Initiating and Promoting Professional Discourse on Science and Religion

The harmony of science and religion is a core principle of the Bahá'í Faith. However, many Bahá'ís face challenges in communicating this message to academic and scientific communities, where there may be misconceptions, prejudices, or indifference towards the voice of religion in intellectual discourse. To address this issue, we will offer an intensive breakout session focusing on the issues of presenting Bahá'í perspectives to our non-Bahá'í colleagues in academia and the sciences. We will create a framework for discussion based on what we call foundations (relevant Bahá'í concepts), blocks (barriers to dialogue), and bridges (pathways to understanding).

  • Douglas Perry

    Now retired after a 40-year career in higher education, Dr. Perry was a cell biologist, professor, and a senior academic leader. He holds five degrees in life sciences, including a PhD in Biomedical Sciences earned at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai (New York). His primary affiliation as a federally funded research scientist was as a tenured professor on the faculty of the School of Medicine at Indiana University. His main research interest was in lung cell biology.

  • Whitney White Kazemipour

    Whitney White Kazemipour earned a PhD and an MA in Anthropology from UCLA, specializing in psychocultural anthropology, and an AB in Intellectual and Cultural History from Princeton. As a Wilmette Institute faculty member, she co-teaches “Science, Religion, and the Bahá’í Faith.” Her article, “Even as the Waves of One Sea: Bahá’í Consultation’s Implicit Cultural Support for the Clash of Differing Opinions,” was recently published in the Journal of Bahá’í Studies.

  • Stephen Friberg

    Stephen R. Friberg is a physicist with a research background in quantum and nonlinear optics. His Ph.D. is from the University of Rochester for an early demonstration of quantum entanglement. After a postdoc at Bell Labs, he worked a decade at NTT Basic Research Labs in Tokyo, at a start-up in Silicon Valley, and in the semiconductor industry. A founding member of ABS Japan, and a past member of the Executive Committee of ABS North America, he is a teaching lead for the Wilmette Institute.

  • Robert Sarracino

    Robert Sarracino has a PhD in physics from the University of Victoria, BC, in the field of General Relativity. He has had a life-long interest in the harmony of science and religion and has been a faculty member for the Wilmette Institute course on Science, Religion and the Bahá’í Faith since 2008. He became a Bahá’í in 1968 while an undergraduate student in Corvallis, Oregon and lived in Botswana from 1970-1974 and Lesotho and South Africa from 1984-2005 in service to the Bahá’í Faith.

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48th Annual Conference

The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.