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The Pursuit of Immortality


for Members

The Pursuit of Immortality

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Nour Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences


Are we immortal? Do our souls exist beyond our bodies? What scientific evidence is there for mystical experience? These questions and others will be addressed from a cultural, historical, and scientific perspective by evolutionary biologist Kenneth Miller and theologians John Haught and Nancey Murphy.

View Archived Webcast


Lisa Miller, Newsweek


John Haught, PhD, Georgetown University

Kenneth Miller, PhD, Brown University

Nancey Murphy, PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary

Reception to follow.

This event is part of a 6-part series, Perspectives on the Self: Conversations on Identity and Consciousness, bringing together experts from science and the humanities for an interdisciplinary discussion of the evolving notion and experience of the Self.

To Be or Not To Be: The Self as Illusion, December 7, 2010
Quid Pro Quo: The Ecology of The Self, February 23, 2011
The Pursuit of Immortality: From the Ego to the Soul, March 23, 2011
A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Linking Belief to Behavior, April 28, 2011
Me, Myself, and I: The Rise of the Modern Self, May 12, 2011
Who Am I?: Beyond 'I Think, Therefore I Am', May 24, 2011

Each event in the series will also be broadcast as a webinar.

Please note: 
Transmission of presentations via the webinar is subject to individual consent by the speakers. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that every speaker's presentation will be broadcast in full via the webinar. To access all speakers' presentations in full, we invite you to attend the live event in New York City where possible.

Presented by


John Haught, PhD

Georgetown University

John F. Haught (PhD, Catholic University, 1970) is Senior Fellow, Science & Religion, at the Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University, where he was formerly Professor in the Department of Theology (1970-2005). His area of specialization is systematic theology, with a particular interest in issues pertaining to science, cosmology, evolution, ecology, and religion. He has written eighteen books, most of them on issues in science and religion. His latest is Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and The Drama of Life (2010). He lectures internationally on many issues related to science and religion. In 2008 he received a "Friend of Darwin Award" from the National Center for Science Education. He testified for the plaintiffs in the Harrisburg, PA "Intelligent Design trial" (Kitzmiller et al. vs. Dover Board of Education). In April 2009 he received an honorary doctorate from Louvain University in Belgium.  

Kenneth Miller, PhD

Brown University

Kenneth R. Miller is Professor of Biology at Brown University. A cell biologist, he serves as an advisor to PBS NewsHour, a daily news and public affairs television program, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  In 2005, he served as lead witness in the trial on evolution and intelligent design in Dover, Pennsylvania.  His popular book, Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution, addresses the scientific status of evolutionary theory and its relationship to religious views of nature. His latest book, Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul, addresses the continuing struggle over how evolution is to be understood in American society. His honors include the Presidential Citation of the American Institute of Biological Science (2005), the Public Service Award of the American Society for Cell Biology (shared with Dr. Barbara Forrest, 2006), the Distinguished Service Award of the National Association of Biology teachers (2008), and the Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award from AAAS (2009).

Lisa Miller


Lisa Miller is an award-winning journalist in the field of religion.  The religion editor at Newsweek, she writes a regular column on the intersection of spirituality, belief, ethics, and politics. Formerly on staff at The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

Nancey Murphy, PhD

Fuller Theological Seminary

Nancey Murphy is Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA.  She received her PhD from UC-Berkeley in 1980 and her ThD from the Graduate Theological Union in 1987. Her first book, Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning (1990), won the American Academy of Religion award for excellence. She is the author of nine other books, most recently Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? (2006) and (co-authored with Warren Brown) Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will (2007). She has also co-edited eleven volumes, including  Philosophy, Science, and Divine Action (with L. Schultz and R.J. Russell, 2009) and  Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will (with G.F.R. Ellis and T. O'Connor, 2009). Her research interests focus on the role of modern and postmodern philosophy in shaping Christian theology, relations between theology and science, and relations among philosophy of mind, neuroscience, and Christian anthropology.


Presented by

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