Institute Day: 2019 Mid-Atlantic Congress

The Emergence of the Image: Science, Faith and the Origins of Humanity

Friday, February 15, 2019: Hilton Baltimore, MD

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The McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and the Mid-Atlantic Congress invite teachers to an intensive course where participants will gain valuable insights for educating at the interface of science and religion.

How does human evolution relate to the mysteries of faith, to the human person as the image of God, original sin and eternal life? In this intensive sponsored by the Science and Religion Initiative of the University of Notre Dame, a scientist, theologian and philosopher will present an introductory picture of the dawn of humanity given by faith and reason, divine revelation and modern science. 

Teachers and administrators will better understand how to creatively unite faith and science in their approach to catechesis about the human. The biblical creation accounts in Genesis 1-3 and Church teaching will be brought into dialogue with paleoanthropology and evolutionary psychology.

Topics Covered

Matt J. Rossano, Ph.D., "How Ritual Made Us Human." Dr. Rossano's presentation will provide a general overview of human evolution from the emergence of the hominin evolutionary branch to the arrival of Homo sapiens. Important transitions in body type, brain expansion, tool use an behavior will be covered. The emergence of behavioral modernity including abstract thought, symbolism, ritual behavior and supernatural belief will also be discussed.

Christopher T. Baglow, Ph.D., "Becoming Human: Christ, the True Origin of Humanity." What does it mean to be human from the divine perspective? In this concluding presentation, theologian Chris Baglow will build on the scientific and philosophical foundations presented by Rossano and Hayes, offering the theological understanding of human nature when it is seen in the light of Christ, the “Last Adam.”

Cory Hayes, Ph.D., "Evolution and the Human Soul: Thomas Aquinas Looks at Darwin." In this presentation, Dr. Hayes looks at the insights of evolutionary theory concerning what it means to be human from the perspective of the scholastic philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas.  Specifically, he will show that the thought of St. Thomas can use evolutionary theory in order to gain insight into perennial questions about the human soul, human uniqueness, and human origins.



Please register through the Mid-Atlantic Congress website. Registration is $42.50 (including lunch).

Register for the Institute Day


Friday, February 15

10:45 AM Welcome - Chris Baglow
11:00 AM "How Ritual Made Us Human" - Matt Rossano, Ph.D.
12:15 PM Lunch (included with registration cost)
1:15 PM "Evolution and the Human Soul: Thomas Aquinas Looks at Darwin" - Cory Hayes, Ph.D.
2:15 PM Break
2:30 PM "Becoming Human: Christ, the True Origin of Humanity" - Chris Baglow, Ph.D.
3:45 PM Panel Discussion
4:15 PM Evaluation
4:30 PM Closing Prayer/Distribution of Certificates

Location - Directions

Hilton Baltimore, 401 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Click here for directions.


Dr. Matt Rossano, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology 
Southeastern Louisiana University

Matt Rossano received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside in 1991. He is currently a Professor of Psychology at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is an evolutionary psychologist with a research specialty in the evolution of ritual, religion, and consciousness. He has authored or co-authored dozens of scholarly papers  and four books including, Supernatural Selection: How Religion Evolved (Oxford Press) and Mortal Rituals: What Story of the Andes Survivors Tells Us About Human Evolution (Columbia University Press). 

Christopher T. Baglow, Ph.D.

Director of the Science and Religion Initiative
McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

Chris Baglow is Director of the Science and Religion Initiative of the McGrath Institute for Church Life of the University of Notre Dame. Since 2005 he has been a leader in the integration of faith and science in Catholic schools, including national week-long summer seminars for Catholic high school science and religion teachers such as the Steno Learning Program in Science and Religion (2011-2014) and Foundations New Orleans. Baglow is the author of the high-school religion textbook Faith, Science and Reason: Theology on the Cutting Edge (Midwest Theological Forum, 2010; 2nd edition in progress).

Cory Hayes, Ph.D.

St. Joseph Seminary College, Covington, LA

Prof. Cory Hayes is a professor of Philosophy and Theology at St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, LA.  He holds a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.  He has also pursued studies at the Gregorian and Angelicum universities in Rome, Italy.  He and his wife Jennifer have been married for 16 years, and they have 7 children whom they homeschool.

His research and teaching interests include Byzantine and Eastern Christian theology, philosophy of nature, and the relation between theology, philosophy, and empirical science.  He is a facilitator at  Foundations New Orleans, a week-long seminar program for Catholic science and theology teachers sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.