Science and Faith promoting Hope to overcome the new coronavirus pandemic

Scientists and religious representatives will discuss the topic during online event

Tuesday | October 06, 2020 | 2:25 PM | Last update: October 08, 2020, 9:49 AM (Brasilia time)

Bruna Gonçalves
Spirit and Science World Forum, of the Legion of Good Will (LGW) - 2019


Discussing society’s concerns with regard to the role of Science and Religion in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic will be the main goal of this year’s Spirit and Science World Forum, of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), during a live broadcast celebrating its 20-year anniversary. The event will bring together scientists and religious representatives to discuss the theme “Science and Faith promoting Hope to overcome the new coronavirus pandemic” and will take place on October 19 and 20, at 7:30 p.m. (BRT). 


The Forum has been held by the Legion of Good Will since October 2000 and aims to promote a broad and fraternal debate about the role of religiosity in facing up to the grief caused by the pandemic and the challenges it presents. Check out below this year’s speakers:

— Kenneth Pargament: a clinical psychologist and professor emeritus of Psychology at Bowling Green State University, Ohio (USA), he is one of the world’s leading authorities in the study of the relationship between Religion and Mental Health. As the author of The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice, he is “the best reference of his kind for therapists in the exercise of their profession.”

— Patrick Drouot: a French physicist and researcher, with a PhD from Columbia University, New York (USA), he is considered one of the leading scientists in the world studying spiritual matters. He was a speaker at the first plenary session of the LGW’s Spirit and Science World Forum in October 2000.

— Ester Sabino: a Brazilian immunologist and associate professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases of the University of São Paulo (USP) Medical School. She is the director of the Institute of Tropical Medicine of USP (IMT) and coordinator of the Brazil-UK Centre for Arbovirus Discovery, Diagnosis, Genomics and Epidemiology (CADDE). She coordinated the first team in the world to carry out genome sequencing of the new coronavirus in March 2020.

— Émerson Damásio: a minister-preacher of the Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, as well as its administrative director in Brazil and abroad, he has a postgraduate degree in Science of Religion, is a member of the National Committee on Respect for Religious Diversity and a host of programs on Good Will TV and the Super Good Will Radio Network.

— Egbon mi Conceição Reis d’Ogún: she is a priestess of African religious traditions and the state coordinator of the National Institute of Afro-Brazilian Tradition and Culture (INTECAB-SP).

— Alexander Moreira-Almeida: a professor of Psychiatry at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) and the founder and director of the Research Center in Spirituality and Health (NUPES), he is the coordinator of the Section on Spirituality and Psychiatry of the World Psychiatric Association and the Brazilian Psychiatric Association.

— Marta Helena de Freitas: with a PhD in Psychology from the University of Brasília (UnB) and an associate professor of the Catholic University of Brasília (UCB), she works in the Masters and PhD program in Psychology. She has postdoctoral degree from the Department of Religious Studies, of the School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury (United Kingdom), and from the PhD program in Psychology, of the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Porto (Portugal).

— Mario Peres: a physician and neurologist, he is a senior researcher at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in São Paulo (Brazil) and a professor of graduate studies at the Institute of Psychiatry of the University of São Paulo Medical School and at the Albert Einstein Israelite Faculty of Health Sciences.

— Ricardo Mário Gonçalves: a Buddhist monk of the True Pure Land tradition, he has a PhD in History from the University of São Paulo and is a member of the Nambei Honganji Brasil Betsuin Religious Association.

— José Luiz Goldfarb: with a PhD in the History of Science from the University of São Paulo, he is a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC-SP) and editor of Educ (PUC-SP’s own publishing house). He is the director of Jewish culture and worship at “A Hebraica” Brazilian Association synagogue in São Paulo. He is a member of the board of the Associação Amigos do Museu Judaico [Association of Friends of the Jewish Museum] of São Paulo and coordinates several cultural projects at the Museum of Image and Sound (MIS). He is also an honorary member of the Paulista Academy of Education.

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LGW’s Spirit and Science World Forum

Created in 2000 by journalist and writer José de Paiva Netto, President of the Legion of Good Will, the Spirit and Science World Forum aims to encourage civil society to implement pragmatically the Forum’s proposals, by discussing the contributions made by the various areas of spiritual and human knowledge to the construction of a more solidary, altruistic, and ecumenical society. The event took place for the first time in the World Parliament of Ecumenical Fraternity, the LGW’s ParlaMundi, in Brasília (Brazil). Since then, it has served as a space for new and innovative discussions, offering the most varied sectors of human knowledge opportunities to address the biggest issues that afflict the world.