religion dialogue, modern history. Father Chirilă is currently the President of the Senate of “Babeş-Bolyai” University in Cluj-Napoca, Visiting Professor of “Iuliu Hațieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca. In the field of science – religion dialogue, Fr. Ioan Chirilă has participated to the following research projects: Faith and Reason: A Possible Alliance? (2006-2008), Templeton Foundation, USA; Theology and Science in the Romanian Ecclesiastical Imageries (2007-2009), BBU University; Science and Orthodoxy. Research and Education (2007-2009), Templeton Foundation, USA; Science and Religion in Romania: A Bridge Project (2006), Templeton Foundation, USA. Father Chirilă has participated to a great number of events in the field of science – religion dialogue among which: 2009, International Congress “Romania, as Laboratory of the Dialogue between Science and Spirituality in the Contemporary World”, with the paper: “Repentance, Knowledge and Spirit. An Answer to the Idolatry of Logic”, Romanian Academy, Bucharest; 2008, “Subject, Self and Soul: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Personhood”, Metanexus Institute, Madrid, Spain, with the paper: Subject, Self and Soul. Biblical Anthropological Approaches and Orthodox Exegesis. A Possible Perspective for a Transdisciplinary Discourse; 2009, international conference „Cosmos, Nature, Culture. A Transdisciplinary Conference, with the paper: Prospects for the Unity of Knowledge: Cosmos, Cult and Culture. An Orthodox Approach, Metanexus Conference, Phoenix, Arizona; 2008, International Conference “Reason and Faith” organized by “Babeş-Bolyai” University under the aegis of UNESCO and in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute, with the paper The Divine Reasons of Creation and the Knowledge through Faith (Complements to a Secular Epistemology). In the field of science – religion dialogue, Father Chirila is the authored of the book The Dia-Logos between Theology and Science. Meeting through the Word, Ed. Renaşterea, Cluj-Napoca, 2009, as well as several journal articles, among which: Tolerance and Globalization in the Dialogue between Science and Religion in Romania, Global Spiral, 2007; Ternaire et Trinité, homogène, hétérogène et l’état T. Une évaluation théologique du discours lupascien sur le tiers inclus, vol. „Á la confluence de deux cultures. Lupasco aujourd’hui”, Editions Oxus, Paris, 2010; The „Difficulties” of Revelation and „Limits” of Reason, in “Transdisciplinarity in Science and Religion”, nr. 4 / 2008, Ed. Curtea Veche, Bucureşti, 2008; Transdisciplinarité et ubiquité, in Basarab Nicolescu (direction), „Le Tiers Caché dans les différents domaines de la connaissance”, Bois d’Orion, 2016 au Marché de la Poésie, Place Saint Sulpice, Paris.
Honorary researcher of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy
Director of the Honorary researcher of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy for 15 years (1990-2005); chair of the International Astronomical Union Commission for Education and Development (2006-2009), chair of the Astronomy and Cultural Heritage WG of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture – SEAC, member of the International Society for Science and Religion – ISSR, member of the Centre International de Recherches et Études Transdisciplinaires – CIRET, member of the Romanian Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, president of the Association for the Dialogue between Science and Religion in Romania – ADSTR and of the Institute for Transdisciplinary Studies in Science, Spirituality, Society – IT4S, honorary member of Subregional European Astronomical Committee – SREAC; Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (2005).
She led in Romania three grants of the John Templeton Foundation: „Science and Religion in Romania, A project for Romania, as laboratory for postcommunist countries”, 2004-2006, „Science and Ortodoxy. Romanian Network (A bridge Project)”, 2006, „Science and Orthodoxy. Research and Education”. 2006-2009.