SR. Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD
With doctoral degrees in Pharmacology and Theology, Sister Ilia Delio is eminently qualified not only to speak authoritatively about two distinct fields but also to show that, contrary to popular opinion, science and religion can work together. Since fall 2015, she has pursued this calling as the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova.
Sister Ilia has deep roots in both fields. The Newark, N.J., native had been researching a drug for diabetic neuropathy when she decided to enter the Sisters of St. Francis. The community sent her to Fordham University, where she earned her second doctoral degree, this one in Historical Theology. The convergence of her interests in cells and souls transformed her. “I was like a fish who had finally found water.”
In her various posts at prestigious institutions, most recently, Georgetown University, Sister Ilia has developed new ways of understanding how God is present and active in an evolving, dynamic universe. Her awardwinning books go beyond academia to show people how they can “reclaim a living God for a living world of change and complexity.”