Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture
October 26-28, 2022
Plenary and Featured Speakers (confirmed to date)

Jeremy Begbie is Thomas A. Langford Distinguished Research Professor of Theology at Duke Divinity School and the McDonald Agape Director and founder of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts. He is also a Senior Member at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an affiliated lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge. His books include A Peculiar Orthodoxy: Reflections on Theology and the Arts (Baker Academic), Redeeming Transcendence in the Arts: Bearing Witness to the Triune God (Eerdmans), Theology, Music and Time (Cambridge University Press), Resounding Tr­­uth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (Baker Academic), and Music, Modernity, and God (Oxford University Press). He is an ordained minister of the Church of England and a professionally trained musician who has performed extensively as a pianist and conductor. He tours widely as a speaker, specializing in multimedia performance-lectures. Recent engagements have included preaching, speaking and performing in universities and churches in North America, Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia. 


Douwe Blumberg is a sculptor with a studio and home north of Lexington, Kentucky. He has completed well over 200 private and public commissions and has numerous awards, residencies, and shows to his credit. Recent significant projects include a large piece for the William Shatner residence in Los Angeles, the Las Vegas Veterans Memorial (a three year project comprising eighteen large figures), the “America’s Response” Special Operations Monument by Ground Zero in New York City, a 17 foot tall flock of birds for the Intertex corporation of Los Angeles, a life-size herd of wild horses for the city of Aurora, Colorado, a large outdoor musical piece for the performing arts center in Lebanon, Kentucky, the new entryway monument for the Vance Brand Airport in Longmont, Colorado, and three pieces for the royal residence in Dubai.  


Katie Calloway is assistant professor of English at Baylor University. She is interested in the relationships between literature, science, and theology in seventeenth-century England. She has a secondary interest in early modern English reception of Latin poetry. Her work has appeared in journals such as Milton Quarterly, Renaissance and Reformation, Milton Studies, and Studies in Philology, and her first book, Natural Theology in the Scientific Revolution, was published by Pickering and Chatto. She is currently working on a project on seventeenth-century literature and natural theology. When she’s not teaching or writing, Katie enjoys spending time with her husband, their two kids, and their dog, Milton. 


Natalie Carnes is associate professor of theology in the Department of Religion at Baylor University, where she teaches feminist theology and religion classes. She has published three books, Beauty (Cascade), Image and Presence (Stanford) and Motherhood: A Confession (Stanford University Press), as well as multiple articles and online essays, including pieces on Pope Rihanna and nursing Madonnas. Her current projects consider the intersections of poverty, luxury, and art (a book manuscript co-authored with Matthew Whelan) and the future of feminist theology (a monograph). She lives in Waco, Texas, with her three daughters, two cats, and one husband. 


Carlos Colón, is assistant director for Worship and Chapel of the Office of Spiritual Life at Baylor University. He is a composer, liturgist, and cultural promoter, specializing in music that is both academically serious and ecclesiastically valuable. His recent projects lie at the intersection of social justice and religious change. He was born in Chalchuapa, El Salvador. When he was 14, he was forced to leave El Salvador and took refuge in Guatemala City. A resident of the United States since 1986, he became a U.S. citizen in 2001. His music has been performed in festivals in the United States and abroad. Recently, his music has been performed in Carnegie Hall, Venezuela National Radio, the Calvin Worship Symposium, and the Festival de Música Contemporánea of El Salvador. His music has also received acclaim in England, Cuba and other countries. Colón’s international heritage and personal experience of civil war inform his compositions’ calls to justice, peace, and beauty. Las Lamentaciones de Rufina Amaya, a requiem in memory of the victims of El Mozote (where the Salvadorian army massacred 800 peasants in 1981), was premiered at Baylor University’s Armstrong Browning Library in 2008. It has also been performed in Dallas by the Texas Voices; in El Salvador by the choir of the National Opera; and in Grand Rapids by the Choral Scholars. Obertura Para Un Mártir, a work commemorating slain Archbishop Oscar Romero, was commissioned by the President and First Lady of El Salvador and premiered there in 2010. Colón and his family reside in Waco, TX.  


