Lecture Series: Spring '10
Dr. Alan Jacobs (Clyde S. Kilby Chair Professor of English, Wheaton College): The End of the Book and the Future of Reading
Dr. Brian Domitrovic (Professor of History, Sam Houston State University): Econoclasts: The Rebels Who Sparked the Supply-Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity
Dr. Ursula Mahlendorf: The Shame of Survival: Working Through a Nazi Childhood
Dr. Ursula Mahlendorf is a former German and Women's Studies professor at UC-Santa Barbara. She is the author of The Shame of Survival: Working Through a Nazi Childhood (Penn State University Press, 2009), a memoir about growing up in Nazi Germany. Mahlendorf was born in 1929 and was swept up in Nazi ideology after 1933. She has spent a lifetime working to understand that childhood. The memoir is a window into the specifics of Nazi indoctrination and her brutal postwar experiences, all contextualized within German military aggression, the Holocaust, and the legacy of guilt and shame experienced by many Germans after World War II.
Dr. Graeme Hunter (Professor of Philosophy, University of Ottawa): Tournament of Champions: Pascal Against Philosophy
As is well known, but little understood, Pascal likes to divide philosophy into two parts, skepticism and dogmatism, and appoint Montaigne and Epictetus as their respective champions. Why does he do this? How could any two figures represent so vast a field? Dr. Graeme Hunter is not unique in thinking that Pascal's quirky ‘tournament of champions' is a literary embodiment of what is at bottom a logical argument against philosophy. But the logic is usually misunderstood. Pascal is taken to have argued that there is a "contradiction" within philosophy itself, one that demolishes the field and so clears the way for the triumph of theology. But that's wrong. Pascal's argument is meant as a corrective to philosophy, one that returns it to its Socratic beginnings in the form of limitless, pious inquiry, claims Dr. Graeme.
Historian of philosophy at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Graeme Hunter's principal research interests lie in ancient and modern philosophy. He has published books or articles on Plato, Cicero, Spinoza, Leibniz, Descartes, Kant, Arnauld, Hobbes, and Pascal. His most recent book is Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought (2005). Hunter is currently writing a book for the University of Toronto Press with the working title, Pascal the Philosopher, in which he reveals the philosophical dimension of Pascal's religious thought. His talk at Baylor was taken from that book.
Michael D. O'Brien: The Role of the Christian Writer in a Secular Age: Don Quixote or David and Goliath?
Michael D. O'Brien, born in Ottawa, Canada, in 1948, is a painter and writer. He has worked as a professional artist since 1970, when he had his first one-man exhibit at a major gallery in Ottawa, followed by numerous exhibits across North America during the ensuing 40 years. Since 1976, he has painted religious imagery exclusively, a field that ranges from liturgical commissions to visual reflections on the meaning of the human person. His paintings hang in churches, monasteries, universities, community collections, and private collections in the United States, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Australia, and Africa.
O'Brien's essays on faith and culture have appeared in international journals such as Communio, Catholic World Report, Catholic Dossier, Inside the Vatican, The Chesterton Review and others. For seven years he was the editor of the Catholic family magazine, Nazareth Journal. He is the author of several novels published by Ignatius Press of San Francisco, notably Father Elijah, a best-seller in the Catholic world and beyond. In addition to his novels, Ignatius Press published A Landscape with Dragons, an examination of the contemporary pagan influence in children's culture. Other titles include a book of his paintings and meditations, The Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary (15 images from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary), The Small Angel, a children's book, and The Family and the New Totalitarianism, a collection of essays on the crisis of the family in a secular age. His books have been translated into eight foreign languages and have been widely reviewed in both secular and religious media.
Dr. Marina Berzins McCoy (Fitzgibbons Chair of Philosophy, Boston College): Exile and Blindness in Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus
Richard Wilbur (Poet Laureate): An Evening With Richard Wilbur
U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer-prize winner Richard Wilbur led an informal, student-oriented discussion of poetry and his own poems. Wilbur, perhaps the greatest living American poet, is the author of nine collections of poetry, of translations of Moličre and Racine, and of several children's books. As The Washington Post says of him: "Throughout his career Wilbur has shown, within the compass of his classicism, enviable variety. His poems describe fountains and fire trucks, grasshoppers and toads, European cities and country pleasures. All of them are easy to read, while being suffused with an astonishing verbal music and a compacted thoughtfulness that invite sustained reflection."
