The Association of Theological Schools:
Intersection of Religion, Science and Cloning
The devolution of strategic partnerships:
• North Park Theological Seminary's LINKS page: NPTS link to Association of Chicago Theological Schools/ACTS [all are ATS members]
• Association of Chicago Theological Schools’ “institutions related to ACTS”
Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science / Templeton Prize
Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education / City Transformation
• Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science renamed the Zygon Center for Religion and Science
• The Molecular Logos / Cloning Jesus - Man as God: The first human cloning company
• “Cloning: As Quintessential Human Act” by ATS's Phillip Hefner
North Park Theological Seminary [ATS member]
Top of List:
• The Association of Chicago Theological Schools/ACTS - Consortium of 12 Chicago-area theological schools
Note: The NPTS LINKS page is maintained by Eric Pement who is “currently attending North Park Theological Seminary”:
‘Please send any comments about or problems with this site to firstname.lastname@example.org
This site is maintained by Eric Pement.
Last updated: June 14, 2001
Eric Pement is president and board member of Evangelical Ministries to New Religions [EMNR].
The Association of Chicago Theological Schools, known as ACTS, was formed in 1984 by 12 theological schools located in the Chicago area to provide means for cooperation among the member institutions in the areas of student cross-registration, library access and acquisitions, interchange among faculty members in the disciplines of theological education, and communications between the schools. Prior to 1984, these schools had had many years of successful ecumenical cooperation, primarily through the Chicago Cluster of Theological Schools, the Chicago Theological Institute, and the Library Council. In addition to ACTS, various agreements between two or more institutions further cooperation on the basis of geographic proximity or an interest in specific programs (see Clusters and Cooperative Activities).
All 11 schools that currently make up ACTS are accredited members of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Each is affiliated with or sponsored by a denomination, a diocese, a religious organization, or several religious orders. Each offers professional degree programs for ministry at the master's and doctoral levels, and most also offer other academic degrees. All offer a variety of opportunities for continuing education for clergy and lay leaders, as well as conferences, lectures, and other programs of interest to a wider public.
Together, the schools within ACTS offer a rich network of resources for theological education, making the association one of the outstanding centers of theological education in the world. Available to the approximately 3,000 students currently enrolled at its member schools is a faculty of more than 350… In addition, ACTS makes it possible for students and faculty to pursue their work, study, and reflection in interaction with people from many different cultural and theological traditions.
Students in ACTS schools also have access to other resources pertinent to theological education through institutions related to ACTS [see below]. Many also draw on the vast resources of other institutions of higher education and the numerous religious organizations and agencies in the Chicago area related to one or more of the institutions in ACTS.
ACTS Member Schools:
Catholic Theological Union [ATS member]
Chicago Theological Seminary [ATS member]
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary [ATS member]
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago [ATS member]
McCormick Theological Seminary [ATS member]
Meadville/Lombard Theological School [ATS member]
Mundelein Seminary [ATS member]
North Park Theological Seminary [ATS member]
Northern Baptist Theological Seminary [ATS member]
Seabury-Western Theological Seminary [ATS member]
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School [ATS member]
Again we see that Eric Pement maintains this web page [see bottom of the page].
Important note: By clicking on the link >>> institutions related to ACTS <<< [as found on the ACTS web page above] the reader arrives at:
The Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (CASIRAS) is an independent corporation, consisting of scientists and theologians. Although it is national in scope, it concentrates a number of its activities, as well as its administrative office, in Hyde Park and has developed an effective working relationship with neighboring theological schools. The founder was Ralph Wendell Burhoe, professor emeritus at Meadville/Lombard Theological School [ATS member] until his death in 1997 and recipient of the 1980 Templeton Award for Progress in Religion. CASIRAS's activities are held chiefly in cooperation with the Zygon Center for Religion and Science (ZCRS) at LSTC, of which it is a cofounder. For information about ZCRS, see the current catalog of LSTC.
CASIRAS and ZCRS seek to achieve a greater integration between the scientific and religious models or images concerning the nature, destiny, and moral behavior of humans. Dimensions of CASIRAS's work include seminars, courses, conferences, symposia, and guided research as well as the publication of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. In cooperation with LSTC and M/L, CASIRAS offers the advanced Seminar in Religion and Science (T-672) each year, usually in the spring quarter.
