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Past Conferences

“The Idea That Wouldn’t Die”

The Warfare between Science and Religion

May 14 - 16, 2015

This spring the Issachar Fund and the University of Wisconsin-Madison co-sponsored an important three-day academic conference on the belief that an inevitable and irreconcilable conflict exists between science and religion. The gathering brought together more than thirty scholars – including historians, sociologists and philosophers – to consider topics such as the origin of the thesis, its reception, the responses it drew from apologists for various faith traditions, and its continued prominence in public life. Participants hope to shed light on how the conflict thesis, in a career spanning roughly a century and a half, has profoundly affected both popular culture and intellectual discourse.

Despite its clear limitations as an accurate characterization of relations between science and religion, the conflict thesis remains a potent idea in modern life that demands further scholarly attention.  The chief aims of this spring’s conference were twofold: (1) to investigate historically the origins and reception of the conflict thesis and (2) to explore, through sociological data, the reasons for the continuing hold of the thesis on much of the public imagination. The conference promises to provide much needed perspective to the often bitter controversies that frequently surround contemporary public discussions of the relationship between science and religion. 

Sponsored by

Univeristy of WiIssachar Fund Logo


Creation Logo

Creation, Our Shared Inheritance

May 27-30, 2015

As people of Scripture, Muslims and Christians share a common inheritance in creation as the bounty and token of our Maker, Creator, and Judge.  Islam and Christianity affirm equally the teaching that God has set us on earth to serve Him and our fellow human beings, and to that end has commissioned us to be caretakers of creation as His deputies.

Creation: Our Shared Inheritance was an international conference designed to bring together the foremost Muslim and Christian scholars and practitioners to discuss Creation Care. This event took place in Spring 2015 with an opening message from Ecumenical Patriach Bartholomew, which can be read here. Through this conference, we hope to begin exploration of our joint stewardship of creation in light of expanding frontiers of science and technology and of developments and opportunities arising from them. We are convinced that the interfaith exploration of this subject is timely and will significantly contribute to the faith-based creation care conversation. Through the conference we sought to affirm that there is much in our respective Scriptures to inform and guide us on the path of pursuing our role as caretakers of creation in service to God and to one another.

Additional Readings from the conference:


          Conference Steering Committee Members

Abdullah T. Antepli
Chief Representative of Muslim Affairs
Duke Divinity School

Chaplain Omer Bajwa
Coordinator of Muslim Life
Yale University

Dr. Kurt Berends
Issachar Fund

Dr. Jonathan J. Bonk
Executive Director Emeritus 
Overseas Ministries Study Center, New Haven
Research Professor of Mission
Boston University

Michael Glerup, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Center for Early African Christianity
Eastern University, St. Davids, PA

Dr. Sandra Toenies Keating
Associate Professor of Theology
Providence College

Dr. Charles F M Kingdon

Dr. Lamin Sanneh

Professor, Yale Divinity
Yale University  

Ambassador Sallama Shaker, Ph.D.

Full Clinical Professor of
Middle East & Islamic Studies
Claremount Graduate School