The Bible and the Modern World

Vincent Smiles, Ph.D.

Believers have always viewed the Bible as the foundation and heart of divine revelation, but in the modern world, there is considerable confusion both about how to interpret the Bible, and also concerning what role it can have in human self-understanding. This lecture will examine the long road from the Bible’s origins and the presuppositions of its ancient interpreters to the debates of the 16th century Reformation and 18th century Enlightenment to the 21st century and the difficult legacy of this long journey. In an age of science, what can the Bible contribute to human knowledge, and within the Church, what challenges are posed by a historical-critical view of the Scriptures?

Vincent M. Smiles, Ph.D., is a professor of Theology in the Department of Theology of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. He graduated from Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary in 1975 with an M.A. in Theology and completed his Ph.D. at Fordham University in 1989. His major publications have been on the letters of Paul, but in recent years his research interests have also turned to the relationship between theology and science. His last book, published by the Liturgical Press in 2011, is The Bible and Science: Longing for God in a Science-Dominated World. He is now working on a book, inspired by the philosophy of Michael Polanyi, titled Being Human: From the Discoveries of Science to the Contemplation of God.

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Dates & Locations

Friday, January 31, 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Emmaus Hall, 31802 County Road 159 Collegeville, MN 56321

Thursday, February 13, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Church of Saint Mary, 421 Hawthorne Street, Alexandria, MN 56308

Thursday, March 5, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. -Pax Christi Church, 12100 Pioneer Trail Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Friday, May 8, 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Emmaus Hall, 31802 County Road 159 Collegeville, MN 56321

Theology Day is a chance for people in our communities who are seeking a deeper understanding of their faith and its place in their everyday lives to learn from and interact with the theologians of Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary. It offers a chance for these scholars to gain insights and grow in their faith, as well.

A typical Theology Day consists of registration and refreshments, followed by a period of conversation/presentation/lecture. The conversation then continues as participants are given a chance to continue their discussions with one another. Morning presentations at Emmaus Hall are followed by a complimentary lunch for all participants, and most evening sessions include refreshments.

There is no fee for Theology Day, but registration is required.  Free-will offerings and gifts to support the mission of the School of Theology and Seminary are gratefully accepted.

For more information, contact our Development Office at 320-363-3560 or [email protected].