Andrew de Sa is a classically trained artist working in the Washington D.C. area. Andrew received training in the Boston School tradition under master painter Paul Ingbretson. This apprenticeship continues a historic legacy of master artists and their pupils that traces back to the 1700s and to Napoleon’s court painter, Jacques Louis David. He has won awards and scholarships on both the local and the national level and serves as the acting creative director of the Carl Schmitt Foundation, an arts non-profit dedicated to sharing the work, life, and legacy of Catholic American painter Carl Schmitt (1889-1989). Additionally, Andrew is a recognized copyist at the National Gallery of Art, has been appointed to the Benedict XVI Council for Liturgy and the Arts, serves as co-chair of the Partnership for Catholic Sacred Architecture, and holds a position as arts ambassador and visiting board member of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Art, Music, and Drama at the Catholic University of America. Currently he focuses on sacred and devotional paintings for institutions and private patrons. 


Phillip Donnelly is director of the Great Texts program and professor of literature at Baylor University. His research focuses on the historical intersections between philosophy, theology, and imaginative literature, with particular attention to Renaissance literature and the reception of Classical educational traditions. The topics of Donnelly's published work range from St. Augustine and post-modern critical theory to the Renaissance poetry of George Herbert and John Milton. He is a contributor to the new Milton Encyclopedia, edited by Thomas N. Corns (Yale University Press) and to the Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine, edited by Karla Pollmann and Willemien Otten (Oxford University Press). 


Makoto Fujimura is a leading contemporary artist whose process-driven, refractive “slow art” has been described by David Brooks of New York Times as “a small rebellion against the quickening of time.” Fujimura’s art has been featured widely in galleries and museums around the world and is included in notable collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, the Huntington Library, and the Tikotin Museum in Israel. He is one of the first artists to paint live on stage at New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall as part of an ongoing collaboration with composer and percussionist, Susie Ibarra. As well as being a leading contemporary painter, Fujimura is also an arts advocate, writer, and speaker who is recognized worldwide as a cultural influencer. A presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts from 2003 to 2009, Fujimura served as an international advocate for the arts, speaking with decision makers and advising on governmental policies. He has written several books, including Refractions (NavPress), Culture Care (InterVarsity), Art and Faith (Yale University Press), and Silence and Beauty (InterVarsity)—a winner of the Aldersgate Prize. The American Academy of Religion named Fujimura as its 2014 “Religion and the Arts” award recipient. Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement, now IAMCultureCare, in 1992. In 2011 the Fujimura Institute was established and launched the Four Qu4rtets, a collaboration between Fujimura, painter Bruce Herman, Duke theologian/pianist Jeremy Begbie, and Yale composer Christopher Theofanidis, based on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. Fujimura also co-founded Academy Kintsugi with Kunio Nakamura, a Kintsugi master, and his wife, Haejin Shim Fujimura. 


Barry Harvey is professor of theology at Baylor University. His research interests include ecclesiology, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Herbert McCabe, ecumenical theology, ressourcement theology, theological interpretation of scripture, and theology and social theory. An ordained Baptist minister and native of Denver, Colorado, Harvey is married to Sarah Harvey, who is also an ordained Baptist minister. Harvey’s books include Politics of the Theological (Peter Lang), Another City (Trinity Press International), StormFront (with James V. Brownson, Inagrace T. Dietterich, and Charles C. Westand, published by Eerdmans), Can These Bones Live? (Brazos Press), and Taking Hold of the Real (Cascade). In addition to his books, Harvey has published numerous peer-reviewed articles.


