2015-2016 Lecture Series: Faith and Doubt

Fall 2015 marks the beginning of a three-part series on the theological virtues and their opposites–faith and doubt, hope and despair, and love and hate. While these virtues are part of Christian reflection about a good life, they have important resonances in classical philosophy and in other religious traditions. This year’s lecture series begins with a consideration of faith and doubt in the tradition of virtue ethics, then takes up faith, doubt and their analogues in modern Jewish philosophy, contemporary Buddhism, modern literature, and Islam. The series ends with a study of Soren Kierkegaard who, for many people, represents the classic exploration of faith and doubt in modern theology. The series continues in the spring semester with lectures on the films of Robert Bresson and the teaching of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. Can there be faith without doubt, or is doubt necessary for faith? This question lies at the heart of religious reflection in many different traditions. These lectures will explore the possibility of an answer.

 

“Faith (and Doubt?) Among the Virtues”

Jennifer Herdt, Gilbert L. Stark Professor of Christian Ethics, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Yale Divinity School

Wednesday, September 16, 2015  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

 

“Belief and Unbelief: A Straussian Perspective”

Michael Zank, Professor of Religion, Director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, Boston University

Wednesday, September 30, 2015  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

 

“Spiritual Achievement and Faith in Contemporary Buddhist Thought”

Dale Wright, David B. and Mary H. Gamble Professor in Religion, Occidental College

Wednesday, October 14, 2015  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

 

“’The Quality of Its Doubt': T.S. Eliot on Tennyson

Christopher Ricks, William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities, Director of the Editorial Institute, Boston University

Wednesday, October 28, 2015  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

 

“Faith, Doubt, and the Future of Islam”

Charles Kimball, Presidential Professor and Director of Religious Studies, University of Oklahoma

Wednesday, November 4, 2015  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

 

“Kierkegaard on Doubt, Faith, and Uncertainty”

C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities, Baylor University

Wednesday, December 9, 2015  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

 

“The Devil Probably: Death and Despair in the Late Films of Robert Bresson”

James Quandt, Senior Programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival Cinematheque and frequent contributor to Artforum International

Wednesday, March 2, 2016  5 p.m.
Location TBA

 

“Krishna’s Instruction in the Bhagavad Gita: Many Doubts, One Faith”

Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Parkman Professor of Divinity, Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School

Wednesday, March 23, 2016  5 p.m.
Location TBA

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