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Philosophy of Religion: Body and Soul

September 15, 2003, 7:00 p.m., First Lutheran Church, Morris
Derk Pereboom (The University of Vermont, Burlington)
“Free Will, Evil, and Divine Providence”

The doctrine of divine determinism--God is the sufficient cause of everything in creation-- seems to imply that, as God is the ultimate cause of all events, he is the ultimate cause of all evil. Professor Pereboom will discuss whether this doctrine can be retained consistently with evading this unacceptable consequence and attributing to human agents free will.

February 23, 2004, 7:00 p.m., Federated Church, Morris
Tamar Rudavsky (The Ohio State University, Columbus)
“The Soul Revisited: Immortality and Mortality in Medieval Jewish Philosophy”

Professor Rudavsky will examine why, unlike much of Scholastic philosophy, which emphasizes immortality of the soul, Jewish philosophers are much more ambivalent about the continued existence of the soul after the death of the body. She will argue that, in part, this difference reflects differing attitudes toward matter and bodies in medieval Jewish and Scholastic thought.

April 19, 2004, 7:00 p.m., Newman Center, Morris
David Hunt (Whittier College, Whittier)
“Is God a Fatalist?”

Professor Hunt will consider difficulties divine foreknowledge raises for divine freedom and agency: If God knows his own future actions, how can God confront his own foreknown actions as an active initiator rather than a passive actor, and how could he use any of this knowledge, for instance, to change the future?

Each speaker will also present an additional paper, on the day of that speaker's evening presentation, at 2:30 p.m., Prairie Lounge, UMM campus. The evening lectures are made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Humanities Commission in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Minnesota State Legislature, the U.S West Foundation, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Dean, University of Minnesota-Morris.