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"Multiverse Cosmologies at the Limits of Modern Science" Talk Part of Science and Religion in Modern America Series

On Tuesday, March 11, "Multiverse Cosmologies at the Limits of Modern Science," will be presented by Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Ph.D., associate professor of religion at Wesleyan University. The talk will take place at 7 p.m. in the Panasci Family Chapel

In recent years, an increasing number of astro- and quantum-physicists have begun to suggest that, in addition to our universe, there might be an infinite number of others—the hypothetical compendium of which has come to be called “the multiverse.” This lecture will briefly introduce different models of the multiverse in order to address its central questions: How did an infinite number of inaccessible universes become a respectable scientific hypothesis? What distinguishes multiverse cosmologies from metaphysics, fiction, or mythology? And can these distinctions hold, or does the emergence of multiverse cosmologies herald a reconfiguration of the very categories of physics, philosophy, and religion?

Dr. Rubenstein is a member of the core faculty in the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and co-director of Wesleyan’s certificate in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory. She holds a B.A. in Religion and English from Williams College, an M.Phil. in Philosophical Theology from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from Columbia University, where she also received a Certificate in Comparative Literature and Society.

Her primary research interests lie in the intersections of continental philosophy and the Christian intellectual tradition. Other areas of focus include gender and sexuality studies, post-colonial Christianities, and the history and philosophy of cosmology. She is the author of Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe, as well as articles on Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Derrida, negative theology, political theologies, global Anglicanism, and contemporary cosmology. Her forthcoming book, Worlds without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse, puts recent theories of the “multiverse” into conversation with ancient “many-world” cosmologies.

“Science and Religion in Modern America” is an initiative led by the McDevitt Chair in Religious Philosophy, George Coyne. S.J., and the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation at Le Moyne. Its principal aim is to engage members of the campus community, as well as the broader Central New York community, in a candid, respectful conversation about the complex and seemingly disparate subjects of science and religion. The central pillars of this two-year endeavor are nine public lectures by eminent scholars, which will be held over the course of three academic semesters. All of these events will be digitally recorded and made available on the McDevitt Center website.

For more information, contact the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation at mcdevittcenter@lemoyne.edu.

posted on: 2/27/2014