Good With(out) God?: Adventism and 19th Century Moral Philosophy

September 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Join us for our fifth annual symposium as we explore 19th century reflections on the relationship between faith and morality.

Dates: November 20-21, 2014

Location: San Diego, CA – Thomas Jefferson School of Law, #227

Keynote address: C. Stephen Evans (Baylor University)

Schedule:

November 20, 2014

8:30am – Welcome and Introductions

9:00-10:30am – Session 1: Schelling and Hegel

“Freedom, Pantheism, and Radical Evil in Schelling’s ‘Middle Period’”
– Darin McGinnis (Wheeling Jesuit University)

“Hegel, Adventists, and the Pursuit of Truth”
– G. Russell Seay (Oakwood University)

10:30-12:00pm – Session 2: Nietzsche and Dostoevsky

Ressentiment and the Advent Hope”
– Jasper St. Bernard II (University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point)

“Is Everything Permitted Without God?”
– Ronald E. Osborn (Wellesley College)

12:00-1:30pm – Lunch

1:30-3:00pm – Session 3: Kierkegaard

– “A Re-evaluation Of Feeling And Its Consequences For Religious Thought”
Anthony Malagon (Queens College)

“Good, God, and Kierkegaard”
– Charles Scriven (Kettering College of Medical Arts, emeritus)

3:00-5:00pm – Session 4

Keynote Address: C. Stephen Evans (Baylor University)

Response: TBD

5:30pm – Dinner followed by casual after dinner discussion of papers

November 21, 2014

3:30pm – Business meeting*

*Meeting will take place at Hilton Bayfront (Coronado B)

Registration: Please register by e-mailing adventistphilosophy@gmail.com. The registration fee is $50 for non-society members and $25 for members. Payments can be made here or at the conference, but please register by sending us an e-mail. (Space is limited and priority will be given to society members.) The fee is waived for conference presenters and those who have already made a contribution to the organization of the conference.

Accommodations: Conference participants are responsible for their own meals, lodging, and transportation.

2014 Call for Papers

April 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

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The Society of Adventist Philosophers invites submissions for papers and panels to be presented at its annual symposium.

Theme: Good With(out) God?: Adventism and 19th Century Ethical Philosophy
Date: November 20, 2014
Location: San Diego, CA

Keynote Speaker: C. Stephen Evans (Baylor University)

Seventh-day Adventism established itself in the 19th century in the tumultuous time of the second great religious awakening. The 19th century was also a century rich in philosophical thought.  What are the connections and disconnections between these two great phenomena of the 19th century; between a religious movement turned Protestant denomination in the United States and philosophical thought (so much of it on religion generally, and also on Christianity in particular) in Europe and England?

The Society of Adventist Philosophers calls for papers relating Adventism to the philosophers of the 19th century, focusing on their ethical/religious thought. Such figures include:

  • Kant
  • The German Idealists (Fichte, Schelling, Hegel)
  • Schopenhauer
  • Marx
  • Feuerbach
  • Mill
  • Kierkegaard
  • Nietzsche

Submission Guidelines:

Papers, paper abstracts and panel proposals of up to 300 words should be submitted by June 30, 2014 to adventistphilosophy@gmail.com. Paper length should not exceed 10 pages, double-spaced, or 3000 words.

Notice of acceptance will be sent by July 31, 2014.

Society Gathers in Baltimore to Address the Issues of Race and Gender

April 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

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What, exactly, are humans?

Aristotle influentially classified us as “rational animals.” It is our rationality that distinguishes us from other animals and makes us what we are; it is our “essence.” According to Aristotle, however, it turns out that some humans are less rational than others, and therefore less fully human than others: “The slave is wholly lacking the deliberative element; the female has it but it lacks authority” (Politics 1260a11).

There are some humans who, because of their gender or race (Aristotle thought non-Greeks, i.e. “barbarians” should be slaves), should naturally be “ruled over by others.” Aristotle’s views strike us today as being naively patriarchic and ethnocentric. Yet we know they have been tremendously influential in the West, and through followers like Thomas Aquinas, also shaped Christian thinking on these matters.

How influential has Aristotle been in Adventism? To what extent must we disentangle ourselves from his way of thinking about human nature?

For the past several years, Adventist scholars have gathered annually to broach a variety of philosophical themes—epistemology, the teaching of philosophy in Adventist institutions of higher education, and the relationship between faith and reason. This year, our focus (broadly speaking) was metaphysical. Part of our reasoning for selecting the theme was due to the issue being examined by a sister scholarly society, as well as the world church—ordination. We wanted to explore the philosophical issue undergirding the theological debates. Hence our theme “Essentialism: Adventism and Questions of Race and Gender.”

