Symposium – ‘The Sciences faced with the Judaeo-Christian Concept of Creation’

On 21 and 22 January 2013 a symposium took place at the Institut Catholique d’Etudes Supérieures (Catholic Institute of Higher Studies) at la Roche sur Yon (Vendée, France). The aim of the Symposium was to create a dialogue between scientific, philosophical and theological approaches to the theme of Creation as understood by Judaeo-Christian revelation. The Symposium was jointly organised by the IUPG and the ICES Department of Theology and received kind financial support from the ICES.

It is clear that, with such a broad topic, it was only possible to offer some points of enlightenment but this nevertheless allowed attendees to understand the extent of the challenges at hand.

The Symposium was framed by two addresses of a philosophical nature. One by Fr Pascal Ide who showed how, structurally speaking, the creative act is an act of love, even though nowadays it is framed in terms of a struggle for existence. The other by Paul Clavier who developed the metaphysical argument of a Creation ex nihilo which is, strictly speaking, ‘indescribable’ is nevertheless conceivable.

Three contributions came from the world of physics. Thierry Grandou described, from the example of quantum field theories, how physics theories are like a metaphysical reflection. Based on his experience as a physicist, Fr Thierry Magnin illustrated the idea that the same creative spirit breathes both in the quest for the substance of things and in the depth of the human heart. Philippe Quentin described how the current conception of time constructed by physicists can provide insight into the concept of eternity.

Two contributions were devoted to the central theme of the evolution of the living. Pierre Perrier queried the paradigm of ‘random’ evolution on three levels: metaphysical, exegetical and scientific. For her part, Anne Dambricourt introduced the synthetic theory of evolution of Fr Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, its origin, its relevance and its implicit ontological questions. In his final address, Fr Antoine Nouwavi described a theological work ‘in progress’ concerning the concept of Creation from the example of African theological research.

As a result of this Symposium a joint publication will be published by ICES University Press and Emmanuel Editions (Collection IUPG).

In February 2014, IUPG and ICES (Departments of Theology and Mathematics/Physics/Chemistry) will organise a Symposium on the topic ‘The Infinite in Science, Philosophy and Theology.’

Philippe Quentin

Mentions légales

IUPG, association loi de 1901
91, boulevard Auguste Blanqui
75013 Paris

Représentant légal : Philippe Quentin
Responsable de rédaction : Isabelle Voix
Hébergeur : OVH