Questions with Answers and Questions Without Answers: Science and Religion

Posted On Jan 29, 2014 / 5774 | Natural World Philosophy

On October 16, 2013, the Jewish Theological Seminary presented a provocative, illuminating, and critically important discussion.




Two great forces, science and religion, have shaped the world and our lives. What is the nature of their relationship? What are the central pillars of biology, physics, and astronomy? What is the role of faith? Dr. Alan Lightman, best-selling author of Einstein’s Dreams, spoke about these issues at a Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture. Rabbi Jack Moline conducted a discussion with Dr. Lightman following the lecture.




Alan Lightman is a novelist, essayist, and physicist, with a PhD in theoretical physics. Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he was the first person to receive dual faculty appointments at MIT in science and the humanities. His novels include the international best seller Einstein’sDreams, which has been translated into 30 languages, and The Diagnosis, a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. His latest book is Mr g: A Novel about the Creation as told by God. Dr. Lightman’s essays and articles have appeared in Harper’s, the Atlantic, the New YorkerGrantaSalon, and many other publications. He has won numerous awards, including the Gemant Award of the American Institute of Physics for linking science to the humanities.


Jack Moline, rabbi of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia, serves as an adjunct faculty member at JTS and Virginia Theological Seminary. Rabbi Moline is chair of the Interfaith Relations Committee of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and past chair of the board of Interfaith Alliance.


The Jack and Lewis Rudin Lectures at JTS provide the opportunity for eminent academics, religious leaders, intellectuals, and public figures to discuss topics of interest with the JTS community and the public at large.