Speaker explores John Paul II’s discussion of unity in faith, science

Grace Murphy
Social Media Manager

A lecturer spoke on St. John Paul II’s vision of relational unity between faith and science and how this can be applied at a 3 p.m. academic lecture Friday, April 23, in the Gentile Gallery.

Jordan Haddad, who holds a doctorate in systematic theology, is a professor of dogmatic theology and director of lay ministry programs at Notre Dame seminary in New Orleans and is also the cofounder of The St. Louis IX Art Society.

Dan Kuebler, dean of the School of Natural and Applied Sciences, introduced Haddad.

Haddad said research is being done in the field of the intersection between the Catholic faith and the natural sciences. However, he said this research is lacking a broader articulation of why theology benefits from modern natural science advancements and how these benefits should be used.

“It is one thing to say that the natural sciences have some contribution to make to Catholic theology, but it is a wholly different thing to explain the nature and scope of that contribution in light of the de facto practice of theology,” Haddad said.

In the first part of his lecture, Haddad provided an overview of John Paul II’s vision of relational unity between theology and science. From 1979 to 2004, Haddad said John Paul II gave 130 speeches and writings on the modern natural sciences with reflections on Catholic theology.

Haddad said, “More than any pope before him, he dedicated a tremendous amount of his pontificate to explicitly elucidating and reflecting upon the faith-science relationship.”

In his second part of the lecture, Haddad introduced and explained his five proposals for how the natural sciences can contribute to theological development.

“By coming to understand the world around us, we can come to better appreciate the wisdom, the power, the glory of God. And, by coming to reflect upon it in light of the faith, that’s the key to understanding its deeper mystery,” Haddad said.

After his presentation, Haddad answered multiple questions from audience members.

This was the final lecture of the semester for Friday academic lecture series.