How is the image of the human person changing in the present world and is science and technology changing fundamental anthropological concepts? Those are just two of the questions that will be addressed during the gathering.
The Plenary is also examining the anthropological changes in three specific areas: the possibilities of body transformation offered by medicine and genetics; the ethical implications of neuroscience; and the social and anthropological transformations caused by the development of technology.
The meeting will include experts from around the world as well as members of the Council.
Bishop Paul Tighe is the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, he spoke to Vatican Radio’s Lydia O’Kane about the link between culture and science and the relationship between scientific research and the Christian tradition.
Bishop Tighe explains that the basis of this Plenary, “is an attempt to look at what it means to be human; what it is that gives value to human life; what does it mean for us to be individuals, but individuals who live in society and how that expresses itself culturally. He goes to say that, “our interest is in looking at the developments that are happening in the area of science, that are causing us maybe to think again about what it means to be human…"
Science and Christian tradition
Asked whether there can be harmony between the Christian tradition and scientific research, the Bishop says, “I think we would always want to say absolutely. We believe that the human person is made in the image and likeness of God; part of our being made in the likeness and image of God is being made with an intelligence with a capacity to understand our environment and to understand our world.” Bishop Tighe also emphasizes that, “science is hugely important. Science has contributed so much to this world, scientists in particular have sacrificed themselves in so many ways to help the human race…”
The Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council of Culture continues until 18th November.
Listen to the interview with Bishop Tighe