Oct 112010
Authors: Sean Bucher

David Deane believes a healthy debate can be facilitated as long as there is an interest in developing the world beyond religious tensions.

As part of the Theologian in Residence program, Deane spoke on multiple beliefs and the relevance each holds in 21st century practice. He is a former CSU philosophy instructor and current assistant professor at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“That’s what is nice about theology. It gives us a different viewpoint,” said Kelli Lackett, a CSU alumna and Fort Collins resident who attended Deane’s lecture Monday in the Lory Student Center.

The Theologian in Residence program invites religious experts to speak at CSU and in the Fort Collins community. The programs aim “to bridge the church and the university,” said Jared Orsi, an associate professor of history and president of the organization’s board of directors.

The non-profit organization, which is associated with Blessed John XXIII Roman Catholic University Parish, originated in Boulder 40 years ago and came to Fort Collins in 1974.

“The most important thing is that faith and intellect can be explored as conflicting and antagonizing roles,” Orsi said.

Orsi hopes that speakers like Deane will spark an increase in community interest and bolster the even turnout as the year progresses.

Theologian in Residence plans to bring Rabbi’s Shoshana Leis and Ben Newman from Congregation Har Shalom to campus on Nov. 1 to speak about the ancient wisdom of Kabbalah, which is a “Jewish mystic that explores the relationship between God and creation,” Orsi said.

“(Deane) does an amazing job of connecting the world of the church to the academy and faith to intellect,” Orsi said.

Deane received his doctorate from Trinity College in Dublin and spent time at Blessed John XXIII as a theologian-in-residence.

“In modernity, we tried to put in place a system that hopes for good results but with crap people,” Deane said.

He also discussed how controversial issues like the theory of global warming and the coninual progression of scientific knowledage place within today’s church.

“It’s a crisis. We’ve closed ourselves off from arguments,” Deane said. He believes that healthy discussion and debate have been pushed to the wayside for anything pertaining to science and religion.

Lackett said she was impressed with CSU’s open beliefs and how the university encourages theologians to visit campus and share a different take on religion.

“The university shouldn’t be afraid to have people talk about religion,” Lackett said.

Students looking to get involved with Theologian in Residence event planning and speaker hospitality can contact Orsi at 970-491-5517 or Jared.Orsi@colostate.edu.

Staff writer Sean Bucher can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:17 pm

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