Thomas Hibbs is J. Newton Rayzor Sr. Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University, where he is also Dean Emeritus, having served 16 years as dean of the Honors College and distinguished professor of ethics and culture. He has served as full professor and department chair of philosophy at Boston College and as president of the University of Dallas. He works in the areas of medieval philosophy, especially Thomas Aquinas, contemporary virtue ethics, and aesthetics. Hibbs has published more than thirty scholarly articles and seven books, the most recent of which is Wagering on an Ironic God: Pascal on Philosophy and Faith (Baylor University Press). He has two books on film and philosophy and is currently working on a book on Catholic aesthetics that is under contract with the University of Notre Dame Press. In addition to these scholarly works, he has published more than 100 reviews and discussion articles on film, theater, art, and higher education in a variety of venues, including First Things, The Dallas Morning News, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New Atlantis, The Wall Street Journal, and National Review. Called upon regularly to comment on film and popular culture, Hibbs has made more than 100 appearances on radio, including nationally syndicated NPR shows, “The Connection,” “On the Media,” and “All Things Considered,” as well as local NPR stations in Boston, Massachusetts, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Dallas, Texas, and Rochester, New York.  


Heidi J. Hornik, professor of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art and chair of Baylor University’s Department of Art and Art History, came to Baylor in 1990 after receiving her Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University. She teaches advanced art history courses in the areas of Italian Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, and Art History Methods and Theory as well as the Survey of Western Art. She has received recognition at Baylor for both teaching and publication in her field. Her book, Michele Tosini and the Ghirlandaio Workshop in Cinquecento Florence (Sussex Academic), is the first biography on the artist. In addition to Tosini, Hornik, with Mikeal C. Parsons, has co-authored four interdisciplinary books on art and theology: Illuminating Luke (three volumes; T&T Clark International) and The Acts of the Apostles Through the Centuries (Blackwell-Wiley). She also co-edited Interpreting Christian Art (Mercer University Press) with Parsons. Her book The Art of Christian Reflection (Baylor University Press) was the subject of her work as visiting scholar at Harvard University. Hornik regularly undertakes research in the archives, libraries and museums in Florence, Italy, and has lectured in Naples, Florence, Rome, Frankfurt, Cambridge, Oxford, and throughout the United States.  


David Lyle Jeffrey was distinguished professor of literature and humanities at Baylor University from 2000 until 2019. He was also professor emeritus of English Literature at the University of Ottawa, guest professor at Peking University (Beijing), and honorary professor at the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing). Jeffrey is known as a medievalist and scholar of biblical tradition in Western Literature and art. Among the honors he most values include being made inaugural Professor of the Year in Arts and Humanities at the University of Ottawa in 1995, election to the Royal Society of Canada in 1996, being chosen for the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2003, an invitation from St Andrews University in Scotland to give the Andrew Laing Lecture on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Laing lecture in 2004, and receiving the Cornelia Marschall Smith Outstanding Professor Award at Baylor in 2015. Jeffrey taught courses on the Bible as literature, medieval exegesis, biblical hermeneutics and literary theory, biblical tradition in the arts, and philosophy of art (aesthetics). Currently, he has a wide range of articles in both Chinese and English venues, including chapters for the Cambridge History of Literary Criticism and Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible, and a series of articles on Christianity and Marxism as well as Christianity and Confucianism in China. His books include A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature (Eerdmans), People of the Book: Christian Identity and Literary Culture (Eerdmans), Houses of the Interpreter: Reading Scripture, Reading Culture (Baylor University Press), The King James Bible and the World it Made (Baylor University Press), and Luke: a Theological Commentary (Brazos Press). His art book In the Beauty of Holiness (Eerdmans) has now been joined by Scripture and the English Poetic Imagination (Baker Academic); both are concerned with the qualitatively distinctive communication of spiritual and moral understanding made possible by works of artistic imagination. Currently, his research focuses primarily on art and theological understanding.


