In Memoriam: Marilyn McCord Adams (1943-2017)
March 23, 2017 — 16:38

Author: Michael Bergmann  Category: Uncategorized  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Comments: 6

Christina Van Dyke shares the following:

Marilyn McCord Adams passed away early morning on March 22, 2017. She was an uncompromisingly fierce person: in her scholarship, in her pursuit of justice for the marginalized, in her wickedly awesome sense of humor, and in her love for God, Bob (her husband), and her friends.

Marilyn was a prodigious scholar and an enormously influential figure in both medieval philosophy and the philosophy of religion; she held positions at a number of top research institutions and was one of the founding members of the Society of Christian Philosophers. (See Daily Nous for a short summary of her life and work: http://dailynous.com/2017/03/22/marilyn-mccord-adams-1943-2017/)

Yet perhaps the most important legacy Marilyn leaves behind is her impact on the lives of those around her. Her heartfelt work on God and horrendous evils, her devoted ministry as an Episcopal priest, her tireless support of junior scholars–especially those on the margins of philosophy, her witness for women in a field with few role models, and her ability to combine incisive criticism with dry wit and an irresistible laugh are all just parts of what made her such an important person to so many of us.

From the moment news of her death began to spread, people started sharing stories of what Marilyn meant to them and the many ways in which she shaped their lives. Anyone who wants to should feel free to share their stories below in the comments: some losses are easier to bear in community, and it seems clear that this is one of them.

As mentioned above, Marilyn was one of the founding members of the Society of Christian Philosophers, and she remained active in the Society throughout her life. The liturgy here: http://societyofchristianphilosophers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/McCordAdamsLiturgy.pdf is one she wrote for the Service of Lament, which the SCP hosted at the 2015 Central APA, included here because it captures so much of what she thought Christian philosophers should stand for. May it continue to call us to justice and compassion as we mourn her absence and celebrate her life.

 

William L. Rowe Memorial Conference (Update)
May 9, 2016 — 10:39

Author: Michael Bergmann  Category: Uncategorized  Tags: , , ,   Comments: 0

The “William L. Rowe Memorial Conference” will be held on July 26 – July 27, 2016 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.  This conference celebrates the life and career of William Rowe, who taught at Purdue University for 43 years and was one of the preeminent philosophers of religion in the past century.

The speakers and commentators will be:

Kevin Corcoran: “The Presence (or Absence) of Theistic Experience and the Preservation (or Loss) of Religious Faith: An Exploration”

  • Commentator: Timothy O’Connor

Jeff Jordan: “The ‘Loving Parent’ Analogy”

  • Commentator: Scott Davison

John Schellenberg: “The Religiously Sensitive Atheist”

  • Commentator: Beth Seacord

Eleonore Stump: “Atonement and Shame”

  • Commentator: Evan Fales

William Wainwright: “Rowe, Tillich and Religious Symbols”

  • Commentator: William Hasker

Erik Wielenberg: “Rowe’s Evidential Argument and the Demise of Skeptical Theism”

  • Commentator: Michael Bergmann

Stephen Wykstra: “On the Importance of Being a Version: New Uses for Rowe’s Distinction between Restricted and Expanded Theism”

  • Commentator: Bruce Russell

The conference will begin at 1:00pm on Tuesday, July 26, and end at 5pm on Wednesday, July 27th. A banquet in honor and remembrance of Professor Rowe will be held on the 26th.

Registration is at:

www.conf.purdue.edu/rowe

The conference is being organized by Paul Draper (Purdue University), Bertha Alvarez Manninen (Arizona State University, West Campus), Jack Mulder (Hope College), and Kevin Sharpe (St. Cloud State University) and is sponsored by Purdue University (Department of Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts, and Religious Studies), The Society of Christian Philosophers, and The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion.

2016 SCP Eastern Regional Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers (and Panel Discussion of Pascal’s Wager)
April 26, 2016 — 12:48

Author: Michael Bergmann  Category: Uncategorized  Tags: , , , ,   Comments: 0

October 20-22, 2016

Rutgers University

New Brunswick, NJ

Conference Theme: Acquiring Faith

Call for Papers

Submissions exploring any topic in the philosophy of religion, and more generally topics of interest to theistic philosophers, are welcome. Papers on the conference theme will be given special consideration. The theme should be interpreted broadly. It includes not only consideration of the viability, legitimacy, and rationality of Pascalian approaches to acquiring faith, but a variety of other issues including, for example, the importance of various putative elements of faith (e.g., affect, trust, belief) and how else these may or may not be acquired.  Submissions are encouraged from all philosophers with interests in these topics — Christians and non-Christians, including members of other religious traditions. Submissions should be 3,000 words or less and prepared for blind review (please send a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file with no identifying ‘marks’). Include a cover letter with your name, institutional affiliation, email address, paper title, and an abstract of 150 words or less. Submissions are due by July 15, 2016. Please send your paper to 2016scpconference@gmail.com. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within one week of your submission, please re-submit.

