Science and Christ

Episode Five


How is Jesus like us, and different from us? What does it mean to claim our own divinity without claiming we are equal to Jesus Christ? What do science and faith have to say to each other? Explore these questions and more with today’s guests: Springfield Dominican Sister Sharon Zayac and Father Richard Chiola, a retired priest of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. 


About our guests

Sister Sharon Zayac, OP, has been a Springfield Dominican Sister for fifty years. Having spent the earliest years of her life teaching elementary and high school, she then earned her master’s in healthcare administration and embarked on a 12-year journey in healthcare administration at St. Dominic Hospital, Jackson, Miss, and St. Mary’s-Rogers Memorial Hospital, Rogers, Ark.  Sister Sharon felt drawn to study Earth literacy, and for 25 years has been a committed student and teacher of Earth literacy, climate change, and the intersection of science and faith. She is a co-founder of Jubilee Farm, the Springfield Dominican Sisters’ Eco spirituality center on Springfield’s west side, and author of Earth Spirituality: In the Catholic and Dominican Traditions.

Father Richard Chiola, was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1972 and since then has generously served as a spiritual mentor, teacher, and guide for lay and religious women and men. Now retired from the active leadership of Catholic parishes and from teaching, he holds advanced degrees in theology, religious studies, historical theology and human development, and is a licensed clinical professional counselor. His resume includes an impressive list of teaching assignments in secondary and higher education, speaking and workshop engagements, and roles of service on national and local  boards.



  • The central question of Christianity: How are we both like Jesus Christ and different from him?
  • Religion and Science are worthy and necessary dialogue partners.
  • Cosmology is the multidisciplinary science of the unfolding evolutionary story of creation, culture, and beliefs.
  • Science and Scripture ask different questions. Science asks how the cosmos came into being; scripture asks why does a cosmos exist.
  • A myth is a story or tradition that reveals in a symbolic way a fundamental truth of life.
  • There are two “books” in which we encounter God: Creation and the person of Jesus Christ.
  • Science teaches us about the One we worship.
  • The Mass is the center of Catholic worship because we offer back to God, what God has given us.
  • The Eucharist is a moment of amazement at the communion among all that exists.



To purchase Science and Christ: A Dialogue call Sister Sharon Zayac at 217-787-6927 or order online.

Visit Jubilee Farm

About John Polklinghorne

A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming. A lecture by theologian Sallie McFague. Yale, 2008.

Rabbi Heschel—radical amazement

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