The compatibility of faith and science

An interview with Fr.Robert Spitzer, SJ, president of the Magis Center, about faith, reason, atheism, and Stephen Hawking’s “hogwash”:

Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ, Ph.D., 62, is president of the Magis Center (, headquartered in the new chancery office of the Diocese of Orange, California.

The center’s goal is to demonstrate that faith and reason and science are compatible, and to combat the increasing secularization of society, particularly among young people.

Fr. Spitzer was born and reared in Honolulu, Hawaii.

His father was an attorney and businessman; he was one of five children.

His father was Lutheran; his mother a Catholic and daily communicant.

He attended college at Jesuit-run Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, initially pursuing a career in public accounting and finance.

He went on a retreat led by Fr. Gerard Steckler, a former chaplain for Thomas Aquinas College, and “he got me very interested in theology and the Church.”

He began attending daily Mass and taking classes in theology and Scripture.

He bought a copy of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica from a used book store and began reading it. “I saw the solidity of faith in the light of reason,” he said, “and once that happened, I was ready to go.”

He joined the Society of Jesus in 1974, and was ordained a priest in 1983.

Fr. Spitzer is the author of several books, including Healing the Culture (Ignatius Press, 2000), Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life (Ignatius Press, 2008), New Proofs for the Existence of God (Eerdmans, 2010), and Ten Universal Principles (Ignatius Press, 2010), as well as numerous articles for scholarly journals, and has delivered hundreds of lectures.

He is a teacher, and served as president of Gonzaga University from 1998 to 2009.

He continues to produce an enormous volume of work despite suffering from poor eyesight throughout his adult life (he has not, for example, been able to drive a car for 30 years), which has gotten worse in recent years.

Fr. Spitzer recently spoke with CWR. Continue reading


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