The Conference on Faith and Science (COFAS) at Arizona State University will take place online on February 12-13, 2021 (Friday 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. MST and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. MST). COFAS 2021 will share the theme of COFAS 2019: “Pursuing Science and Christian Faith for Human Flourishing.” COFAS is free, but donations are accepted (and appreciated!) at www.azccs.net/donate. The conference is open to everyone; however, college students, faculty, clergy and campus ministers are prioritized. Registration is required as the number of attendees is limited. To register, click on the appropriate button above.
The opening session of COFAS 2021 will be on Friday, February 12, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. MST – Arizona (9:00 – 11:00 p.m. EST). “Why Science and Faith Need Each Other” will be the title of the keynote address by Prof. Elaine Howard Ecklund. She is the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Religion and Public Life Program at Rice University. Her sociological research examines how identities and beliefs are related to attitudes about science and religion. She is the author of 80 research articles and six books, most recently Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion (2019) and Why Science and Faith Need Each Other: Eight Shared Values that Move Us Beyond Fear (2020). Prof. Ecklund’s COFAS presentation will also be the Veritas Forum at ASU for 2021 (www.veritas.org/asu).
Confirmed speakers for Saturday, February 13, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. MST, include:
- Denis Alexander (University of Cambridge)
- Spencer Banzhaf (Georgia State University)
- Stephen Barr (University of Delaware)
- Justin Barrett (Blueprint 1543)
- Marvin Bittinger (Indiana and Purdue Universities)
- Andrew Briggs (University of Oxford)
- Greg Cootsona (California State University at Chico)
- Gregg Davidson (University of Mississippi)
- Edward (Ted) Davis (Messiah University)
- Georgia Dunston (Howard University)
- Elaine Howard Ecklund (Rice University)
- Sarah Hamersma (Syracuse University)
- Mary Hirschfeld (Villanova University)
- Colin Humphreys (University of Cambridge)
- Douglas Lauffenburger (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
- Abraham Lee (University of California, Irvine)
- Lydia Manikonda (Rensselaer Polytechnic)
- William Newsome (Stanford University)
- William Phillips (University of Maryland)
- Drew Rick-Miller (Science for the Church)
- Ryan Hanning (University of Mary)
- Rebecca Dorsey Sok (Blueprint 1543)
- Bethany Sollereder (University of Oxford)
- Praveen Sethupathy (Cornell University)
- Francis Su (Harvey Mudd College)
- James Ungureanu (University of Wisconsin)
- Brandon Vaidyanathan (Catholic University of America)
- Leslie Wickman (Azusa Pacific University)
There will be an optional (but highly recommended) virtual Happy Hour from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. MST so that participants can chat with one another after the formal conference has ended. We are using special features of Whova event management software to make this interaction both fun and productive.
COFAS will be a conference of scholars — professors, students, and life-long learners — who are friends of faith, friends of science, and friends of one another, or who are seeking to begin or renew these friendships. Rather than being a series of presentations of academic papers, the focus of COFAS will be informed, respectful, and productive conversations among scholarly friends. Think of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other Inklings chatting at their weekly gatherings by the hearth of the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford. While we may have disagreements — sometimes strong disagreements — about scientific theories, theological doctrines, or beverage preferences, we are committed to love one another as brothers and sisters so that the world will know we are followers of Jesus Christ (John 13:35). In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.
COFAS 2021 is made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to the Arizona Center for Christian Studies. See www.templeton.org/grant/cores-cofas-conversations-on-religion-ethics-and-science-conversations-on-faith-and-science. Additional support is provided by Christian student and faculty organizations at Arizona State University* and by Grand Canyon University, as well as by the American Scientific Affiliation, Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation; Consortium of Christian Study Centers; Faraday Institute for Science and Religion; Science for the Church, Veritas Forum, and other sponsors. The opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation, the Arizona Center for Christian Studies, or other sponsors.
*Sponsoring organizations at Arizona State University include the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), Aslan Society (Fellowship of Christian Faculty and Staff), Catholic Newman Center, Campus Christian Center, Chi Alpha, Connecting International Communities, The Faithful City, Graduate Christian Fellowship, Oasis Campus Ministry, and Young Life College.