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Five Questions with Ilia Delio

Five Questions with Ilia Delio

In our latest Five on Friday interview, theologian and neuroscientist Ilia Delio shares her favorite quote, the inspiration that guides her work, and more.

Dr. Ilia Delio is a Franciscan Sister and a theologian from the Catholic tradition specializing in science and religion. She holds the Josephine Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University and is the founder of the Center for Christogenesis. She has earned two PhDs in neuropharmacology and historical theology, and is the author of twenty books including The Hours of the Universe and The Primacy of Love.

1. What are you optimistic about?

I think we have the means and capacity to create a better world with AI, but we humans need to recenter ourselves. I do believe we are exiting our species and entering a new one. I think the new species—in time—will be an advancement over our present species.

2. What are you reading right now? 

I am reading early thinkers such as Plotinus, Origen, and Augustine for class. Their thinking was perspicacious—expansive—and holistic. I am also rethinking the question of pantheism and reading Philip Clayton’s writings on panentheism, as well as Mary Jane Rubenstein’s Pantheologies.

3. What topic in science do you find particularly fascinating right now?

I am very interested in the question of consciousness and its relation to matter, and whether or not consciousness is a fundamental field of the universe. I am also interested in conscious extraterrestrial life and whether or not we will eventually converge with an alien species.

4. What is your biggest inspiration as of late? 

I continue to think of Artificial intelligence and why it is a misnomer because I think it is human consciousness extended through information. There is a strong link between Carl Jung and AI which I would like to pursue.


5. What is your favorite quote?

I always return to the saying of Einstein: “Science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind.” Science and religion are the two main directional field forces of cosmic life.