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.

Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox (b. 1940) is an internationally acclaimed spiritual theologian, Episcopal priest, and activist who was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. He holds a doctorate, summa cum laude, in the History and Theology of Spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris and has devoted 45 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality, which is rooted in ancient Judeo-Christian teaching, inclusive of today’s science and world spiritual traditions; welcoming of the arts and artists; wisdom centered, prophetic, and committed to eco-justice, social justice and gender justice.

Fox has reinvented forms of education and worship and awakened millions to the much neglected earth-based mystical tradition of the West, revivifying awareness of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Thomas Aquinas, and Thomas Merton, among other premodern and post-modern spiritual pioneers. He has authored more than 35 books on spirituality and contemporary culture, among them: Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, The Reinvention of Work, A Spirituality Named Compassion and Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times. His books, celebrated around the world, have been translated into 73 languages.

His recent projects include Order of the Sacred Earth, and Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox. www.matthewfox.org

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).

Workshop Leaders

Andrew Del Rossi

Andrew Del Rossi’s professional journey has allowed him to serve as a theology teacher, service learning educator, campus minister, non-profit operator, and palliative care consultant for alternative and holistic therapies. He is currently publishing and presenting on spirituality and psychology, as well as creating a fully-immersive audio-visual meditation experience guided by Teilhard’s prayers and writings. Andrew resides in New Jersey with his wife and their two children.

Daryl Domning

Daryl Domning is a paleontologist studying fossil marine mammals, and a professor of anatomy at Howard University in Washington, DC. He has an additional interest in the theological implications of evolution. In 2006, with the late Catholic theologian Monika Hellwig, he published Original Selfishness: Original Sin and Evil in the Light of Evolution.

Michelle M. Francl

Michelle M. Francl, is Chair and Professor of Chemistry at Bryn Mawr College and an Adjunct Scholar of the Vatican Observatory. She is a quantum chemist whose reflections on struggling to live a contemplative life in the midst of the everyday chaos that comes with being a scientist, teacher, wife and mother can be found in a number of print and online venues. Her most recent book is Not By Bread Alone, reflections on the scriptures for Lent 2020, from Liturgical Press and more of her writing can be found at michellefrancldonnay.com.

Margaret Ruth Mell

Margaret Ruth Mell is Visiting Assistant Professor of Practical Spirituality in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University. She holds a doctorate from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, CA; a Master of Music also from Temple University; and Certifications in Spiral Dynamics, Generating Transformative Change, Leadership Pilgrimage, Integral Education, and Trauma-sensitive Mindfulness.

She is also the Founding Director of the Community Arts School (now titled MUSE), Oakland, CA; Director of Liturgy and of Music (Roman Catholic parishes); Instrumental Music Teacher; as well as professional musician in Classical, chamber, opera, and ballet orchestras on flute, piccolo, and alto flute.

Margaret’s life, work, and research merge at the dynamic intersections of sound and music, spirituality, creativity, and contemplative, developmental, and integrative pedagogies. In her research, she explores, evolves/expands/imagines, and works/improvises with emerging inter-cultural ways / manifestations of knowing, communicating, and acting in our contemporary world.

In her current practical spirituality classrooms, Margaret opens a space for students of all ages to explore a balanced variety of contemplative practices; develop a full-spectrum of whole-person, inner-outer awareness and consciousness; investigate diverse creative modalities; and, work with multiple ways to integrate theoretical learning with real-lived experiences.

Charlotte Tomaino

Charlotte A. Tomaino is a Clinical Neuropsychologist whose career has been dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of brain function. She is likewise a former Maryknoll Sister, bringing a perspective on the brains capacity for the power of belief to heal and create wellness. As a clinician she has enjoyed the journey of growth, exploration and recovery of brain function during the innovative years as the field of Neuropsychology expanded with the continual discoveries of how our brains work and what we can do to engage them in new ways.

Her teaching interests, coming from her clinical observations and experience for 40 years, have been focused on the power of the human spirit to overcome the seemingly impossible through the effect of choice, grace and knowledge about how the brain expands in its amazing abilities. Her message of the power of the brain’s neuroplasticity comes from witnessing first hand the transformational phases of peoples lives when intention, knowledge and grace are combined to create a new, fulfilling life after brain trauma.

Dr. Tomaino’s book, Awakening the Brain: The Neuropsychology of Grace is based in both her journey as a treating neuropsychologist and her own spiritual path as a former Maryknoll Sister and a contemplative.

Omega Center Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

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.

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