Baylor University Hosts Eighth Annual Philosophy of Religion Conference

Feb. 26, 2013

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Contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Feb. 26, 2013) - This is the eighth year that Baylor University will host the Philosophy of Religion Conference, a preeminent discussion on religious philosophy that draws scholars from across the nation. This year's conference will take place Feb. 28 through March 2.

"We have now hosted more than 10 of these conferences, and they have become the most important conferences in philosophy of religion anywhere," said Jonathan Kvanvig, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Philosophy in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences and organizer of the conference. "This year, we have visiting speakers from Stanford, UC-Berkeley, Colorado, Auckland and Yale, among others."

The conference is free and open to the public. It will take place at the Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Ave. A list of the guest speakers is as follows:

Friday, March 1

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. - Hud Hudson

Hud Hudson, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at Western Washington University, where he has taught for more than 20 years. His lecture titled "The Father of Lies?" will analyze the ideas of knowledge by revelation and skeptical theism. He will characterize problems that result when these beliefs are held simultaneously and explore possible solutions.

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. - Lara Buchak

After receiving her Ph.D. from Princeton University, Lara Buchak became an assistant professor of philosophy at University of California, Berkeley. Her research of decision, game and rational choice theories focuses on how individuals ought to take risk into account when making decisions and how we should best model risk attitudes within decision theory.

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker, Ph.D., is a lecturer at the University of Auckland in New Zealand with research interests in epistemology. He will speak on "Welfare and the Problem of Evil," discussing the co-existence of suffering and evil with a morally perfect being. This idea leads to the "argument from evil" and the Standard Position, which will be main topics of Tucker's lecture.

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. - Joshua Thurow

The research interests of Joshua Thurow, Ph.D., include epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of religion. He is an assistant professor of philosophy at The University of Texas at San Antonio. His lecture titled "Some Reflections on Cognitive Science, Doubt, and Religious Belief" will regard naturalistic explanations of religious belief and whether they undermine traditional thoughts on religion.

3 p.m. to 4 p.m. - Kenneth Taylor

Kenneth Taylor, Ph.D., is Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. "How to Vanquish the Fading Shadow of the Long Dead God" is a lecture inspired by Nietzsche's lament of the bad faith in which humans mistakenly, desperately and dishonestly seek out immanent stand-ins to play the grounding roles that divine command, divine love or divine nature once were thought to play.

Saturday, March 2

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. - Andrew M. Bailey

Andrew M. Bailey, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of humanities at Yale and the National University of Singapore. His lecture is titled "One God Composed of Three Persons" and will deal with the doctrine of the Trinity and its relation to Christianity's belief in one God. He will argue that a mereological model is more viable than previously thought and should be further considered.

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - John Heil

John Heil, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy and philosophy-neuroscience-psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. In his lecture "Cartesian Transubstantiation," Heil will speak about the Catholic Church's idea that the sacramental bread and wine of the Eucharist change into Christ's body and blood when consumed. This lecture will explore the difficulties in reconciling the 13th-century religious belief with the physics theories of Aristotle and Descartes.

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. - Timothy Pawl

"Conciliar Christology and the Problem of Incompatible Predications" will be the lecture topic of Timothy Pawl, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas. He will present and evaluate an argument for the incoherence of Conciliar Christology, a conjunction of claims concerning the incarnation in the seven Ecumenical Councils. Thereafter, nine responses to this argument will be considered.

3 p.m. to 4 p.m. - Bradley Monton

Bradley Monton received his Ph.D. from Princeton and now teaches as a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "An Atheistic Defense of Christian Science" is the title of his lecture, which will focus on how engagement in Christian Science is equally beneficial to Christians and atheists.

by Brent Salter, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University's oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 26 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit

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