Biographies

Presenters

Ilia Delio

Ilia Delio is a Franciscan sister, American theologian, and former scientist who continues the tradition of Teilhard de Chardin through an inspiring and groundbreaking theology at the intersection of religion and science. Integrating the universal truths of Christian thought with contemporary scientific insights—from consciousness and A.I., to evolution and complexity—her work sees the unfolding of the cosmos as an ever-intensifying “falling in love,” a love that is cosmically creative and increasingly conscious. Her vision of God and creation in mutual and deepening relationship is oriented toward life abundant and making all things new.

Ilia currently holds the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University, and is the author of twenty books including Care for Creation (coauthored with Keith Warner and Pamela Woods) which won two Catholic Press Book Awards in 2009, first place for social concerns and second place in spirituality. Her book The Emergent Christ won a third place Catholic Press Book Award in 2011 for the area of Science and Religion. Her recent books include The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love (Orbis, 2013), which received the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award and a third place Catholic Press Association Award for Faith and Science. Most recently, her book Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness has been shortlisted for the 2019 Michael Ramsey Prize given by the Archbishop of Canterbury. She is the general editor of the Orbis Book Series, “Catholicity in an Evolving Universe,” of which several books have won Catholic Press Book Awards. Ilia is the recipient of two honorary doctorates, one from St. Francis University in 2015 and one from Sacred Heart University in 2020.

Ursula King

Ursula King is an internationally renowned scholar on spirituality, interfaith dialogue, women and religion. Professor King has published and broadcast widely, especially on gender issues in religions, method and theory, modern Hinduism, interfaith dialogue, spirituality, and on the French thinker, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Educated in Germany, France, India and England, presently Ursula is Professor Emerita of Theology and Religious Studies and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol. She has held several visiting chairs in the USA and Norway, and been awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Edinburgh, Oslo, and Dayton, Ohio.

Among her publications on spirituality are The Search for Spirituality: Our Global Search for a Spiritual Life; Christian Mystics: Their Lives and Legacies Throughout the Ages; the edited volumes Gender, Religion and Diversity; Religion and Gender; Spirituality and Society in the New Millennium; and Faith and Praxis in a Postmodern Age. Her publications on Teilhard include Christ in All Things: Exploring Spirituality with Teilhard de Chardin; Teilhard de Chardin and Eastern Religions: Spirituality and Mysticism in an Evolutionary World; The Spirit of Earth: Reflections on Teilhard de Chardin and Global Spirituality; as well as one of the finest of Teilhard’s biographies, Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Teilhard de Chardin.

John F. Haught

John Haught is one of the most creative and constructive theologians in the field of science and religion, providing a brilliant and exhilarating analysis of what faith might mean in an age of science. Deeply influenced by philosophers and theologians such as Teilhard, Lonergan, Polanyi, and Whitehead, Haught’s contribution is intellectually adventurous, ever challenging his listeners to think anew about the much misunderstood relationship between religion and evolution.

His deep concern for issues such as ecology, transhumanism, the value of human life, and the meaning of suffering and death gives further depth and relevance to his analysis, offers a way for believers to think about how religion relates to discoveries in modern science, and, as a consequence, suggests the possibility of a robust and credible faith.

John Haught is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University and the author of 20 books, more than 100 book chapters and articles as well as hundreds of invited lectures and major academic presentations. Haught plumbs the profound depths of the universe and offers fresh insight into the biblical nature of hope. In order to clarify his position with the “New Atheists” and Creationists, folks who differ with his approach, he has engaged in countless stirring debates, and in 2005, testified as an expert witness at the “intelligent design” trial in Harrisburg.

Kathleen Duffy

Kathleen Duffy, SSJ is Professor Emerita of Physics at Chestnut Hill College where she directs the Institute for Religion and Science. She is editor of Teilhard Studies and serves on the Advisory Boards of the American Teilhard Association and Cosmos and Creation, and holds an honorary doctorate from Iona College. She has published Teilhard’s Mysticism: Seeing the Inner Face of Evolution (Orbis Books, 2014), which won a second place Catholic Press Book Award for Faith and Science, as well as Teilhard’s Struggle: Embracing the Work of Evolution (2019), and an edited volume of essays entitled Rediscovering Teilhard’s Fire (St. Joseph’s University Press, 2010). She has also published several book chapters and articles that deal with the way Teilhard’s religious essays connect with modern science. Kathleen guides evening, weekend, and week-long retreats on topics related to Teilhard’s life and work.

Centering Prayer Leader

Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom paths. Cynthia is a core faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation alongside fellow teachers and colleagues James Finley and Richard Rohr.

Cynthia is a member of the GPIW (Global Peace Initiative for Women) Contemplative Council and recipient of the 2014 Contemplative Voices award from Shalem Institute. She is a founding Director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School. She continues to contribute to The Contemplative Society in her role as Principal Teacher and advisor.

Cynthia is the author of several books: The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, The Wisdom Jesus, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Mystical Hope, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, Chanting the Psalms, and Love is Stronger than Death. She was a principal collaborator with Ilia in producing Personal Transformation and a New Creation: the Spiritual Revolution of Beatrice Bruteau (Orbis, 2016), contributing the biography of Bruteau plus a major essay on Teilhard. Her explorations of Teilhard also figure prominently in the most recent edition of Oneing, published by the Center for Action and Contemplation, and in her forthcoming book, Another Intensity: Exploring the Imaginal Realm (Shambhala, 2020).

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