Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture Will Explore Søren Kierkegaard's Importance for Our Time

Oct. 28, 2013

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Contact: Terry Goodrich,(254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Oct. 28, 2013) -- "Kierkegaard: A Christian Thinker for Our Time?" will be the theme of the 2013 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, hosted by Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning, on Thursday, Oct. 31, through Saturday, Nov. 2.

One hundred twenty scholars from North America and Europe will make presentations during the three-day symposium, one of the major academic conferences commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.

"Interest in Kierkegaard's thought is more vibrant than ever," said Darin H. Davis, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Faith and Learning and assistant professor of Christian philosophy and ethics at Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary. "One of the most remarkable aspects of Kierkegaard's work is the way it provides entry points for so many different disciplinary perspectives to consider questions about faith, the church, and the self."

The symposium's speakers will include theologians, biblical scholars, educational theorists, psychologists, psychiatrists, philosophers, economists, communication theorists, physicians, literary critics, authors and poets.

Considered the "father of existentialism," Kierkegaard (1813-1855) spent his life articulating the journey of becoming a Christian within the crucible of early 19th-century Danish Christendom. He expressed his ideas in prolific works of philosophy, theology, psychology, poetry and fiction.

A critic of the Danish evangelical Lutheran Church, Kierkegaard viewed the state church as undermining, rather than fostering, the practice of a true faith --obscuring the nature of Christianity by conflating it with the goals and practices of Danish culture and politics. Kierkegaard died at age 42 while in the midst of directing an extended philosophical and theological attack on those he believed were inhibiting the practice of authentic Christianity.

Events will be in the Bill Daniel Student Center, 1311 S. Fifth St., and Cashion Academic Center, 1400 S. Fourth St. For a schedule or to register, visit www.baylor.edu/ifl/kierkegaard

Speakers at the symposium will include:

• Richard Bauckham is professor emeritus at the University of St Andrews where, until recently, he was professor of New Testament Studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor. He is a fellow of the British Academy and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He also is senior scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge and visiting professor at St Mellitus College, London. From 1996 to 2002 he was general editor of the Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series. In 2009 Bauckham was awarded the Michael Ramsey Prize for his book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, and in 2010 the Franz-Delitzsch-Award for The Jewish World around the New Testament. Among his other books are: God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament, The Theology of the Book of Revelation, and Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation.

• C. Stephen Evans is University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Baylor University. Evans is a founding member of Books and Culture, and he served as editor of the Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter and as president of the Kierkegaard Society and the Society of Christian Philosophers. Evans previously taught at Calvin College, St. Olaf College, Wheaton College and Trinity College. Evans received the 2012 C. S. Lewis Book Prize for his book Natural Signs and Knowledge of God: A New Look at Theistic Arguments. His other books include: Kierkegaard: An Introduction, The Bible and the University (co-edited with David Jeffrey), Kierkegaard on Faith and the Self: Collected Essays, and God and Moral Obligation (forthcoming).

• Paul Griffiths is Warren Professor of Catholic Theology at Duke Divinity School. He also has held academic positions at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a prolific writer and commentator on contemporary culture. His most recent books include: Song of Songs: A Commentary, Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity, and Intellectual Appetite: A Theological Grammar. He will deliver the Stanton Lectures at Cambridge University in 2013 under the title "The End: An Eschatological Assay."

• Jennifer Herdt is professor of Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School. She has served on the board of directors of the Society of Christian Ethics and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Religious Ethics. She is the author of Religion and Faction in Hume's Moral Philosophy and Putting on Virtue: The Legacy of the Splendid Vices. Herdt's current project on ethical formation, Bildung, and the Bildungsroman, is supported by a research fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

• Paul Martens is associate professor of religion at Baylor University. He is the author of The Heterodox Yoder and three forthcoming books: Kierkegaard: A (Very) Critical Introduction, Reading Kierkegaard I: A Guide to Fear and Trembling, and Reading Kierkegaard II: A Guide to Works of Love. Martens also has co-edited three volumes on the work of John Howard Yoder.

• Kathleen Norris is an award-winning poet, writer, and author. She has published seven books of poetry. Norris is the recipient of grants from the Bush and Guggenheim Foundations, and she serves as poetry editor of Spirituality & Health and the nonfiction editor of the Saint Katherine Review. She is an oblate of Assumption Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in North Dakota. Her book Dakota: A Spiritual Biography was a The New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of the Year as well as being selected one of the best books of the year by Library Journal. Additionally, The Cloister Walk, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, and The Virgin of Bennington were all The New York Times bestsellers. Norris recently authored Acedia and Me: Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life.

• Cyril O'Regan is the Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He has published numerous articles on such topics as the nature of tradition, negative theology, the sources of G. W. F. Hegel's thought, Hegel as a theological source and on figures such as John Henry Newman and Hans Urs von Balthasar. He is the author of: The Heterodox Hegel, Gnostic Return in Modernity, and Gnostic Apocalypse: Jacob Boehme's Haunted Narrative.

• Anthony Rudd is visiting associate professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College. He has published articles in The Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Metaphilosophy, The Journal of Consciousness Studies, The British Journal for History of Philosophy, Inquiry, European Journal of Philosophy, and Kierkegaardiana. He is the author of Kierkegaard and the Limits of the Ethical, Expressing the World: Skepticism, Wittgenstein and Heidegger, and Self, Value and Narrative: a Kierkegaardian Approach.

• Sylvia Walsh is scholar in residence in the philosophy department at Stetson University. She is the author of Living Poetically: Kierkegaard's Existential Aesthetics, Living Christianly: Kierkegaard's Dialectic of Christian Existence, and Kierkegaard: Thinking Christianly in an Existential Mode. She is also co-editor of Feminist Interpretations of Søren Kierkegaard (with Céline Léon) as well as translator and co-editor of Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling (with C. Stephen Evans).

• Merold Westphal is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Fordham University. He served as president of the Hegel Society of America and the Søren Kierkegaard Society, as executive co-director of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, and as a member of the national board of the American Philosophical Association. He is general editor of the Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion. Westphal is the author of History of Truth in Hegel's Phenomenology, which won a Choice Outstanding Academic Book of the Year Award, and God Guilt, and Death: An Existential Phenomenology of Religion, which won an American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence. Westphal has written three studies of Kierkegaard: Kierkegaard's Critique of Reason and Society, Becoming a Self: A Reading of Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript, and Levinas and Kierkegaard in Dialogue.

• Ralph Wood is University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University. He previously served on the faculty of Wake Forest University, where he became the John Allen Easley Professor of Religion in 1990. He has also taught at Samford University, at Regent College, and at Providence College. His books include Chesterton: The Nightmare Goodness of God, Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South, Contending for the Faith: Essays in the Church's Engagement with Culture, and The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-earth.

Regular registration is $175; student registration is $75. Both registrations permit entry to all conference events. Baylor faculty, staff and students may attend all activities except the meals for free. Registration is required only of those Baylor attendees who are presenting or wishing to dine.

Special group registration pricing may be available for groups of students attending the conference with faculty sponsors from their institutions. A group's faculty sponsor should contact the Institute for Faith and Learning. To learn more, call (254) 710-4805 or email IFL@baylor.edu

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