Franklin in Montreal, “Faith and Science in Response to the Problem of Suffering”

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Event Details

FREE PUBLIC EVENT: CSCA’s Montreal chapter presents a lecture with Patrick Franklin (Associate Professor of Theology at Tyndale University), CSCA president 2020-2022. 

50th Anniversary Presidential Lecture
Jun 02 2023

Patrick Franklin
"Faith and Science in Response to the Problem of Suffering"

Friday | 7:00 pm | McConnell Engineering Building (304), McGill University | Doors open at 6:30 pm for refreshments

Faith and Science in Response to the Problem of Suffering

The existence of suffering in the world is one of the major obstacles to belief in God, both intellectually and experientially. Christianity has deep and practical resources to equip and support both those facing suffering and those seeking to alleviate suffering. However, it is crucial to distinguish and discern whether someone’s struggle with suffering is an intellectual or existential one. Intellectual responses to the problem of suffering (‘theodicies’) are helpful and necessary, but they are also insufficient – and sometimes inappropriate – as a response to existential suffering. In this lecture, we will first consider some intellectual responses to “the problem of suffering” but then move on to discuss more humane, empathetic, and practical responses to the felt needs that characterize those who are suffering. We will conclude by considering how Christians working in scientific fields are uniquely equipped to address the problem of suffering, as (a) followers of a suffering, crucified God, and as (b) those vocationally equipped to devise practical solutions to alleviate suffering (by the just and humanistic application of practical knowledge, innovation, and technology). A holistically Christian response to suffering requires both knowledge and know-how, framed within a robust and coherent worldview that recognizes, promotes, and serves the dignity of all human beings.

Patrick Franklin, PhD, is Associate Professor of Theology at Tyndale University (Seminary) in Toronto. Patrick is a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation and serves as Past President of the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation. He is the author of Being Human, Being Church: The Significance of Theological Anthropology for Ecclesiology and of several peer reviewed articles and book chapters, including publications that contribute to the faith-science conversation. In the past four years, Patrick and his wife (Elena) have personally navigated questions related to suffering in relation to faith and science as they have faced two major health crises (Patrick: cardiac arrest with major life-threatening complications; Elena: cancer) and then the toll these crises take on children and family.

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