Zygon Center for Religion and Science heading
1100 E. 55th St., Chicago, IL 60615-5199, Tel: 773.256.0670, FAX: 773.256.0682, zcrs@zygoncenter.org

WHO WE ARE


Director: Lea Schweitz
After graduating from Luther College with majors in biology and philosophy, Lea F. Schweitz came to Chicago to study philosophy of religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School. In 2007, Schweitz joined the Zygon Center as Associate Director and now serves as its fourth Director. She feels that it is a privilege and pleasure to join in the work of the Zygon Center's founders and past directors and to be a part of this vibrant community of concerned citizens, pastors, students, and scholars.

She is also passionate about teaching. As Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology/Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology, she has taught courses for community members and students at the Master's and Doctoral level. In 2010, she was awarded a fellowship from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.

Schweitz completed her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2008. Her research revolves around the question of what it means to be human, a matter that she believes is uniquely illuminated by conversations between religion and science. Her dissertation, entitled "The Difference between the Mirror and One Who Sees: The Theological Anthropology of G.W. Leibniz," focuses on Leibniz's attempt to understand humanity as uniquely related to God and yet embedded in the natural order. It was supported by fellowship awards from the Martin Marty Center for Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago and the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame.

Currently, she is working on several articles that continue to join an early modern historical perspective to contemporary problems of theology, philosophy, and science and religion. She contends that this historical perspective, like work in religion and science, both opens up ways to ask new and better questions and sheds light on how we see the present.

When she's not reading early modern philosophy or planning ZCRS's next exciting event, she can be found cheering for the Chicago Cubs and enjoying Chicago's lively music scene with her husband, Kurt, who is a composer and jazz bassist, or walking in the park with her son, Isaac.
        Email: lschweitz@lstc.edu



Associate Director: Gayle Woloschak
Gayle Woloschak is currently a professor and molecular biologist working in the Department of Radiology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Her primary research is focused on understanding molecular events that lead to cancer and developing nano-devices for intracellular gene manipulation. Dr. Woloschak received her Ph.D. from the Medical College of Ohio in Medical Sciences with a specialization in immunology/microbiology. She did post-doctoral work training at the Mayo Clinic in molecular immunology and remained on staff there for several years. She also worked at Argonne National Laboratory as senior molecular biologist prior to moving to Northwestern. Dr. Woloschak is on a large number of scientific review panels (NASA, National Institutes of Health, e.g.), editorial boards, and scientific committees. She is also an active member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and currently serves as a member of the SCOBAs (Standing Council of Orthodox Bishops of the Americas) Social and Moral Issues Commission.
        Email: g-woloschak@northwestern.edu



 

2010 Dan Hille, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

 

Visiting Professor of Religion and Science: Carol Rausch Albright
Carol Rausch Albright is Visiting Professor of Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She has authored, co-authored, or edited four books and published more than a dozen articles and book chapters in the field of religion and science. She and her husband, John R. Albright, served as regional co-directors for the Science and Religion Course Program funded by the John Templeton Foundation, first in the Southeastern United States, and then in the Midwest. For nine years, Carol was Executive Editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. She has also been a science writer, an encyclopedia editor (World Book), and director of campus ministry at Oregon State University. Carol serves on the Board of the Copenhagen University Science and Religion Network, and is treasurer of the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (CASIRAS), a supporting organization of ZCRS. She is Past President of the American Theological Society, Midwest Division, and serves on the ATS Executive Committee. Carol has presented several endowed lectures and was interviewed on the Emmy-award-winning series "Matter and Beyond" on EBRU satellite television. She has two sons and five grandson whose progress she observes with pleasure. For more information, see www.carolalbright.net.
        Email: albright1@aol.com



Visiting Professor of Religion and Science: John Albright
Dr. John R. Albright is Visiting Professor of Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. John retired in 2004 from Purdue University Calumet, where he was Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics since 1995. Prior to his position at Purdue, he spent 32 years at Florida State University, where he was Professor of Physics and Associate Chair of the Physics Department, with a special joint appointment in the Humanities Program. In that connection, he taught religion and science courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels, both of which were recognized in international competitions by the John Templeton Foundation. Also at Florida State, John was nominated by his students and given a major teaching award at commencement. John has published more than ten articles and book chapters in religion and science and more than fifty articles in physics, and also co-authored a textbook, Introduction to Atomic and Nuclear Physics. He and his wife, Carol Rausch Albright, served as regional co-directors for the Science and Religion Course Program funded by the John Templeton Foundation, first in the Southeastern United States, and then in the Midwest. He also served on several governance committees for the Lutheran Church in America, has been a featured speaker at regional church conventions, and helped to design the Lutheran Book of Worship. He currently serves on the ELCA Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology and on the Ecumenical Roundtable on Science, Technology, and the Church.
        Email: jraphysics@aol.com



Adjunct Professor of Religion and Science: Thomas Gilbert
Dr. Thomas Gilbert is Adjunct Professor of Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Before coming to the position, Dr. Gilbert, spent over 30 years at Argonne National Labortory, where he retired as senior physicist in 1987. While at Argonne, Dr. Gilbert worked in the areas of Theoretical Chemical Physics and Environmental Risk Analysis. In 1988, he helped create the Zygon Center with Philip Hefner. In 1989, Dr. Gilbert created the Epic of Creation lecture series. Over the years, he has written numerous articles and book chapters.
        Email: winitom@concentric.net



Executive Coordinator: Jim Schaal
As Executive Coordinator, Jim Schaal works closely with the academic leaders of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science on strategic planning, program design, and fundraising and takes a lead role in communications, event planning, and finance. Jim joined the Zygon Center in 2008, bringing experience in science-religion program management as well as in nonprofit and corporate settings.

Jim Schaal attended Deep Springs College and earned a dual baccalaureate degree in physics and philosophy from the University of California, Davis. From 1999 to 2004, he was program director of the Science and the Spiritual Quest program with the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Among other publications, he is co-editor with Philip Clayton of Practicing Science, Living Faith: Interviews with Twelve Leading Scientists (Columbia University Press 2007). From 1996 to 1999 he served as Development Director and Community Organizer for Peninsula Interfaith Action. Currently completing the M.Div. degree at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he served as ministry intern at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, Jim is a candidate for ordination in the United Church of Christ.

Jim is married to Sarah Conning, who is an oncology social worker at the University of Chicago Medical Center; together they served for three years as resident managers at the nearby Ronald McDonald House while raising their two young children.
        E-mail: zcrs@zygoncenter.org



Projects Administrator; Assistant for Epic of Creation: David Glover
        Email: epic@lstc.edu



Senior Fellow: Philip Hefner
Dr. Hefner directed the Zygon Center from its beginnings in 1988 to 2003. Hefner received his PhD in theology from the University of Chicago. He is currently an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), professor emeritus of systematic theology, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and editor-in-chief of the Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. Hefner has written 8 books and more than 150 articles. His most notable book, The Human Factor: Evolution, Culture, Religion (Fortress Press, 1993) received the Templeton Foundation's Best Books in Religion and Science Award. He has also given many lectures over the years, with his most recent appearances being a series of lectures for the Metanexus Institute in 2003-2004 centering on the theme of created co-creator and being the featured speaker at the 2006 Goshen Conference on Religion and Science.
        Email: pnhefner@sbcglobal.net

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