UF’s Freed Lecture Series Explores the Relationship Between Religion and Science
DeBow and Catherine Freed Contemporary Christian Lecture Series presents “Reading the Book of Nature: Are We Missing the Whole (and the Holy) of God’s First Sacred Text?” Guest speaker Barbara Mahany will take the stage, diving into the ancient and timeless theology of “The Book of Nature,” exploring the relationship between religion and science.
The event will be held Friday, September 22, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. in the Winebrenner TLB auditorium. The Freed Lecture Series is free and open to the public.
Metaphorical in name, The Book of Nature holds the idea that creation, heaven and earth, and everything in between, is God’s first sacred text. The belief is that God’s first text is spelled out in the alphabet letters of every leaf on every tree, in the sound and silence of every creature, and unfurled from the tiniest of caterpillars to the dome of heaven through which planets orbit.
An award-winning author, essayist, and longtime journalist for the Chicago Tribune, Mahany will tackle the topic with the help of her fifth book, “The Book of Nature: The Astonishing Beauty of God’s First Sacred Text,” published earlier this year. “If we can once again learn to read the text that is nature—to deep read in the very way we engage with any sacred text—to expose ourselves not just to its aesthetic wonders, but to its role as a place of encounter with the sacred, we might comprehend more profoundly the insistent need to save this holy Earth under siege,” she says.
The Dr. and Mrs. DeBow Freed Contemporary Christian Lecture Series was endowed in 2010 by Dr. and Mrs. DeBow Freed. Visiting speakers are guided by the ideals epitomized by the Freeds. These ideals include a Christian-centered ethos; respect for multiple faith traditions in an increasingly pluralistic world; civility of expression; excellence and rigor of thought; humility; compassion; and service. Lectures series speakers address possible Christian responses to existing and emerging contemporary issues in a diverse world.