Baylor's rich religious heritage meets at the crossroads of faith and learning, allowing for both spiritual growth and intellectual development. INTERSECTIONS explores the deep connection between faith, culture, and living one's theology with purpose and intention through topics such as faith and art, faith and literature, faith and politics, and much more.
Brian D. McLaren (Author, Speaker, Activist): Beyond Absolutism, Pluralism, Relativism
Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, blogger, and networker among innovative Christian leaders, thinkers, and activists. From 1978 to 1986, McLaren taught college English and, in 1982, he helped form Cedar Ridge Community Church. He left higher education in 1986 to serve as the church's founding pastor and served in that capacity until 2006. McLaren has been active in networking and mentoring church planters and pastors since the mid 1980's, and has assisted in the development of several new churches. He is a popular conference speaker and a frequent guest lecturer at seminaries and denominational gatherings, nationally and internationally. His books include A Generous Orthodoxy (2004), The Secret Message of Jesus (2006), Everything Must Change (2007), and A New Kind of Christianity (2010).
Dr. George Weigel (Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center): The National Interest and the National Purpose: Moral Reasoning and U.S. Foreign Policy
The speaker for the 16th annual Laura Blanche Jackson Lectureship in World Issues was Dr. George Weigel, a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Catholic theologian, and one of America's leading public intellectuals.
The theme for the third annual Colloquium on Ancient And Modern Political Inquiry was H2Old and New: Water and Our World, and our distinguished speakers are:
The Honorable Kip Averitt (Texas State Senator)
Water and Waco: Can the West Be Won?
The Honorable Kip Averitt earned a BBA and MBA in economics and finance from Baylor University. After serving nine-and-a-half years in the Texas House of Representatives, Averitt was elected to the Texas Senate in April 2002. Averitt is chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. During the 80th Session, Averitt crafted and passed Senate Bill 3, a powerful tool in his ongoing efforts to ensure a clean, adequate, and affordable supply of water for future generations of Texans. Senate Bill 3 also advances the development of Texas water policy by protecting instream flows, encouraging conservation of existing water resources, and allowing new water projects identified by the State Water Plan to meet our future water needs.
Peter Aicher (University of Southern Maine)
Water in a Cultural Context: The Case of Ancient Rome
Dr. Peter Aicher is a professor of Classics at the University of Southern Maine. He is the author of the books Guide to the Aqueducts of Ancient Rome and Rome Alive: A Source-guide to the Ancient City, and he is a contributor to a forthcoming UNESCO volume on ancient water supplies in cultural contexts. He has lectured widely on ancient water technology at diverse venues throughout the United States, including the Getty Villa, Hanover College's River Institute, and the American Water Association. His expertise in ancient aqueducts and the city of Rome has been featured on television documentaries broadcast by NOVA, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic.
Sandra Postel (Global Water Policy Project, Founding Director)
Water in Modern Times: Adapting to a New Normal
Dr. Sandra Postel directs the independent Global Water Policy Project and lectures, writes, and consults on international water issues. Author of several acclaimed books, Postel also is a Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, serving as lead water expert for the society's freshwater initiative. In 2002, Postel was named one of the "Scientific American 50" for her contributions to water policy.
The 2010 colloquium was presented as a free event for the public through the efforts of the Baylor Honors College, Department of Classics, Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research (CRASR), Institute of Ecological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (TIE3S), Department of Environmental Science, Environmental Health Science Program, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Computer Science, and Office of the Vice Provost for Research.
The Pulse Student Lecture
Josh Jeffrey (University Scholar, B.A. 2012): Dante, Aquinas, and Trajan: Reconciling Freedom and Orthodoxy in The Divine Comedy
Josh Jeffrey's presentation reconciled Dante's remarkable view of the potency of the free will with his consignment to Limbo of those who had no freedom to choose baptism and avoid such a fate, with reference to the theology of Thomas Aquinas and the legend of the Emperor Trajan.
All attendees received a free copy of the latest edition of The Pulse.
Sponsor: Honors Program
Professor Erwin F. Cook (T. Frank Murchison Distinguished Professor of Classical Studies, Trinity University): Epiphany Scenes in the Hymn to Demeter and The Odyssey
Sponsors: University Scholars Program
Dr. Graham McAleer (Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University-Maryland): Jack Aubrey Meets Thomas Aquinas: Is It Immoral to Kill for Money?