Although papers were presented on both race and gender at our conference in Baltimore, MD (November 21, 2013), the essays published here focus on the former of the two issues. The reason for this is primarily practical (space and time), but the similarities between the ideological and social challenges of addressing both racism and sexism in our faith community makes a philosophical examination of race relevant for understanding the ways we think about gender.

G. Russell Seay, associate professor of religion at Oakwood University, observed the following before offering his response to this year’s keynote speaker:

The Society of Adventist Philosophers, perhaps the youngest of the Adventist scholars’ societies, is the first to raise (to my knowledge) the issue of race for analysis and critique in the Adventist church. The seriousness of your effort to enter thoughtful conversation around this pervasive, distracting, and demoralizing issue is demonstrated in your choice of a plenary speaker, George Yancy, one of the leading philosophers of race in America.”

Professor Yancy’s gripping presentation, “Speaking from Behind the Veil,” drew on phenomenological, logical, and theological analysis to help those in attendance not just understand, but feel what it is like to be “black” in America.

Yancy’s address was preceded by other thought-provoking papers, three of which are shared here. Matthew Burdette’s essay, “Adventism and American White Supremacy” clarifies that race is not simply biological and racism is not simply mistreating others. Both have to do with the way we look at each other and this has a lot to do with our collective sense of where we have come from and where we are going. We have to retell that story, perhaps radically, in order to overcome racism.

In “Do It Yourself,” Timothy J. Golden examines the two conflicting interpretations of Scripture offered by Adventist leaders about involvement in the civil rights movement: African-American church leaders demanded participation while white Adventists advocated withdrawal. After his analysis and explanation, Golden draws out implications for our reading of the Bible today.

Lastly, Aleksandar S. Santrac provides a historical overview and analysis of Adventist leaders John Harvey Kellogg and Ellen G. White’s views on race, contextualizing these views in nineteenth-century America.

While these essays do not represent the views of the members of our diverse society, they are presented here in the hopes of advancing a shared vision articulated by G. Russell Seay in his concluding comments at the conference:

“Is it possible that this conference, willing to address this important issue facing the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is the beginning of God showing us a better way? A better way may not be getting to a place where race is no longer an issue, but a place where we acknowledge its powerful gravitational pull to view the other with contempt, while affirming our value to their detriment.”

A special thanks to Abigail Doukhan, assistant professor of philosophy at CUNY-Queens, for her help in organizing and editing these papers into their present form, Bonnie Dwyer and the Spectrum team for providing the space for them in this issue, and Spectrum readers, for allowing us to join and contribute to the conversation.

*This introductory editorial, along with three papers from the conference, was published in Spectrum Magazine, Vol. 42, Issue 1 (Winter 2014).

Essentialism: Adventism and Questions of Race and Gender

October 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Join us for our fourth annual symposium as we consider the issue of essentialism and its implications for questions of race and gender.

Dates: November 21-22, 2013

Location: University of Baltimore, MD (William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center (Room BC003), 11 W. Mt. Royal Avenue)

Keynote address: George Yancy (Duquesne University)

Schedule:

November 21, 2013 
8:30am – Welcome and Introductions

9:00-10:30am – Session 1: Race

“Adventist Philosophy of Race and John Harvey Kellogg”
– Aleksandar S. Santrac (University of the Southern Caribbean)

“Tracing the Story of Race in the Story of Faith”
– Matthew Burdette (University of Aberdeen)

10:30-12:00pm – Session 2: Gender

“Conceptualizing and Performing Gender”
– Trisha Famisaran (La Sierra University)

“Judith Butler and E.G. White on Sex, Gender, and Personal Identity”
– Hans Gutierrez (Italian Adventist College)

12:00-1:30pm – Lunch

1:30-3:00pm – Session 3: Ways Forward? 

“Do it Yourself: Epistemic Humility, Hermeneutics, and the Problem of Race”
– Timothy J. Golden (West Chester University of Pennsylvania)

“Communion With Difference”
– Daryll Ward (Kettering College of Medical Arts)

3:00-5:00pm – Session 4

“Speaking From Behind the Veil: Whiteness as Anti-Theological”
– George Yancy (Duquesne University)

Response: G. Russell Seay (Oakwood University)

5:30pm – Dinner followed by casual after dinner discussion of papers

November 22, 2013

3:30pm – Business meeting*

*Meeting will take place at Royal Sonesta Harbor Court, Whitehall Ballroom South.

