Institute for Faith and Learning’s Annual Symposium on Faith and Culture Focuses on Stewardship of Creation

faith and culture
Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning will host the annual Symposium on Faith and Culture from Wednesday, Oct. 24, to Friday, Oct. 26. The theme will be "Stewardship of Creation."
Oct. 22, 2018

Scholars and practitioners will explore how divine mandate of faith might animate humans’ stewardship of God’s creation

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
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by Jessie Jilovec, student newswriter

WACO, Texas (Oct. 22, 2018) – “Stewardship of Creation” will be the theme for the annual Symposium on Faith and Culture, hosted by Baylor University’s Institute for Faith and Learning from Wednesday, Oct. 24, to Friday, Oct. 26. The various panel presentations and colloquium sessions will take place in the Bill Daniel Student Center, 1311 S. Fifth St. on the Baylor campus.

According to the IFL website, the Bible enjoins stewardship of God’s creation as fundamental to humankind’s role as the pinnacle of God’s creative activity. Further, Christian environmental care is rooted in a theology of creation, which suggests that care for God’s creation reflects both love of God and love of neighbor. The symposium aims to consider opportunities and challenges people of faith face as they observe the divine mandate to care for God’s creation.

The symposium will explore the resources the Christian tradition offers regarding management and wise use of natural resources, and further, how religious accounts of God, creation, justice and human flourishing shape the embrace and use of technology that alters the world and every living creature in it for good and bad. Speakers will consider what faithful stewardship will look like in coming decades.

“This year’s Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture will feature scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines – environmental science, theology, public policy, the arts – who will explore the way that the mandate of our faith to stewardship might animate our care of the world around us,” said Darin Davis, Ph.D., vice president for university mission and director of IFL. “How do we come to grasp with our calling to take good care of all that has been entrusted to us? We are honored that Baylor can host such a timely and significant discussion.”

Symposium speakers include:

  • Jeffrey Ball, B.A., scholar-in-residence at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University and lecturer at Stanford Law School
  • Philip Bess, M. Arch., M.T.S., professor of architecture at the University of Notre Dame, teaching graduate urban design and theory with an interest in Catholic and classical humanist intellectual and artistic traditions in the context of modern American life.
  • Susan P. Bratton, Ph.D., professor of environmental science at Baylor University with a focus on conservation ecology and the interface between religion and environmental ethics.
  • Ellen F. Davis, Ph.D., Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School.
  • Calvin B. DeWitt, Ph.D., environmental scientist in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and emeritus professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Michael Foley, Ph.D., associate professor of patristics in the Great Texts program at Baylor University.
  • Makoto Fujimura, M.F.A. and honorary Ph.D. recipient, director of Fuller Theological Seminary’s Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts.
  • Philip Jenkins, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University and co-director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion in Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion.
  • Christopher Miller, Ph.D., professor of architecture at Judson University, teaching courses in art and design departments.
  • S. Kay Toombs, Ph.D., associate professor emeritus of philosophy at Baylor University.
  • Theodore R. Vitali, C.P., Ph.D., previous chair of the department of philosophy at Saint Louis University and current faculty member.
  • Robert White, Ph.D., professor of geophysics in the department of earth sciences at Cambridge University and director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.
  • Ralph Wood, Ph.D., University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University.

Symposium panelists include:

  • Julia Daniel, Ph.D., assistant professor of English at Baylor University.
  • Josh King, Ph.D., associate professor of English and Margarett Root Chair in Robert Browning and Victorian Studies at Baylor University.
  • Emma Mason, Ph.D., professor of English and comparative literary studies at the University of Warwick.

Each year, the Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture addresses significant issues from the vantage point of Christian intellectual traditions. It thereby embodies Baylor University's aspiration to cultivate reflective engagement with the world of public ideas and issues, especially in a way that acknowledges the relevance of Christian questions, convictions and contributions. Featuring leading national and international scholars and including a wide range of participants from varied denominational, private and public universities, the symposium is convened annually by Baylor's IFL.

Previous symposia have address such topics as the Bible and the Reformation, the Spirit of Sport, Faith and Film, and Human Dignity and the Future of Healthcare.

For a full schedule of events and additional speaker information, visit the Institute for Faith and Learning website, email or call 254-710-4805.


The Institute for Faith and Learning was founded in 1997 to assist Baylor in achieving its mission of integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment, and its goal of becoming a university of the first rank committed to its Baptist and Christian heritage. Since its founding, the Institute has developed several major programs in support of this mission, cultivating high-quality research, sponsoring conferences, mentoring students, and encouraging teaching faithful to the Christian intellectual tradition.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 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 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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