C R E A T I O N   E X   N I H I L O

Conversations in Science, Faith, and Philosophy
about the Origins of our Universe

University City, Philadelphia

June 25th-29th 2018

The daily talks are open to the public and all are welcome to attend!  Please register to let us know you are coming!  If you are a local graduate student and wish to participate in the graduate activities, please email admin@themagiproject.org.  Location of talks:  South America Room, International House, 3701 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Timetable of talks open to the public

Monday, 6/25 - (10am) Mr. John Farrell on Georges Lemaître and (3pm) Prof. William Carroll (Oxford) on Philosophy of Creation Part I

Tuesday, 6/26 - (10am) Prof. William Carroll on the Philosophy of Creation Part II and (3pm) Rev. James Platania (Seton Hall) on Genesis and the Ancient Near East

Wednesday, 6/27 - (10am) Rev. Joseph Laracy (Seton Hall) on the Theology of Genesis and (3pm) Dr. Don Lincoln (Fermilab) on the Science of the Big Bang Theory

Thursday, 6/28 - (10am) Dr. Don Lincoln on Standard Model of Physics and (3pm) Prof. David Charbonneau (Harvard) on Exoplanets and Origins

Friday, 6/29 - (10am) Prof. Jim Peebles (Princeton) on Lemaître and Cosmology


Why is there something rather than nothing?

The week-long Summer Seminar will be structured around the question of the beginning of the Universe and the Big Bang theory, with a special focus on the contribution of Georges Lemaîte, as well as on planetary origins and the formation of our solar system. The Seminar will welcome a small cohort of graduate students to Philadelphia for an intensive course led by eminent scholars across disciplines of physics, philosophy, and theology. 

Through a daily series of lectures, seminars, and small group discussions, students will examine both cutting edge research and foundational wisdom that enables them to evaluate descriptive models of the origins of the universe, the relationship of space and time, physics and metaphysics, nature and grace, the human and the divine in an exploration some of deepest questions about the origins of our Universe.  Members of the public are welcome to attend the daily talks.

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  • Why is there something rather than nothing?  
  • Did time begin with the Big Bang? 
  • What does it mean to speak of a Creator? 
  • Why was Genesis 1 written? Is it still relevant today? 
  • How do the Big Bang theory and Genesis fit together? 
  • Can one believe in the modern physical mechanics of an inflationary Universe and also in God? 
  • The philosophical understanding of "origin"
  • The science of Big Bang theory and the inflationary universe.
  • Origins of our solar system and other planetary systems.
  • The contribution and works of Georges Lemaître
  • Creation in Genesis 1
  • The theology of Creation


Registrations are OPEN to join as a local participant!  Please register below to let us know that you are coming!

Participants and speakers from the 2017 Magi Summer Seminar

Participants and speakers from the 2017 Magi Summer Seminar

Residential Graduate student scholarships

A limited number of 25 funded places are available to suitably qualified graduate students.   The funding will cover course fees, course materials, accommodation and food.  Students will be responsible for their own travel expenses.  Students who are successful in the application process will pay a small contribution of $50 towards course costs. Preference will be given to graduate students in the sciences, philosophy and theology.  For more information please email admin@themagiproject.org.

The deadline for consideration in the second selection round will be April 23rd 2018