Conference on campus brings scholars together

Dr. Markos speaks at the philosophy conference as the keynote on March 22 in Belin Chapel. MARYAM GHAFFAR/THE COLLEGIAN

Dr. Markos speaks at the philosophy conference as the keynote on March 22 in Belin Chapel. MARYAM GHAFFAR/THE COLLEGIAN


Contributing writer


The University hosted its third annual philosophy conference March 22-23, featuring guests from around the world.

Dr. Jeffrey Green, dean of the School of Christian Thought, said the conference was the largest that the University has hosted, with over 40 academic papers presented.

“This conference provided a place for Christian scholars to come together and be encouraged in their faith and scholarship,” Green said. “It helped educate the members of the church, as many who came were not presenters but local Houstonians interested in the topics.”

The conference consisted of hour-long sessions with numerous sub-sessions that attendees could choose from. In each sub-session, attendees heard presentations from two different speakers who discussed the topic of their paper.

More than 50 people registered for the conference, which featured essay presentations on various topics, such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. “The Inklings,” a name that embodies the works of Lewis, Tolkien and Williams, was the overall theme of the conference.

Dr. Louis Markos, professor of English, gave Friday’s keynote address, while Jerry Walls, professor of philosophy, delivered a keynote address on Saturday.

Other members of the University community delivered presentations on various topics, with Dr. Bruce Gordon, associate professor of philosophy, and Dr. J. Daryl Hinze, assistant professor of business, both presenting papers on the ideologies of C.S. Lewis. Sophomore Nicholas Van Cleve and senior Jeremy Klutts also presented academic papers that they submitted as part of the undergraduate paper sessions.

Students and faculty from more than 20 universities and academic groups around the world also presented throughout the conference.

Green said one of the vital presentations to attend was a joint presentation on two essays that directly opposed each other. Kyle Worley, a graduate student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, presented his essay on presuppositionalism against a paper that opposed presuppositionalism by Dr. Glenn Smith, a member of the Ratio Christi Student Apologetics Alliance.

Kyle defended the ideologies of presuppositionalism, a somewhat controversial Christian ideology that asserts that a non-Christian cannot be trusted with expressing a basic truth —  such as a simple math problem — since they do not accept the most basic, inherent truth of mankind: that Jesus Christ is their personal lord and savior.

Smith’s presentation of an essay in contradiction with Kyle’s led to an exchanging of ideas between the two.

In Kyle’s presentation, he mentioned that, “Man doesn’t need true information as much as he needs true interpretation of that information,” an idea that was reiterated throughout the conference as a whole.