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Combined Evolution Weekend, Schemmel Lecture Explores Relationship Between Science and Religion

By Clarke News  |  January 28, 2022

On Thursday, February 24, 2022, Clarke University will combine two of its most esteemed academic events, Evolution Weekend and the Schemmel Endowed Lecture in Theology, to explore the relationship between science and religion. The free online lecture begins at 7 p.m. and will feature acclaimed speaker Dr. Ilia Delio, OSF, discussing the need for a rebirth of religion in an age of artificial intelligence.  

Delio is the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova University. She holds doctorates in both pharmacology and historical theology and has authored over 20 books, including the award-winning The Unbearable Wholeness of Being and Re-Enchanting the Earth 

Her lecture, “The Posthuman in the Second Axial Period and the Rebirth of Religion,” will focus on the shift in consciousness brought about by the impact of technology and mass communication, and the irony of resistance to accepting evolution despite this ongoing human development. The timely topic is meant to drive discussions within the classroom at Clarke and throughout the greater Dubuque community. 

“As a Catholic institution, Clarke University values opportunities to promote dialogue,” said Bill Gregory, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Clarke. “Through genuine dialogue we explore how faith and reason complement each other. We host conversations, including lectures like this one, within our own Catholic intellectual tradition, with other faith traditions, and with science, culture, and politics.”   

Evolution Weekend is an international movement that seeks to demonstrate that religion and science can be compatible and elevate the quality of discussion around these issues. It is an opportunity for serious reflection on the relationship between religion and science and aligns well with the intent of the Frederic and Emma Schemmel Endowed Lecture in Theology. The Schemmel lecture series was established by a generous gift from Clarke alumnae Dr. Rachel Schemmel ’51 who had a successful career as a professor of food science and nutrition at Michigan State University. Dr. Schemmel passed away on January 15, 2022, and an obituary is available through Telegraph Herald 

This program is supported by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The views and opinions expressed by this program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

This virtual event is free and open to the public and may be accessed at