Registration: Please register by e-mailing adventistphilosophy@gmail.com. The registration fee is $50 for non-society members and $25 for members. Payments can be made here or at the conference, but please register by sending us an e-mail. (Space is limited and priority will be given to society members.) The fee is waived for conference presenters and those who have already made a contribution to the organization of the conference.

Accommodations: Conference participants are responsible for their own meals, lodging, and transportation.

2013 Call for Papers

April 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

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The Society of Adventist Philosophers invites submissions for papers and panels to be presented at its annual symposium.

Theme: Essentialism: Adventism and Questions of Race and Gender

Date: November 21, 2013

Location: Baltimore, MD

Keynote speaker: George Yancy (Duquesne University)

We invite presenters to submit abstracts or papers that address the metaphysics of race and/or gender and its epistemological and ethical implications.  Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, addressing Adventism and its relation to:

  • Essentialism
  • Constructivism
  • Questions of racial/gender identity
  • Phenomenological and existentialist accounts of race/gender
  • Hermeneutics and race/gender
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Feminism

Submission Guidelines:

Papers, paper abstracts and panel proposals of up to 300 words should be submitted by July 31, 2013 to adventistphilosophy@gmail.com. Paper length should not exceed 10 pages double-spaced or 3000 words.

Notice of acceptance will be sent by August 16, 2013.

Society Gathers in Chicago for its Third Annual Symposium

December 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

2012 Group photo

From left to right (back): Ante Jeroncic, Charles Scriven, David Newman, Oliver Glanz, Ron Osborn, James Walter, Zane Yi, Timothy Golden, Nicolas Miller, Zack Plantak, David Trim, John Markovic, Hans Gutierrez, Gary Wood, Tennyson Samraj, Olive Hemming, Jim Londis, Phil Brantley, Bonnie Dwyer (front) Abigail Doukhan, Anne Collier-Freed, Nancey Murphy, Fritz Guy, Richard Rice (not pictured: Alex Carpenter, Doris Tetz Carpenter, Trisha Famisaren, Yi Shen Ma, Aleksander Santrac, and Daryl Ward) (photo by Alex Carpenter)

“As an Adventist doctoral student of philosopher Nancey Murphy at the tail end of the last century, I sought to redress in various ways the “discontents” accompanying modern foundationalist philosophical assumptions that shaped Adventist theology from its emergence in the nineteenth century.  Still on this quest today, I was grateful to be able to re-engage Murphy’s work at the last meeting of the Society of Adventist Philosophers. My short response to her presentation at this meeting (a version of which follows) only gestures toward ways her characterization of foundationalist and non-foundationalist philosophies might help Adventists to witness faithfully to Adventist truths in our postmodern world.  Yet I hope sharing these gestures will in some way spur on further reflection on the challenge and value of engaging in this kind of critical and constructive theological work by thinkers and leaders within the church…”

You can read the rest of Dr. Anne Collier-Freed’s reflections here.

Foundationalism and Its Discontents

October 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Join us for our third annual symposium as we consider the issue of  “Foundationalism and Its Discontents”.

Dates: November 15-16, 2012

Location: Chicago, IL (DePaul Center 8010, 1 East Jackson Boulevard)

Keynote address: Nancey Murphy (Fuller Theological Seminary)

Schedule:
November 15, 2012
8:30am – Welcome and Prayer

9:00-10:30am – Session 1
-Timothy J. Golden  (West Chester University of Pennsylvania)
-Alexander Carpenter (Pacific Union College)

10:30-12:00pm – Session 2
-Karen Abrahamson (Andrews University)
-Ron Osborn (University of Southern California)
-Charles Scriven (Kettering College of Medical Arts)

12:00-1:30pm – Lunch

1:30-3:00pm – Session 3
-Nicholas Miller (Andrews Theological Seminary)
-Hans Gutierrez (Italian Adventist College)

3:00-5:00pm – Session 4
“Modern Epistemology and the Possibility of Theology”
Nancey Murphy (Fuller Theological Seminary)

Roundtable discussion (with Anne Collier-Freed, Fritz Guy, Nancey Murphy, and Richard Rice)

5:30pm – Dinner followed by casual after dinner discussion of papers

November 16, 2012

3:30pm – Business meeting*

*Meeting will take place at McCormick Place, Room N 426 b.

Registration: Please register by e-mailing adventistphilosophy@gmail.com. The registration fee is $50 for non-society members and $25 for members. Payments can be made here or at the conference, but please register by sending us an e-mail. (Space is limited this year and priority will be given to society members.) The fee is waived for conference presenters and those who have already made a contribution to the organization of the conference.

Accommodations: Conference participants are responsible for their own meals, lodging and transportation. For more information about possible options, click here.

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