The SCP offers a $500 prize for the best graduate student paper. For a paper to be eligible, it must be submitted by July 15, 2016. The $500 award will be presented publicly at the conference. If you are a graduate student and would like your paper to be considered for the prize, please indicate that you are a graduate student in your submission email.

The conference will culminate in a round-table panel discussion of Pascal’s Wager, with our Plenary Speakers as participants.

Plenary Speakers & Panel Participants:

Laurie Paul (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Daniel Garber (Princeton University) 

Alan Hájek (Australian National University)

Lara Buchak (University of California, Berkeley)

William L. Rowe Memorial Conference
February 13, 2016 — 8:26

Author: Michael Bergmann  Category: Uncategorized  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Comments: 0

We are pleased to announce the “William L. Rowe Memorial Conference” to be held July 26 – July 27, 2016, at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.  The conference will celebrate the life and career of William Rowe, a long time professor of Philosophy at Purdue University and one of the preeminent philosophers of religion in the past century.

The speakers will be:

  • Michael Bergmann
  • Kevin Corcoran
  • Scott Davison
  • Evan Fales
  • William Hasker
  • Jeff Jordan
  • Timothy O’Connor
  • Bruce Russell
  • John Schellenberg
  • Beth Seacord
  • Eleonore Stump
  • William Wainwright
  • Erik Wielenberg
  • Stephen Wykstra

On the evening of July 26, the organizers will host a banquet in honor of Rowe and have invited members of his family to participate.

The conference is being organized by Paul Draper (Purdue University), Bertha Alvarez Manninen (Arizona State University, West Campus), Jack Mulder (Hope College), and Kevin Sharpe (St. Cloud State University) and is sponsored by Purdue University (Department of Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts, and Religious Studies), The Society of Christian Philosophers, and The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion.

Additional information, including a complete schedule of events and registration information, will be sent out in the near future.

In Memoriam: William L. Rowe (1931-2015)
August 22, 2015 — 10:23

Author: Michael Bergmann  Category: Uncategorized  Tags: , , , ,   Comments: 23

Paul Draper shares the following:

It is with great sadness that I inform you that my friend, William Rowe, died this morning (August 22nd, 2015). As most of you know, he was a philosopher of religion and metaphysician, best known for his work on the cosmological argument, the problem of evil, and Thomas Reid’s theory of agent causation. What follows is a brief summary of some of his accomplishments.

Rowe earned his Ph.D. in 1962 at the University of Michigan under William P. Alston and wrote a dissertation—the basis for his first book (1968)—on Paul Tillich’s philosophical theology. He taught at Purdue University from 1962 to 2005 and, in 1986-7, was President of the American Philosophical Association’s Central Division.

Rowe wrote a second book (1975) focusing mainly on Samuel Clarke’s version of the cosmological argument for the existence of a necessary being. Hume had attacked this sort of argument by claiming that if each member of an infinite series of dependent beings is explained by another member of that series, then the entire series is explained. Rowe rejects Hume’s claim on the grounds that explaining each dependent being in terms of another leaves unexplained why the collection of all dependent beings has any members at all. He nevertheless finds Clarke’s argument unpersuasive because it depends on a dubious principle of sufficient reason.

Beginning in 1979 with his famous paper “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism,” Rowe published numerous papers defending an argument from evil against theism. Rowe denies that a logical incompatibility between God’s existence and known facts about evil can be established. He maintains instead that theists face an evidential problem of evil. In Rowe’s distinctive argument, however, the crucial evidence is not that our world contains horrendous evils, but that we cannot even conceive of any goods that justify God’s allowing those evils.

Rowe’s most recent book (2004) challenges the view that God is both free and perfectly good. For either there is a best of all possible worlds or there isn’t. If there is, then a perfectly good God must create it and so is not free. If there is not, then no matter which world God freely chooses to create, it is possible to create a better one, which, Rowe argues, implies that God is not perfectly good.

Bill Rowe was much more than a great thinker. He was a warm and extraordinarily gracious man, a mature and beautiful soul who had a gift for making others feel welcome and at ease. He will be sorely missed both by those who had the great fortune of knowing him personally and by those who know him only through his brilliant philosophical work.

Paul Draper
Purdue University

Videos Now Available for Swinburne Conference
December 3, 2014 — 9:30

Author: Michael Bergmann  Category: News  Tags:   Comments: 0

The videos for the Swinburne Conference (Faith and Reason: Themes from Swinburne, Sept 25-27, 2014 at Purdue University) are now available for viewing here: http://swinburneconference.wordpress.com/.

