Cherry Finalist To Lecture On Samson Sept. 25

Sept. 23, 2003

Dr. Eleonore Stump, the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University and a finalist for Baylor University's Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, will lecture on "Horrendous Evil: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering" at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in room 100 at Morrison Constitution Hall.

For her lecture, Stump will focus on the problem of human suffering in a world created and governed by God and will use the biblical story of Samson as an example.

"Truly horrible suffering is the sort sufficient to cast doubt on whether the sufferer's life is a good to him," she said. "In thinking about such cases, we generally think only of the suffering of unwilling innocents. But there is another version of the problem of evil which arises from cases in which a person's own acts are so self-destructive that his life is not clearly a good to him. The story of Samson is an example of such a case. Reflection on this story yields insight into what constitutes a good life for a human being and thus also sheds light on the standard of values which needs to be brought to bear on the problem of suffering."

Stump, who is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, obtained her bachelor's degree from Grinnell College, her master's degrees from Harvard University and Cornell University and her doctorate from Cornell. She taught at Oberlin College, Virginia Tech and the University of Notre Dame before coming to St. Louis University in 1992.

She has published widely on the philosophy of religion, metaphysics and medieval philosophy and is the author or editor of 15 books and anthologies, including "Aquinas," the "Cambridge Companion to Augustine," "Philosophy of Religion: The Big Questions" and "Reasoned Faith." She is past president of both the Society of Christian Philosophers and the American Catholic Philosophical Association and presented the 2003 Gifford Lectures in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The winner of the Cherry Award for Great Teaching will be announced in spring 2004, will receive $200,000 plus $25,000 for his or her home department and will teach in residence at Baylor during the 2005 spring semester. The Cherry finalists each will receive $15,000 and will present a series of lectures at Baylor during the fall. Each will present a Cherry Award Lecture on their home campuses during the 2003-2004 academic year. The home department of the finalists also will receive $10,000 to foster the development of teaching skills.

In addition to Stump, the Cherry Award finalists are Dr. Harry Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History at Yale University, and Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Emeritus, at Yale's Divinity School.

Stump's lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Linda McGregor, coordinator of the Cherry Award program, at (254) 710-2923.

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