This is the twenty-first installment of a series of interviews I am conducting with academic philosophers about their religious practices. In this series of interviews, I ask philosophers about their religious practices and the influence on their philosophical work. Follow the links for parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20. The contributors are in various stages of their career, tenured and untenured. Interviews were conducted through e-mail and responses are not edited.
This interview is with Kevin Timpe, who will be the Jellema Chair of Christian Philosophy starting this fall.
Can you tell me something about your current academic position and work, and your religious affiliation/self-identification?
I’m actually in transition this summer. We’re in the process of moving to Grand Rapids, MI where I’ll be the W. H. Jellema Chair in Christian Philosophy at Calvin College starting this coming fall. I just finished my seventh year at Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho, and before that I taught for six years at the University of San Diego in southern California. As you can tell from this, I’ve been at a number of fairly different Christian universities over the course of my career.
I’m joked a few times that I’ve gone from teaching in a Catholic school to a Wesleyan school and now to a Reformed school without substantively changing my philosophical or religious views, but I actually think there’s a fair bit of truth in that description. I have a strong affinity for what my friend and frequent co-author Tim Pawl calls ‘conciliar Christianity’. I lean toward the medievals (more so than toward modern or postmodern theologians) in a lot of my theological views, which helps explain why I have many Catholic sympathies. A few of my papers have drawn heavily on parts of Augustine’s and Aquinas’s thought. Some of my views are a little unusual for a Protestant, such as my thinking that purgatory fits very nicely with what I think about character formation and a recent paper of mine exploring a particular understanding of limbo. Last year for a paper on grace, I read a fair bit of Maximus the Confessor and would love to engage his thought more in the coming years.
In terms of research, most of my early work focused on issues relating to the metaphysics of free will and various issues in the philosophy of religion. At the University of San Diego, I taught a general-education ethics course entitled “Virtues and Vices” that got me thinking more about virtue ethics, particularly about the connections between our actions and our moral character. Though initially primarily a teaching interest, I came to write some on moral character and virtue, and eventually edited a collection (with Craig Boyd) entitled Virtues and Their Vices (OUP, 2014). A little over a year ago, I started a new research project on philosophy of disability, largely as the result of having a disabled child and having to do some significant advocating for him once he entered elementary school. Though my other interests remain, I think that disability (including how it intersects with agency) will be the primary focus of my research for the next few years.
The Cluster Group on Analytic Theology at University of Navarra (http://www.unav.edu/en/web/facultad-de-filosofia-y-letras/analytic-theology) is pleased to announce four new lectures videos by Eleonore Stump:
1) ‘Eternity, Simplicity, and Divine Presence’ by Eleonore Stump. Second Public Lecture on Analytic Theology. Cluster Group at University of Navarra. April 20, 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtHOqnQBAMo
2) Q&A ‘Eternity, Simplicity, and Divine Presence’ by Eleonore Stump. Analytic Theology Cluster Group at University of Navarra. April 20, 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlW8ueEYbhw
3) ‘The Openness of God: Eternity and Free Will’ by Eleonore Stump Second Special Session for the Cluster Group on Analytic Theology at the University of Navarra. April 21, 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JVzy-eXqKU
4) Q&A ‘The Openness of God: Eternity and Free Will’ by Eleonore Stump. Analytic Theology Cluster Group at University of Navarra. April 21, 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js9K9R9_F-4
The Cluster Group in Analytic Theology at the University of Navarra “Philosophical and Theological Perspectives on Divine Providence” gathered together philosophers and theologians to study and discuss the main approaches made to this issue with an analytic methodology. As a result of the group activities Analytic Theology was introduced for the first time in Spanish academia. The Cluster Group was supported by the Project “Analytic Theology” of the Center for Philosophy of Religion of the University of Notre Dame, funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
Comments are very much welcome.
The 2015 Analytic Theology Cluster Group at University of Navarra (Spain)
The Cluster Group in Analytic Theology at the University of Navarra “Philosophical and Theological Perspectives on Divine Providence” gather together philosophers and theologians to study and discuss the main approaches made to this issue with an analytic methodology. As a result of the group activities Analytic Theology will be introduced for the first time in Spanish academia. The Cluster Group is supported by the Project “Analytic Theology” of the Center for Philosophy of Religion of the University of Notre Dame, funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
We will hold ten monthly Seminars related to our research project. Topics include:
- Providence, Omniscience and Foreknowledge.
- Providence and Divine Action.
- Providence and Evil.
- Providence, Libertarian Free Will and Determinism.
Two of the seminars will be given by two guests lecturers, Eleonore Stump and Brian Leftow. But also, we have two Public Lectures at Room 03, Amigos Building, University of Navarra. Participation is free without need of reservation.
- Lecture 1 (Monday 2 March, 2015), Brian Leftow: Providence Determinism and Hell.
- Lecture 2 (Monday 20 April, 2015), Eleonore Stump: Eternity, Simplicity, and Divine Presence.
For further information you can have a look at our website: http://www.unav.edu/en/web/facultad-de-filosofia-y-letras/analytic-theology