Registration now open for Conference on “Faith and Reason: Themes from Swinburne” Sept 25-27, 2014
April 15, 2014 — 20:49

Author: Michael Bergmann  Category: News  Tags: , ,   Comments: 0

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for “Faith and Reason: Themes from Swinburne,” a conference to be held at Purdue University, September 25-27, 2014.  Details about registration, lodging, and the schedule of events can be found online at the conference website (www.conf.purdue.edu/swinburne).  We encourage you to register for your hotel room soon to be sure you are able to secure the best rate and location for lodging.  This conference is organized by Michael Bergmann and Jeffrey Brower and sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion, and the Society of Christian Philosophers.

Conference on “Faith and Reason: Themes from Swinburne” Sept 25-27, 2014
February 1, 2014 — 9:34

Author: Michael Bergmann  Category: News  Tags: , , , , ,   Comments: 1

As an update to our previous post, we are pleased to announce the schedule (including paper titles, main speakers, commentators, and chairs) for a conference in honor of and on themes from the work of Richard Swinburne. The conference will be held at Purdue University and will begin at 6pm Thursday, September 25 and conclude at 6pm on Saturday, September 27. This event is organized by Michael Bergmann and Jeffrey Brower and sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion, and the Society of Christian Philosophers. More details, including online registration information, will be available over the next few months. For now, here is the full line-up for the conference:

1. “Faith as Trust”
— Main Speaker: Jonathan Kvanvig, Baylor University
— Commentator: Frances Howard-Snyder, Western Washington University
— Chair: Robert Koons, University of Texas at Austin

2. “Faith and the Will”
— Main Speaker: John Schellenberg, Mount Saint Vincent University
— Commentator: Trent Dougherty, Baylor University
— Chair: Kristen Irwin, Biola University

3. “Intrinsic Probability and Natural Theology”
— Main Speaker: Paul Draper, Purdue University
— Commentator: Bradley Monton, University of Colorado, Boulder
— Chair: Sandra Visser, Valparaiso University

4. “On Swinburne’s Fine-Tuning Argument”
— Main speaker: Hud Hudson, Western Washington University
— Commentator: Roger White, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
— Chair: Susan Brower-Toland, Saint Louis University

5. “Law and Order”
— Main speaker: Alvin Plantinga, University of Notre Dame and Calvin College
— Commentator: Laura Ekstrom, College of William and Mary
— Chair: Ric Otte, University of California, Santa Cruz

6. “Time, Eternity, and Future Contingents”
— Main speaker: Dean Zimmerman, Rutgers University
— Commentator: Meghan Sullivan, University of Notre Dame
— Chair: William Hasker, Huntington College

7. “Love, Goodness, Justice, and Forgiveness”
— Main speaker: Eleonore Stump, Saint Louis University
— Commentator: Michael Rea, University of Notre Dame
— Chair: Timothy O’Connor, Indiana University

8. “Thinking Again about the Atonement”
— Main speaker: Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University
— Commentator: Jesse Couenhoven, Villanova University
— Chair: Steffi Lewis, Municipal Capital Management, LLC

9. “The Doomsday Argument and Personal Immortality”
— Main speaker: Peter van Inwagen, University of Notre Dame
— Commentator: Lara Buchak, University of California, Berkeley
— Chair: Ted Poston, University of South Alabama

10. “The Soul, Its Nature and Future Prospects”
— Main speaker: Marilyn McCord Adams, Rutgers University
— Commentator: Brian Leftow, Oxford University
— Chair: Alan Padgett, Luther Seminary

Conference on “Faith and Reason: Themes from Swinburne” Sept 25-27, 2014
June 3, 2013 — 15:28

Author: Michael Bergmann  Category: News  Tags: , , ,   Comments: 0

We are pleased to provide advance notice of a conference to be held at Purdue University in September 2014 (*not* 2013) in honor of and on themes from the work of Richard Swinburne. The main speakers will be:
• Marilyn McCord Adams, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
• Paul Draper, Purdue University
• Hud Hudson, Western Washington University
• Jonathan Kvanvig, Baylor University
• Alvin Plantinga, University of Notre Dame and Calvin College
• John Schellenberg, Mount Saint Vincent University
• Eleonore Stump, Saint Louis University
• Peter van Inwagen, University of Notre Dame
• Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University
• Dean Zimmerman, Rutgers University
Richard Swinburne will also be in attendance.
This conference is organized by Michael Bergmann and Jeffrey Brower and sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion, and the Society of Christian Philosophers. More details will be available over the next year, as the conference date approaches.

Videos online from “Challenges” conference at Purdue
October 17, 2012 — 9:18

Author: Michael Bergmann  Category: News  Comments: 0

For those who missed the Sept 2012 conference at Purdue
(“Challenges to Religious and Moral Belief”)–and also for those who want to relive or review the experience–the videos of the talks are now available online.  To view them, go to the conference page (www.knowinginreligionandmorality.com/conference.html)
and click on “Video”.