Cosmos & Creation began in 1982 with the vision that working scientists would find it fruitful to share their religious awareness with other scientists. The group has been ecumenical, although in fact most who have participated have been mainline Christians. For a number of reasons those who participate in the conference are working scientists with earned doctorates (occasionally others have been invited). Former guests of the conference are also invited and some return each year as regular participants. But the conference is for working scientists to discuss and share their vision of God and the world, based on their scientific training, reading, and working experience.
Among those who work in science some begin to develop their own cosmology - a cosmology that often is expressed without the language or the nuance of the professional philosopher, but one that is in touch with the feel of contemporary science. In a similar way we have come to believe that among those who work in science some begin to develop their own theology - this might involve a sense for God that is expressed in non-traditional ways, but still of significance as it is closely related to the contemporary scene.
The original intention of the founders was to bring the scientists together in order for them to share their experiences as scientists working in God's world. It was decided by the group at the first meeting that a distinguished Speaker be invited as a guest in order to stimulate thought and discussion. Since 1987 a luncheon speaker has been added. Regular members of the conference have usually been the luncheon speakers.
The format for annual Cosmos & Creation conferences has been followed almost from the beginning. The guest speaker makes presentations on Friday evening and Saturday morning and the general public is invited to these lectures and the luncheon. The remainder of the weekend is spent by the members of the conference in formal and informal discussions with the guest speaker and each other. The atmosphere is informal and the time for mutual sharing of both religious and scientific reflections has been a mark of the success of conferences. The March 1995 issue of Zygon, Journal of Religion and Science, was devoted to presentations given at the special 1994 conference concerned with Teilhard de Chardin with Father Salmon as Guest Editor. Normally proceedings of Cosmos & Creation conferences are published by the Guest independently.
Cosmos & Creation is grateful first to its members who return each year and make the conference a success. It is also grateful to the administration at Loyola for the encouragement from the beginning and for continued financial support. Finally, the financial assistance from the Raskob Foundation (1982) and the John Templeton foundation (1993, 1994) is gratefully acknowledged.
Paul Richard Blum, email@example.com;
Robert Pond, firstname.lastname@example.org