For further information contact Philip Hefner, LSTC [Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago - ATS member]… [emphasis added]
The Chicago Center for Religion and Science [Homepage]
Note found on CCRS web site about name/web site change:
Chicago Center for Religion and Science has changed its name to Zygon Center for Religion and Science
…The Center is dedicated to relating religious traditions and scientific knowledge in order to gain insight into the origins, nature, and future of humans and their environment, and to realize the common goal of a world in which love, justice, and ecologically responsible styles of living prevail. The purpose is to provide a place of research and discussion between scientists, theologians, and other scholars on the most basic issues pertaining to:
* how we understand the world in which we live and our place in that world,
* how traditional concerns and beliefs of religion can be related to scientific understandings, and
* how the joint reflection of scientists, theologians, and other scholars can contribute to the welfare of the human community.
CASIRAS, founded by Ralph Wendell Burhoe, Sanborn Brown, Hudson Hoaglund, and others, is a continuation of the work of the Committee on Science and Human Values, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of which Burhoe was the first full-time executive officer. This committee included George Wald (biology), Theodosius Dobzhansky (genetics), Kirtley Mather (geology), Hudson Hoaglund (neurosciences), Harlow Shapley (astronomy, president of the Academy) and others. CCRS thus represents the confluence of traditional religion, in LSTC, and contemporary secular science, in CASIRAS.
Philip Hefner (Professor of Systematic Theology at LSTC) is Director of the Center; Thomas L. Gilbert (retired from a career in theoretical physics and environmental research at Argonne National Laboratory and now Adjunct Professor of Religion and Science--"Resident Scientist"--at LSTC) is Epic of Creation Project Director. The Center's two Senior Associates are Ralph Wendell Burhoe (Meadville/Lombard Theological School [ATS member], Emeritus, and 1980 recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion) and Langdon Gilkey (University of Chicago, Emeritus, and Georgetown). The Center's activities are fashioned largely by the Center Associates. The overall program of the Center includes research, teaching, and outreach. Solomon Katz is president of CASIRAS and of the CCRS board; he is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.
[CCRS articles focus on cloning, bio-ethics, theology and common ground:]
Ingrid Shafer's reflections on the August 1996 Mars discoveries
Philip Hefner's reflections on the February 1997 announcement of the cloned lamb
Ingrid Shafer's reflections on the February 1997 announcement of the cloned lamb
Philip Hefner's statement on cloning for the President's Bio-ethics Commission
CCRS Discussion Seminars: An Ethical, Effective Medical System
Lamb of God : Yahweh = DNA : Molecular Logos
See picture of clone: http://www.usao.edu/~facshaferi/clone5c.jpg
ATGC = alphabet of the genetic language representing the 4 chemicals of DNA.
DNA stores information in the form of four chemicals: "A" (adenine), "T" (thymine), "G" (guanine) and "C" (cytosine).
What's a genome? And why is it important?
· A genome is all the DNA in an organism, including its genes. Genes carry information for making all the proteins required by all organisms. These proteins determine, among other things, how the organism looks, how well its body metabolizes food or fights infection, and sometimes even how it behaves.
· DNA is made up of four similar chemicals (called bases and abbreviated A, T, C, and G) that are repeated millions or billions of times throughout a genome. The human genome, for example, has 3 billion pairs of bases.
· The particular order of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs is extremely important. The order underlies all of life's diversity, even dictating whether an organism is human or another species such as yeast, rice, or fruit fly, all of which have their own genomes and are themselves the focus of genome projects. Because all organisms are related through similarities in DNA sequences, insights gained from nonhuman genomes often lead to new knowledge about human biology.
Note: Concealed within genetics research is man’s presumption to act as God through the work of co-evolution — the perceived capability of man to design himself and his descendants. The cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1996 was considered by modern gnostics to be the “Molecular Logos,” comparing the white sheep to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. One bioethicist stated that the cloning of Dolly elicited in him the idea of cloning Jesus from a drop of blood from the cross. The cloning of Dolly occurred at Geron Biomed, the commercial arm of the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is also the site of a very famous Knights Templar shrine, the Rosslyn Chapel.
