Science, Theology and
the Ontological Quest (STOQ)
Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest (STOQ)

“Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest” (STOQ) is a project of the Pontifical Council for Culture and, originally, three major Catholic universities in Rome: the Pontifical Lateran University, the Pontifical Gregorian University, and the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum. It attempts to assist leaders of the Catholic intellectual community who wish to promote dialogue between science, philosophy, and theology within the Vatican’s great educational institutions.
Now, in its third phase (STOQ III), it has enlarged its scope to include an additional three Vatican universities: the Pontifical Salesian University, the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and the Pontifical Saint Thomas University. This means that the project now accesses nearly 95 percent of students at Rome’s pontifical universities.
STOQ III intends to be a major improvement on the previous phases of the STOQ project. It aims to bring dialogue between science, philosophy, and theology to the center of cultural debate across the Catholic world. The project has a potential effect on the whole Catholic Church and helps convert the current widespread mentality of conflict between science and religion into a constructive dialogue, which is one of the Templeton Foundation’s leading objectives. In STOQ III, a special emphasis is put on the central role of hard science, such as physics and biology. Stable relationships with other universities where scientific research is done are being cultivated, integrating curricula through exchanges of students and professors and by establishing common research units. A conference in 2009, to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, will provide a significant contribution to the debate on evolution and Christianity.
The web portal is being upgraded and expanded in connection with E-STOQ, a separate but related project promoting distance learning on science and religion. To facilitate greater convergence of efforts, a Center of Study and Research with a library and other facilities will be created under the aegis of the Pontifical Council for Culture at the end of STOQ III.