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.

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.