“The Second Coming Project is a not-for-profit organization
devoted to bringing about the Second Coming of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, as
prophesied in the Bible, in time for the 2,000th anniversary of his birth. Our
intention is to clone Jesus, utilizing techniques pioneered at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, by
taking an incorrupt cell from one of the many Holy Relics of Jesus' blood and
body that are preserved in churches throughout the world, extracting its DNA,
and inserting into an unfertilized human egg (oocyte), through the now-proven
biological process called nuclear transfer. The fertilized egg, now the zygote
of Jesus Christ, will be implanted into the womb of a young virginal woman
(who has volunteered of her own accord), who will then bring the baby Jesus to
term in a second Virgin Birth.
”If all goes according to plan, the birth will take place on December 25, 2001, thus making Anno Domini 2001 into Anno Domini Novi 1, and all calendrical calculations will begin anew.”
See: First Human Embryo Cloned**
“Considering the sheep/shepherd metaphors in the Bible along with the Hermetic/Masonic axiom ‘as above, so below’ and also the significance placed on ‘sacred’ geometry that a mathematical science like DNA must involve, cloning seems a natural pursuit for modern-day alchemical Knights Templar.” [Chey Simonton]
“Many of biotechnology's specific products and areas of research are aimed at creating new forms in reality---new species--- by asexual means, that reflect esoteric doctrine, such as Rosicrucian alchemical precepts as androgyny and man’s transcendence of all moral absolutes and even physical fixity; perfectibility as preached by the Cathari; and Valentinian gnosticism’s teaching regarding man's return into the ‘one’ via gnosis and enlightenment. All of these are part of the same centuries’ old gnostic streams. The esoteric goal of the ‘new world order’ is a contra-Genesis anti-civilization whose emblem is a gnostic garden of Eden in which man is perfect and incorruptible. Some of the newest technologies, such as organ farming using totipotent stem cells of human embryos are aimed at immortality, at least for the few.” [Suzanne Rini, author, Beyond Abortion: A Chronicle of Fetal Experimentation]
CLONAID – The first human cloning company
RAËL -- the founder of a religious organization called the Raelian Movement which claims that life on earth was created scientifically in laboratories by extraterrestrials whose name (ELOHIM) is found in the Hebrew Bible and was mistranslated by the word “God”, and which also claims that Jesus' resurrection was, in fact, a cloning performed by the ELOHIM -- announced today that he and a group of investors have set up a company named Valiant Venture Ltd which will offer a service called CLONAID® to provide assistance to would be parents willing to have a child cloned from one of them. This service offers a fantastic opportunity to parents with fertility problems or homosexual couples to have a child cloned from one of them.
The Bahamas-based Company plans to build a laboratory in a country where human cloning is not illegal and will offer its services to wealthy parents worldwide. In a first phase, CLONAID® will subcontract existing laboratories to perform the cloning. The company may also sponsor American laboratories working on human cloning and whose government subsidies have been cut by President Clinton.
CLONAID® will charge as low as $200,000 US for its cloning services. The recent cloning of the sheep “Dolly” in Scotland has proven that the technology is now available to complete the operation successfully.
CLONAID®'s Scientific Director, the French scientist Dr. Brigitte Boisselier-Ph.D., sees no ethical problems with the procedure. “Who, today, would be scandalized to the idea of bringing back to life a 10-month old child who died accidentally? The technology allows it, the parents desire it, and I don’t see any ethical problems….” She said.
CLONAID® will also offer a service called INSURACLONE® which, for a $50,000 fee, will provide the sampling and safe storage of cells from a living child or from a beloved person in order to create a clone if the child dies of an incurable disease or through an accident. In the case of a genetic disease, the cells will be preserved until science can genetically repair it before recreating the child (or an adult).
CLONAID®, the first company in the world to offer human cloning, expects to have over a million customers worldwide interested in its services as well as many laboratories to seek partnership with in this venture.
