Call for Papers

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2011 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture
Thursday, October 27-Saturday, October 29


While the pursuit and transmission of wisdom historically has been at the heart of education, some critics of the modern academy claim that wisdom has been relegated to second-class status among the university's other goals. Separated from other aims—like discovering new knowledge or imparting marketable skills to eventual job seekers—wisdom too often is seen as the sole province of a few disciplines like philosophy and theology, and not at the center of the entire university's work and purpose.

But without wisdom, how is new knowledge to be used—towards what end? Without wisdom, how are university graduates prepared to seek meaning and significance in their lives, whatever their employment? Without wisdom, how does the university fulfill its enduring mission to nurture our human nature and serve the deepest needs of our communities, nation, and world?

We invite scholars and teachers from across the disciplines, college and university administrators, and students (both undergraduate and graduate) to join us as we explore these questions:

What is the nature of wisdom? Is it something that we construct, seek, or are drawn into? How do we encounter it in various disciplines? What curricular and co-curricular efforts might encourage wisdom's formation in students? How might educating for wisdom transform scholarly research? How might Christian universities—drawing upon the resources of the Christian traditions—seek and share wisdom and a love for what is true, good, and most beautiful? How might such wisdom be offered in the service of others?

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Confirmed speakers include:

  • Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary—eminent Old Testament scholar and theologian
  • Celia Deane-Drummond, University of Chester—professor of theology and biological sciences and director of the Centre for Religion and the Biosciences
  • Andrew Delbanco, Columbia University—director of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor Chair in the Humanities; Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and named by Time Magazine in 2001 as "America's Best Social Critic"
  • John Haldane, University of St Andrews—professor of philosophy and director of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs; Gifford Lecturer, University of Aberdeen; BBC Radio contributor; chairman, Royal Institute of Philosophy
  • Anthony Kronman, Yale Law School—Sterling Professor of Law and former dean of the law school; author of Education's End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life
  • Candace Vogler, University of Chicago—David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy


Possible topics include:

  • Biblical, theological, and philosophical sources of wisdom
  • Wisdom as an intellectual and moral virtue
  • Wisdom in the sciences
  • Pedagogical practices and the cultivation of wisdom
  • Educating for wisdom and the global perspective
  • Liberal education and the crisis of the modern university
  • The history of the university and the loss and recovery of wisdom
  • John Henry Newman and the modern university
  • Co-curricular formation in wisdom
  • The possibility of wisdom in a culture of techne