Academic Programs 

Spirituality in a Quantum Universe    (WS-641)
Fall 2007

When we are attuned to the song of the universe, when cosmic rhythms resonate within us, shaping who we are and are becoming, we are saint in the making, mystic on the move, experiencing more often and in many more ways the synchronous presence of God-with-us in our everyday lives.


Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m., beginning September 11 (10 weeks)

Miriam Therese Winter
Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Spirituality

Contact Information:
(860) 509-9558


Course Syllabus


The primary goals of this course are:

• to present an overview of the new physics (quantum mechanics and the new cosmology) in a way that invites those of us who are not scientists to enter into the conversation

• to introduce a framework for a spirituality synchronous with the new physics

• to provide opportunities to discover how aspects of a spirituality rooted in a quantum universe can become or already are part of our own spiritual lives

The primary outcomes of this course are:

• a functional understanding of what is meant by the new physics and how it affects us all

• a sense of how science and spirituality participate in shaping reality

• tangible experiences of course content applied to our everyday lives


If you are taking the course for credit, you are expected to:

• read the books as indicated on the course reading list
• participate fully in class discussions and activities
• contribute creatively to the final class session
• submit a brief reflection (within three pages) on what you will take with you from the course, and why, noting the relevance of this learning to your own personal life
• complete and submit the self-assessment Grade Sheet with your reflection paper

If you are auditing the course, you are expected to:

• read whatever you choose from the course reading list, or simply attend class sessions
• participate in class discussions and activities

On the day that grades are due, students taking the course for credit must submit to the instructor either a Grade Sheet or a signed Incomplete Form (available online or from the seminary).

Grades are due January 14, 2008



Text for the Course

Capra, Fritjof. The Tao of Physics. An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism. Boston: Shambhala, 2000.

If you begin reading about the new physics (quantum mechanics) before the
start of the course, please, do not get discouraged or feel that this course is not for you.
Quantum theory can seem very complex in its presentation.
Printed handouts and talks during the first several sessions should give us all
a basic understanding of what scientists and others have been talking about.

Credit students: read two additional books
At least one of those books must be selected from The New Physics list

The New Physics

Ford, Kenneth and Feinstein, Diane. The Quantum World. Quantum Physics for Everyone. Harvard University Press, 2005.

Herbert, Nick. Quantum Reality. Beyond the New Physics. New York: Anchor, 1985.

Walker, Evan Harris. The Physics of Consciousness. Quantum Minds and the Meaning of Life. New York: Basic Books, 2000.

Wolf, Fred Alan. Taking the Quantum Leap. The New Physics for Non-Scientists. New York: Harper and Row, 1981.

Zohar, Danah. The Quantum Self. Human Nature and Consciousness Defined by the New Physics. New York: Quill / William Morrow, 1990.

Zukav, Gary. The Dancing Wu Li Masters. An Overview of the New Physics. New York: Quill / William Morrow, 1979.

Application of the New Physics

Chopra, Deepak. Quantum Healing. Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine. New York: Bantam, 1989.

O’Murchu, Diarmuid. Quantum Theology. Spiritual Implications of the New Physics.
New York: Crossroad, 1997.

Rimm, Ruth. The Lost Spiritual World. New York: The Global Renaissance Society, 2007.

Wheatley, Margaret J. Leadership and the New Science. Learning about Organization from an Orderly Universe. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1992.

Wolf, Fred Alan. Dr. Quantum’s Little Book of Big Ideas. Where Science Meets Spirit. Needham, MA: Moment Point Press, 2005.


(There are no pre-assigned readings.)


Session One September 11
What is quantum? Where did it come from?

Session Two September 18
Quantum Reality
What does it all mean?

Session Three September 25
Quantum Leap
How does it impact our lives?


Session Four October 2
The Divine Milieu

Session Five October 9
Retelling the Story

Session Six October 16
Quanta, Energy, Living Spirit

Session Seven October 23
Chaos and Consciousness

Session Eight October 30
Coincidence and Connection

Session Nine November 7
Quantum Aspects of the Spirit

Session Ten November 13
Paradoxology / Spirituality in a Quantum Universe

So why is understanding the quantum universe important? Because life takes on a new vision. Quantum physics offers new ways of thinking and new ways of being in the world, which I think improve the various things you do, whether it’s taking a walk, talking to somebody, or driving your car. It brings in a breath of fresh air. It makes life more joyful. The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery.

Fred Alan Wolf, Dr. Quantum’s Little Book of Big Ideas: Where Science Meets Spirit

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