Robin Jensen is Patrick O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Her research and publications focus on the relationship between early Christian art and literature and examine the ways that visual images and architectural spaces should be regarded as modes of theological expression. Her published essays and books contend that, in addition to interpreting sacred texts, visual images enhance liturgical settings, reflect the nature and content of devotional piety, and explicate ritual practices. She teaches courses on the character of late antique Christian and Jewish art, the history and evolution of Christian architecture, the iconography of the cross and crucifix, depictions of Christ and the Virgin Mary, and the place and controversies over images and idols in ancient and early medieval Christianity. Additionally, she has researched the practices, distinctive character, and material evidence of Christianity in ancient Roman North Africa. Her books include Understanding Early Christian Art (Routledge), Living Water: Images, Symbols, and Settings of Early Christian Baptism (Brill), Christianity in Roman Africa: The Development of its Practices and Beliefs (Eerdmans), The Cross: History, Art, and Controversy (Harvard University Press), and The Routledge Companion to Early Christian Art (Routledge). Her current project, tentatively titled “From Idols to Icons” (under contract with the University of California Press), examines the emergence of a Christian material piety in the fourth and fifth centuries. This work discusses the perceived danger of visual representations of divine beings, early controversies over the miraculous power of saints’ shrines and relics, the sacralization of structures and geographical places, and the belief that images may facilitate the presence of holy persons in their absence. 


Travis Kroeker is professor of religious studies (Western field) at McMaster University and a member of the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition. He regularly teaches in the areas of ethics, literature, politics and religious thought. His current research interests include apocalyptic literature and political theology; the intellectual and spiritual premises underlying the growing dominance of the technological paradigm in contemporary culture; and the controversial relations between peace, violence and the anthropicene in global ethics and religion. He explores these and related topics through the comparative study of classic texts and traditions (the Bible, Greek tragedy and philosophy, Augustine, medieval mystics) and contemporary writers (such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Melville, Dostoevsky, Flannery O’Connor, Simone Weil, Annie Dillard, Wendell Berry). He is the author of Christian Ethics and Political Economy in North America (McGill-Queen’s University Press) and co-author with Bruce Ward of Remembering the End: Dostoevsky as Prophet to Modernity (Westview). He has recently completed the first of two book projects on political theology: Messianic Political Theology and Diaspora Ethics (Cascade) and Literary Apocalypse as Political Theology (in preparation). 


Micheal O’Siadhail has been a leading Irish poet for several decades. In 1998 the Arts Council awarded him the Marten Toonder Prize for a distinguished career in literature, and his 2018 work The Five Quintets cements his status as arguably Ireland’s greatest living poet. The poetry in his Collected Poems (2013) has already been the subject of much appreciative critical attention by critics and commentators. In addition, his very personal poetry (as in The Chosen Garden, Our Double Time, Love Life, and One Crimson Thread) alongside his more public poetry (as in A Fragile City, The Gossamer Wall: Poems in Witness to the Holocaust, and Globe) show an astonishing range. Notable also is his technical mastery of many classical poetic forms (above all the sonnet), together with his invention of new forms. His linguistic range (he is fluent in Irish, French, Norwegian, German, Welsh, Icelandic, Japanese, and Spanish, and has conversational Latvian and Catalan) is seen above all in his collection Tongues, which also showcases his polymathic knowledge of many fields and cultures. All of those works culminate in The Five Quintets. That work consists of five long poems on each of five themes: Making (on the arts), Dealing (on economics), Steering (on politics), Finding (on the sciences), and Meaning (on thought in many spheres, including philosophy and theology). 


