Ilia Delio, OSF holds the Josephine C. Connelly Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova University. Her area of research is Science and Religion with interests in artificial intelligence, evolution, quantum physics, and the import of these for Christian doctrine and life. She holds a doctorate in Pharmacology from Rutgers University, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and a doctorate in Historical Theology from Fordham University. She is the author of over twenty books including Making All things New (Catholicity in an Evolving Universe), a finalist for the 2019 Michael Ramsey Prize and The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love, for which she won the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award and a 2014 Catholic Press Association Book Award in Faith and Science. Her latest book is Re-Enchanting the Earth: Why AI Needs Religion. She is the founder of the Center for Christogenesis, an online educational resource for promoting the vision of Teilhard de Chardin and, more broadly, the integration of science and religion in the 21st century.
Some of the main points discussed in this conversation.
- What is God?
- As we enter the mystery of God, language fails us, and the mystery grasps us all the more.
- The mystery of God is the same mystery at the heart of physics.
- There’s nothing outside the existence of God. God is existence itself.
- God’s love is so infinite that there is nothing in this creation that’s un-loveable or unloved by God.
- This is a finite creation. Wherever there are boundaries there is the possibility of suffering. Suffering and death are part of the life cycle.
- Reincarnation discussion. Are multiple incarnations sequential or simultaneous?
- A deep experience of the mystery of God supports the freedom to speculate, dream, and imagine.
- Science and religion need one another in order to fully understand the world.
- The necessity and drawbacks of specialization and the complexification of knowledge.
- If our hearts are grounded in holy mystery we become more fully God-like in our actions.
- Humanity won’t have a sustainable future unless we renew the deeper dimension in our lives.
- Cyborgs and transhumanism
- The mutually beneficial relationship between spiritual and material technologies.
- A profound spiritual transformation is underway.
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s idea of a new religion of the earth, retaining the wisdom of the past but creating something new for the future.
- Wherever in the universe intelligent life exists, it will search for ultimate intelligence.
- Intelligent design
- The core energy of the universe – God – is love. The force that creates stars is the same force that manifests as love in humans.
- Love is the highest knowledge. In the evening of life, we shall be judged on love alone.
- Making love the lens through which we see all of life.
- “The more I am in union with another, the more I am in touch with myself because it’s the core of myself that’s in union.”
- What might the world be like if everyone were enlightened?
Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.
Interview recorded June 26, 2021.
Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.