BIO: George L. Murphy

From: george murphy (
Date: Sat Aug 10 2002 - 14:29:02 EDT

  • Next message: Josh Bembenek: "cumulative selection/abiogenesis"

    Name: George L. Murphy

    Age: 59 (b.24 Dec. 1942)

    Family: Dona & I celebrated our 40th anniversary in June. We have 2
    daughters: Anastasia, through whom we have 3 teenage step-grandchildren &
    Katherine, who is expecting in November.

    Vocation: After teaching college physics & related subjects in for 12 years
    I was ordained (1983) as a pastor in the American Lutheran Church (now
    ELCA). I'm now 1/2 time at a large Episcopal parish in Akron OH with
    primary responsibilities in adult theological education, preaching, & other
    roles in worship.
             I consider helping the larger church to deal with issues of science
    & technology to be a major part of my calling, & the other 1/2 time is
    devoted to writing, speaking &c on those matters. Among other things, I
    write a column on issues of science & technology in ministry for _Lutheran
    Partners_, a journal for clergy, lead workshops on preaching, parish
    education &c, & have just had my 4th book in the area accepted for

    Education: B.S. (physics), Ohio U., 1963
                       Ph.D. (physics), Johns Hopkins, 1972 (Dissertation:
    Topics in Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamics)
                       M.Div., Wartburg Seminary, 1983.

    Positions held: Instructor & Asst. Prof., physics, Westminster College
    (PA), 1968-1975
                            Lecturer in physics, U. of Western Australia,
                            Asst. Prof., physics, Luther College, 1977-1979, 1983

                            Adjunct faculty, Trinity Luther Seminary (Columbus),
                            Pastor, St. Mark Lutheran Church, Tallmadge OH,
                            Pastoral Associate, St. Paul's Episcopal Church,
    Akron OH, 1999-present

    Church background: Baptized as an infant in the Lutheran Church (which does
    not mean "baptized Lutheran") & grew up in the Missouri Synod. I am now a
    member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America & am under call from my
    synod council to serve at an Episcopal Church. (This has been made possible
    by the recent mutual recognition of ministries of the ELCA & Episcopal
    Church in the USA.)

    Faith-science story: I was interested in both science and theology while I
    was growing up, reading the article on Relatvity in the World Book
    Encyclopedia (which I realized later was written by Leopold Infeld, one of
    Einstein's co-workers) and about christology in my father's copy of the Book
    of Concord. My parents gave me John Klotz's _Genes, Genesis and Evolution_,
    a fairly moderate YEC book by a Missouri Synod pastor & biologist, & I did a
    9th grade science project titled rather ambitiously "A Refutation of the
    Theory of Evolution." But Missouri was in the process of opening up at the
    time, my pastors were generally pretty sensible guys, & I was able to
    outgrow the need for anti-evolution & YEC without any great trauma.
             After graduate work & teaching & research in physics for a number of
    years I found I was getting more interested in the theology-science issues
    and eventually decided to go to seminary. At first this was simply to get
    some formal theological training but I soon felt a real call (inner & outer)
    to pastoral ministry. My major theological discovery here was Luther's
    theology of the cross and its implications, & I soon began work on the
    project that I've called "chiasmic cosmology", the attempt to see the
    scientific and technological world in the context of a theology of the
    cross. This made it possible not just to "accept" evolution & other
    scientific results but to begin to make sense of them theologically. The
    book which is to be published next year (God willing) is a distillation of
    this project.
             Major theological influences: Luther, Bonhoeffer, Lewis,
    Athanasius, Barth (though contrary to rumor I am not a "standard Barthian"),
    Torrance, Teilhard, Justin Martyr, Juengel. I realize that that's a very
    eclectic bunch. There are also a lot of individuals whose names most
    wouldn't recognize. I will just mention one whose name even I don't
    recall. She was an old lady in the hospital while I was doing my chaplaincy
    requirement in seminary. I went in to see her, & listened rather
    condescendingly as she rambled for a bit about how God was going to take
    care of her &c. & then she said, "Ever' mornin' he just tell ol' death,
    'Stand back!'" & I thought, "That's the best theology I've heard all day!



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Aug 10 2002 - 15:10:49 EDT