Middlebury

"Truth, Academia and the Christian Faith" to be topic of symposium Oct. 23-25

October 15, 2003

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.--Does Christianity have a place in academia?  Are reason and intellect fundamentally opposed to the belief in a supernatural deity?  Can we know truth?

These questions and many more will be the subject of discussion at the symposium "Truth, Academia and the Christian Faith," on Oct. 23-25 at Middlebury College.  According to Devon Parish, a Middlebury College junior and one of the students who organized the event, questions of faith will be examined first from philosophical and then from historical, psychological and practical perspectives.  All events are free and open to the public.

"There is a debate about the differing world views of theism and naturalism, each of which leads to very dissimilar concepts of truth and reality that in turn shape our motives, value systems, studies and career choices," said Parish, who believes that at times the theistic view, and more specifically Christianity, have been discarded as antithetical to the academic process. 

"The claims of Christ and the Bible are viable whether looked at through the eyes of a scientist, archeologist or theologian.  Through thought-provoking lectures and open discussions, we hope to challenge entrenched and often unexamined assumptions of a naturalistic world," added Middlebury College senior David Kaufmann, who organized the symposium with Parish.

The symposium will begin on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. with a talk titled "Truth, Religion and Post-modern Skepticism: Can Truth Be Known?" by David O'Hara, a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Pennsylvania State University and a 1991 graduate of Middlebury College.  O'Hara will tackle the question of whether or not objective truth exists and if so, whether it is possible to know this truth.  His talk will be followed by a panel discussion including several members of the Middlebury College Religion Department.  Both events will take place in Room 216 of Bicentennial Hall on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125).

The symposium will continue on Friday, Oct. 24, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 220 of Bicentennial Hall with a talk titled "The Historical Evidence for Jesus" by Edwin Yamauchi, author and professor of history at Miami University of Ohio, who will speak on the Biblical, historical and archaeological evidence for the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

At 7:30 p.m. in the same location, "Reason, Faith and Reasons for Faith" will be the topic of a talk by Daniel Harrell, associate minister of Park Street Congregational Church in Boston.  Harrell will discuss the boundaries between faith and reason as well as where the two overlap.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, at 11 a.m. in Room 220 of Bicentennial Hall, Dennis Okholm, a professor of theology at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Cal., will give a lecture titled "Is there Eternal Significance in Education?"  Okholm will address such subjects as why college students pay tuition as high as $160,000 for an undergraduate education, and why college students go to school at all.  He will discuss how faith and education are related as he suggests potential answers to these questions.

Later on Saturday at 5 p.m., a workshop in the Grand Salon of Le Chateâu on Chateâu Road off College Street (Route 125), "Expressing Your Beliefs Through Music," will feature Jeremy Casella, a folk-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist.  Casella will offer his thoughts to musicians, students and members of the public on how to share ideas through the art of music.

The symposium will conclude at 10 p.m. in Ross Dining Hall with a concert by Casella and pianist Cason Cooley. 

For more information, contact student organizer Devon Parish at 443-6951 or dparish@middlebury.edu

  To follow is events calendar information:

"Truth, Academia and the Christian Faith"

Middlebury College Symposium

Oct. 23-25

 

Thursday, Oct. 23

 

7:30 p.m.

Lecture and panel discussion: "Truth, Religion and Post-modern Skepticism: Can Truth Be Known?" by David O'Hara, a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Pennsylvania State University and a 1991 graduate of Middlebury College.  A panel discussion will follow with several members of the Middlebury College Religion Department. 

Room 216, Bicentennial Hall, Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125)

 

Friday, Oct. 24

 

4:30 p.m.

Lecture: "The Historical Evidence for Jesus" by Edwin Yamauchi, author and professor of history at Miami University of Ohio

Room 220, Bicentennial Hall, Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125)

 

7:30 pm

Lecture: "Reason, Faith and Reasons for Faith" by Daniel Harrell, associate minister of Park Street Congregational Church in Boston

Room 220, Bicentennial Hall, Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125)

 

Saturday, Oct. 25

11 a.m.

Lecture: "Is there Eternal Significance in Education?" by Dennis Okholm, professor of theology at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Cal.

Room 220, Bicentennial Hall, Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125)

 

5 p.m.

Workshop: "Expressing Your Beliefs Through Music" led by Jeremy Casella, folk-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, who will discuss how to share ideas through the art of music

Grand Salon, Le Château, Château Road off College Street (Route 125)

 

10 p.m.

Folk-rock concert: Jeremy Casella?folk-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist?and pianist Cason Cooley

Ross Dining Hall, College Street (Route 125)

 

All events are free and open to the public.  For further information, contact student organizer Devon Parish at 443-6951 or dparish@middlebury.edu.

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