Intersection of Religious and Secular Cores Conference, September 25-27, 2014 conference papers online

Sponsored by Rhodes College, “Project for Democracy,” Pepperdine University’s Seaver College, the Apgar Foundation, and the ACTC Liberal Arts Institute
Thursday, September 25 – Saturday September 27, 2014

Thursday September 25th

6:00 PM: Reception and Welcome to Religious and Secular Cores Conference at Rhodes College by J. Scott Lee, ACTC Executive Director

6:45: Dinner

Plenary Address:  Roger Scruton,Senior Research Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford and Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington DC.  Evening Plenary Address:  “Introducing the Sacred into a Secular Curriculum


Friday September 26th

7:30-8:30 Breakfast at the Springhill Suites.  Transportation to campus.

9:00- 9:50 Plenary address: Wilfred McClay, G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in History of Liberty, University of Oklahoma :“The Varieties of Core Experience: Some Jamesian Reflections

10:00-10:50: Breakout sessions:

1.  The Advantages and Significance of Religion for a Liberal Arts Education

Molly Flynn, Assumption College, “You’ve Got to Recapitulate the Positive

Rick Kamber, The College of New Jersey, “How Appreciation of Religion Can Be Taught in a Secular Classroom.”

Chair:  Scott Ashmon, Concordia University—Irvine

2.  The Classical Tradition: Conflicts and Conjunctions

Adam Kotsko, Shimer College, “’These Fragments I Have Shored Against My Ruins’:  The Wasteland, Modernism, and ‘The Western Tradition’.

Matthew B. Koss, College of the Holy Cross, “When Cores Collide.

Chair:  David Dimattio, Montgomery County Community College

11:00-11:50 Plenary panel:  Rhodes & Pepperdine Co-sponsors’ Panel2_edited

John Churchill, Rhodes Graduate, Phi Beta Kappa Chief Executive Officer, “What's a Core For?  Varieties of Curricular Experience.

Stephen Wirls, Rhodes College, “How the Secular Presupposes the Sacred and Why We Should Teach that Way.”

Jane Kelley Rodeheffer, Pepperdine University, “Boundary Issues: Patterns of Recognition (Epignosko) in Homer’s Odyssey and The Gospel of Luke."





Moderator: Scott Newstok, Rhodes College




12:00- 12:50 Lunch

1:00- 1:50 Plenary address: Thomas Hibbs, Distinguished Professor of Ethics & Culture and Dean of the Honors College, Baylor University: “Potens Omnia: Enduring Longings in a Secularized Culture.

2:00-2:50 Plenary panel:  Religion and Philosophy: Disciplinary Walls or Common Ground

James Bryson, McGill University, “Love as Common Ground: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Symposium.”

Roger Barrus, Hampden-Sydney College, “Plato’s Apology of Socrates: Philosophy, Religion, and the Gods in the Origins of Liberal Education.

Bainard Cowan, University of Dallas, “Dante as a Means of Access to a Christian-Secular Understanding of Reason.

Chair: Patrick Flynn, Benedictine University

3:00-3:50 Breakout sessions:

1. Shaping a Core from a Christian Perspective
Joseph Nagy, Sacred Heart University, "Turning the Soul: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the Liberal Arts."

William Tate, Covenant College, “How the Sun Came Shining: Wallace Stevens in Cultural Context.4_edited

Chair:  Jennifer Prough, Valparaiso University

2.  Why Christians Read Great Books

Marc Guerra, Assumption College, “Augustine’s Argument about the Place and Role of Classical Pagan Literature in Christian Education.

C.-J. Armstrong, Concordia University—Irvine, “Basil’s On Greek Literature and the Vocation of a Student.

Chair:  Christopher Constas, Boston College

3.  Modern Religious Thinkers &  20th Century Secularism

Mark Alterman, Manhattan Christian College, “Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison.

Greg Camp, Fresno Pacific University, “Human Flourishing as Blurring the Lines between Secular and Religious Cores.

Chair:  Rebecca Kohn, Ursinus College

4:00-4:30 Plenary Discussion session

4:45-5:30 Wine and Cheese Reception Blount Lobby

 Saturday September 27th

7:30-8:30  Breakfast at Springhill Hotel.  Transportation to campus provided.

9:00-9:45 Plenary Address  Lorraine Pangle, Professor of Government

Co-Director, Thomas Jefferson Center for Core Texts and Ideas, University of Texas-Austin: “Religious Texts, Public Universities

10:00-10:45 Plenary panel:  What Use is a Religious Text in a Secular Institution?

Anne Foerst, St. Bonaventure University, “Bonventure’s Itinerarium Goes Secular.

Joseph Knippenberg, Oglethorpe University, “Teaching Religious Core Texts in a Secular College.

Chair:  Thomas Bateman, St. Thomas University

11:00-11:45 Breakout sessions:

1.  A Suspension Bridge Over a Chasm.

John Isham, Carthage College, “Rhetoric as a Possible Bridge between the Sacred and the Secular.

Mark A. Kalthoff, Hillsdale College, “Liberal Education, the Ordered Soul, and Cicero’s De officiis: A Core Text for Every Curriculum.

Chair:  Jonathan Kirkpatrick, Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford

2. Art, Prisms, and Politics: Can We Resurrect an Image?

3_edited J. David Alvis, Wofford College, “Michelangelo, The David, and the Florentine Republic.

John Seery, Pomona College, "Two Senses of the Gothic."

Chair:  Dan Cullen, Rhodes College

3. Negotiating across the Religious and the Secular

Neil Robertson, University of King’s College, “Trying to Square the Sacred Circle: Reading Core Texts Historically.

Michael Dink, St. John’s College, "Religious Texts in the St. John’s Seminar.  The Importance of non-Discrimination."

Chair:   J. Scott Lee, ACTC

12:00- 1:00 Lunch

1:15 -2:15: Plenary session:  The Eastern Dimension

Eastern Texts in a Core Curriculum

Peter Diamond, New York University, “The Place of the Analects in a Global Liberal Arts Curriculum.

Roosevelt Montás, Columbia University, “Gandhi at the Intersection of Religion and Politics.

Thomas Michael, Boston University, “Teaching the Daodejing in a Core Curriculum: The Origins of the World and Its Relation to Justice.

6_edited Chair:  Patricia Greer, St. John’s College, Santa Fe

2:30-3:30 Plenary session:  Student Reflection on the Spiritual Life

Kathleen Burk, University of Dallas, “Approaching Religious Texts with 'Spiritual but not Religious' Readers.

Charles Hilken, Saint Mary’s College of California, “War and Peace in Chretien’s Perceval.

Margaret Oakes, Furman University, “Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy and Putting One’s Life into Perspective.

Chair:  Molly Flynn, Assumption College

3:45-4:30 Plenary Discussion session

Reception 5:00-5:45 PM