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American theologian specializing in science and religion to speak at UNG

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The University of North Georgia (UNG) will host Delio on from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, as part of the Mountain Top Lectures series. She will present three lectures, with the first starting at 9 a.m. in Hoag auditorium on the UNG Dahlonega Campus. Breaks and a lunch follow each lecture.

Author, national lecturer and Franciscan sister are just a few descriptions of Dr. Ilia Delio. Suzanne Waller, board member of Mountain Top Lecture Series, used one word to describe Delio — brilliant.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) will host Delio on from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, as part of the Mountain Top Lectures series. She will present three lectures, with the first starting at 9 a.m. in Hoag auditorium on the UNG Dahlonega Campus. Breaks and a lunch follow each lecture.

Dr. Michael Proulx, an associate professor of history at UNG, said Delio is a fascinating speaker since she is well versed in the sciences as a trained neuroscientist and in religion as a trained theologian and Franciscan nun. Delio is the chairwoman of theology at Villanova University.

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Dr. Ilia Delio will present three lectures with the first starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, in Hoag auditorium on the UNG Dahlonega Campus. Breaks and a lunch follow each lecture, which are part of the Mountain Top Lectures series. 

"She is interested in bridging the gap that exists between science and religion," Proulx said. "Because in some people's minds, they think there is no evolution because it challenges their scriptural interpretation of their faith. But this either-or view of science and evolution doesn't have to mean that there can't be an idea that joins the two."

Fostering a better understanding of religion, theology, spirituality, and science and how they impact people's lives in the 21st century is the mission of the Mountain Top Lecture series.

"We hope to do that by introducing and exposing students to a variety of concepts under these themes," Waller said.

Delio lectures on topics including evolution, artificial intelligence, consciousness, culture, and religion.  Her discussion topic for Nov. 4 is titled "God, Evolution and the Power of Love." She will deliver three lectures, posing the questions: How did we become disconnected? Does science change our understanding of God? Where are we going and how will we get there?

Delio will address these questions with her unique perspective and education. Along with her bachelor's and master's degrees in biology and a doctorate in pharmacology, Delio has a master's and doctorate degree in historical theology. She also is the recipient of a Templeton Course in Science and Religion award and author of 17 books including "The Unbearable Wholeness of Being."

Waller said it is important for UNG students to hear Delio and other Mountain Top Lecturers, especially since their demographic is the fastest-growing group who identify themselves as non-religious but spiritual.

"People in this age bracket and specifically college students are looking for a way to marry and integrate spirituality and science," Waller said. "They require an incorporation of science and spirituality."

Waller hopes after hearing Delio, students and others attending the lectures will feel that "they are not alone in their desire for an inclusive spirituality."

Proulx hopes more students attend since it is an interesting and timely topic, which he feels many students may feel passionate about.

"We also want students to interact with the (Mountain Top) members who are older and have lived through a life of great change," he said. "They can bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to interact with the speaker as well as the students."

The lecture series schedule is:

  • 8-8:45 a.m. registration
  • 9-10:30 a.m. Lecture 1 — How did we become disconnected?
  • 10:30-11 a.m. break
  • 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lecture 2 — Does science change our understanding of God?
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. lunch for $18 (not free for faculty, staff and students)
  • 1:30-3 p.m. Lecture 3 — Where are we going and how will we get there?
  • 3 p.m. book signing

All UNG faculty, staff and students may attend the lecture for free with proper identification. For community members, tickets are $60 in advance and $70 at the door.

For more information or to register, visit the Mountain Top Lecture’s website.

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