Kirk Richards studied with prominent American painter and teacher Richard Lack in Minneapolis from 1976 to 1980 after earning his BFA and MA degrees in art from West Texas State University. Kirk returned to Amarillo with his wife Linda in 1981. The following year he founded Atelier Richards and taught there until 1988. Also well known for his still life and genre paintings, Richards was one of only 24 artists nationwide to be certified by the American Portrait Society; he has painted many of Amarillo’s noted citizens. He has exhibited in prestigious exhibitions and won many national awards and recognitions. As a member of the American Artist Professional League, he won the Lee M. Loeb Memorial Award for Excellence in 1987. In 2004 Richards was selected from over one thousand entries as one of ten finalists in the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition. That same year, he was given a one-man exhibition at the Amarillo Museum of Art titled “Kirk Richards, Classical Realist.” In 2011 Richards won Best of Show in the National Juried Biennial Exhibition at the Amarillo Museum of Art, and in 2013 Richards won the Goddess of Art Award (best of show) in the first annual National Invitational Exhibition of the American Society of Traditional Artists in Scottsdale, Arizona. Richards was a contributing author to Realism in Revolution: The Art of the Boston School. He was interviewed in, and his work was featured on the cover of, the June 2003 issue of American Artist magazine. He was the subject of a feature article in both the September 2005 issue of Southwest Art magazine and the April 2008 issue of The Artist’s Magazine. The book For Glory and For Beauty, Practical Perspectives on Christianity and the Visual Arts, co-authored with Stephen Gjertson, is a unique volume dealing with its subject from the viewpoint of the professional artist. He was the only artist ever to be elected to join the original roster of the American Society of Classical Realism (ASCR) Full Guild of Artists. He was Vice President of the ASCR and a member of the reorganized artists guild of the ASCR until it ceased operations. He is an honorary member of the American Society of Traditional Artists and an honorary Living Master at the Art Renewal Center. 


Robert C. Roberts is professor emeritus of philosophy at Baylor University, where he remains resident scholar of Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion. His areas of interest include ethics (especially virtue ethics), Kierkegaard, emotion theory, moral psychology, and epistemology. Before coming to Baylor, he taught philosophy at Western Kentucky University (1973–1984) and Wheaton College (1984–2000). His books include Emotions (Cambridge University Press), Spiritual Emotions (Eerdmans), Emotions in the Moral Life (Cambridge University Press), and (with Jay Wood) Intellectual Virtues (Clarendon). In addition to these books, he has published numerous articles on topics ranging from Rudolf Bultmann to humor as a virtue. 


Brent Strawn is professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School and professor of law at Duke’s School of Law. His research focuses on ancient Near Eastern iconography, Israelite religion, biblical law, the Psalms, poetry, and Old Testament theology. Before coming to Duke in 2019, he taught at Asbury Theological Seminary for three years and then, for eighteen years, at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where he was William Ragsdale Cannon Distinguished Professor of Old Testament. Strawn has published over two hundred and fifty articles, chapters in books, contributions to reference works, and reviews. He is the author of What Is Stronger than a Lion? Leonine Image and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), The Old Testament Is Dying: A Diagnosis and Recommended Treatment (Baker Academic), The Old Testament: A Concise Introduction (Routledge), Lies My Preacher Told Me: An Honest Look at the Old Testament (Westminster John Knox), and Honest to God Preaching: Talking Sin, Suffering, and Violence (forthcoming by Fortress). He has edited or co-edited over twenty-five volumes, including The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law (Oxford University Press), which received the 2016 Dartmouth Medal from the American Library Association for most outstanding reference work. Strawn is an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church and regularly speaks and preaches at churches across the country. He has appeared on CNN on matters ranging from Easter celebrations to Pope Francis to gun violence, and he served as both translator and member of the editorial board for The Common English Bible. 


Thomas Ward is associate professor of philosophy at Baylor University, having also taught at Loyola Marymount University, Azusa Pacific University, and UCLA. His research interests include the history of philosophy (especially Medieval), philosophy of religion, and metaphysics. Ward has published Divine Ideas (Cambridge University Press) and John Duns Scotus on Parts, Wholes, and Hylomorphism (Brill). He recently completed Ordered by Love (Angelico Press) and is working on a translation of, and commentary on, John Duns Scotus’s Tractatus de Primo Principio (Hackett).