RAËL said: “Cloning will enable mankind to reach eternal life. The next step, like the ELOHIM with their 25,000 years of scientific advance, will be to directly clone an adult person without having to go through the growth process and to transfer memory and personality in this person. Then, we wake up after death in a brand new body just like after a good night sleep!”
IN MEMORIAM: Karl Schmitz-Moormann
IN MEMORIAM: Ralph Wendell Burhoe
LINKS TO RELEVANT SITES
STAR ISLAND--Images from the annual Religion and Science Conference:
Cloning: As Quintessential Human Act
By Philip Hefner
Note: Author Hefner is director of CCRS based at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago [ATS member].
[ Philip Hefner's statement on cloning for the President's Bio-ethics Commission ]
Cloning reveals the human situation today.
The recent appearance of Dolly, the cloned sheep, as well as both the reports and the debate about cloning humans, provide us glimpses into the quintessential character of the human situation today. We are created co-creators (some will say created by God, others, by nature): creatures of nature who themselves intentionally enter into the process of creating nature in startling ways. We face even the prospect of creating ourselves, in ways that are startling and troubling.
The significance of this revelation:
(1) The character of the cloners.
What is the significance of cloning as revelation of the human situation? In the first place, the scientific knowledge that underlies cloning and the technological ability to clone are no more and no less morally charged than is our basic human nature itself. Cloning is neither unnatural or bizarre. Rather, it is in principle an unsurprising exemplification of what we have known for a long time about ourselves. A creature that can, through genetic engineering, totally rearrange the life-forms that constitute our agricultural enterprises could also, almost predictably, be expected to learn eventually how to make itself. The most significant revelation deriving from Dolly will prove to be what it tells us about the cloners, ourselves. In cloning, we are in fact addressing ourselves, and it is about ourselves that we have the greatest questions. We often talk as if to clone is "playing God," when in fact, it is to playing the role of human co-creators, and we have no clear ideas about what that entails. A salutary place to begin would be to ask : What sorts of persons ought to be allowed to control the cloning process? What character and what set of virtues would we want cloners to possess?
(2) Cloned humans are real persons.
The life we engineer in the laboratory is really life. Inasmuch as the cloner of humans is itself a natural creature, cloning must be considered to be a process of nature. As such, cloning humans would finally be more like nature's process of creating identical twins than some Frankenstein horror story. A cloned person would grow and develop through the fundamental processes that govern the development of every other person: a genotype giving rise to a phenotype, a person emerging through the interaction with physical environment and culture. Parenting and schooling would continue to be critical in the development of a personal identity, since no human being can survive by genes alone. Those of us who believe that God started this whole process in creation and sustains it from day to day would conclude that this cloned person is, like the rest of us, in the image of God and possesses a soul (given that there are several different theological notions of what it means to have a soul)… [emphasis added. Article continued on CCRS web site.]
AAAS Program of Dialogue Between Science and Religion (DBSR)
American Scientific Affiliation (ASA)
Boston Theological Institute: Religion and Science Program
Center for the Study of Values in Public Life
Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences
Counterbalance: Integration of Science and Religion
Discover Magazine: Online Edition
European Society for the Study of Science and Theology
Global Brain / Superorganism
Global Ethic Center
Global Ethic Foundation
Journal of Memetics: Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
Institute for Theological Encounter with Science & Technology
Institute on Religion in an Age of Science
John Templeton Foundation http://www.templeton.org/
Pascal Centre for Advanced Studies in Faith and Science
Principia Cybernetica Web
Science and Religion at Southeast Missouri State University
Science and Christianity - Allies or Enemies?
Science and Spirit Resources
Teilhard de Chardin
The Vatican Observatory
Ultimate Reality and Meaning: International Society and Journal
This site created and maintained by Ingrid H. Shafer,
Philosophy and Religion, Interdisciplinary Studies,
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
Last updated 5 April 1999
Chicago Center for Religion and Science
Note found on CCRS web site about name change:
Chicago Center for Religion and Science has changed its name to Zygon Center for Religion and Science
Be sure to visit our new domain at http://zygoncenter.org/
Note: The Zygon Center web site is under construction while the transition is being made from the Chicago Center, but the information found on both web sites represents the thinking of this merged entity––Chicago Center/Zygon Center.
Note the Flash/cultic images after web site has loaded.
Introduction to the Zygon Center for Religion and Science
The Parliament of the World's Religions, Cape Town, 1999: a Pictorial Chronicle http://zygoncenter.org/parliament99/
Note: a single link from the Parliament of the World Religions links to:
Ecumene: A Meeting Place for World Religions http://www.ecumene.org/
For this domain I have deliberately chosen the name ECUMENE, evoking the image of a house or household, since it neatly links several major aspects of human life that can help or obstruct the building of a global community: Ecology, Economics, Ethics, and Religion. The term economy" is derived from the Greek word OIKONOMIA (management of the houshold or stewardship). OIKONOMIA contains the word OIKOS (inhabited house) which also gives us the term "ecumenical" -- pertaining to the OIKOUMENE, the inhabited earth or earth household as well as the terms "ecology" and "ecological" -- dealing with the relationships of living organisms and their environment. The notions "household" and "stewardship" contain implicitly the expectation of human kinship and mutually beneficial exchange of goods and services.
The ECUMENE domain provides cyber-homes for organizations dedicated to bridging the ideological boundaries that divide humanity and have been used for millennia to rationalize suspicion, proselytism, hatred, aggression, and warfare. The Internet is giving us the opportunity both to focus on what human beings have in common and to discover, come to respect, and celebrate our many faces and varied ways. People from all over the world can now collaborate on countless projects to "build the earth," in the words of Teilhard de Chardin. Knowledge can be shared across borders and all can be simultaneously learners and teachers. From the perspective of cyberspace the world of communication and human relationships is as much one as the physical earth is when viewed from outer space. But unity does not mean uniformity and genuine globalization does not mean loss of what is best in a culture's tradition; it means enrichment, healing, cross-fertilization, and growth. It means that all human beings can finally begin to see themselves as members of one big, sprawling, diverse, noisy, argumentative, but ultimatly caring and mutually supportive family.
[The following letter posted on the Ecumene web site was written in 1974 by Ingrid Shafer, who maintains the Zygon Center web site.]
A Meta Religion to bridge chasms and celebrate creative spiritual diversity
Ingrid Shafer 1974
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 1997 01:48:39 -0500
Sender: The Global Ethic Project
From: Ingrid Shafer <ihs@IONET.NET>
Dear Vatican2ites and G-Ethicists:
I am digging through old boxes. The following draft comes from a 1974 layer, an especially painful period of my life. It seems relevant to the concerns of both lists. Besides, it's been buried for 23 years!
The time has come for a new religion--not to supplant or replace the religions of old, but to connect, complete, and complement them. The time is ripe for a new faith--a faith without a church, without an anointed priesthood, without offerings and buildings and material trappings, without all the symbols of wealth and power which have polluted the waters of religious intention since times immemorial. This new faith transcends all religions by accepting their partial validity while denying that there is any One True Path or exclusive mode of salvation. This new faith can be followed by adherents of all religions and none, simply by appealing to their own basic tenets of love and mutual cooperation. It demands of them only a deepening of their commitment to the highest ideals of their particular faith (in the broadest sense to include secular humanism, for example) and the willingness to accept truth both as having a transcendent ground and as an organic, dynamic function of space and time…
There are no church services, no sacraments, no sermons, no specific commandments--apart from the insistence on leading our lives in the spirit of truth and love, and on treating others fairly, as equals, as person worthy of respect, the way we would want them to deal with us. There are no prayers for personal gain or miraculous intercession into the inexorable workings of nature. The only prayer wich [sic] followers might find helpful is a quick thought which requires no particular bodily attitude or sacred environment: "Divine source of love and truth, be my guide through darkness and confusion." This prayer should be repeated as many times during the day as opportunities for rash and unloving actions arise. The thought alone might stop the lying word, the destructive act, the vengeful plot…
Peace, Ingrid …
Posted 31 December 1998
Last revised 17 September, 2000