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2010 Seminars

Seven Deadly Sins (Capital Vices) in the Christian Tradition
June 21 - July 2, 2010

Directed by
Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, Robert Kruschwitz





Co-sponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Seminar Description

This two-week seminar on the seven deadly sins—or, capital vices—in the Christian tradition will explore a philosophical understanding of the vices as moral concepts that played a central role in spiritual formation and cultural critique from the 4th to the 13th century.

We aim to deepen understanding of the vices among Christian scholars by embedding a rigorous conceptual analysis of the vices within their historical and theological tradition and the Christian practices that gave them shape. With this background in hand, Christian scholars, teachers, and pastors can more accurately and winsomely articulate for contemporary audiences what is valuable in the vices tradition, counter contemporary secular treatments (or mistreatments) of the sins, and enrich impoverished Christian conceptions of their own traditions and practices in the church and community. Finally, we will explore ways to apply this scholarly research fruitfully in Christian practices and pedagogy in worship and in the classroom.

About the Directors

Dr. Rebecca DeYoung is associate professor of philosophy at Calvin College. Her work on the virtues and vices includes Glittering Vices (Brazos 2009), and Aquinas’s Ethics (Notre Dame, 2009), as well as several articles and book chapters on courage, sloth, pusillanimity, gluttony, hope and fear, and despair. She has also published curricula on the vices for both young people and adults with Faith Alive Christian Resources. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 2000 and has been teaching philosophy at Calvin College, her alma mater, since 1998. She and her husband Scot have four children ages 4, 6, 9 and 11.

Dr. Robert Kruschwitz is the creator and general editor of Christian Reflection, the Center for Christian Ethics’ innovative quarterly series in faith and ethics for church laypersons. Among the ethics courses he teaches at Baylor is a popular introductory course on the Seven Deadly Sins. Previously he taught for twenty-one years at Georgetown College (Kentucky) where he had chaired the faculty and the philosophy department. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. degree from Georgetown College. An early member of the Society of Christian Philosophers (1982) and a founder of the Baptist Association of Philosophy Teachers (1988), he received the George Walker Redding Faculty Award for Outstanding Christian Service from Georgetown College in 1997 for his leadership in integrating Christian faith with teaching and research. With Robert C. Roberts, he co-edited The Virtues (Wadsworth, 1987), a pioneering anthology of recent essays on moral character. His articles and reviews on ethics have appeared in Faith and Philosophy, Perspectives in Religious Studies, Faculty Dialogue, The Thomist, and Christian Reflection. He is married to Vicki Kruschwitz, who is taking a sabbatical from her career in international transportation with IBM and Lexmark International, and is the family’s genealogist.

About the Guest Speakers

WadellDr. Paul Wadell is a Professor of Religious Studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame, his Master of Divinity and M.A. in theology from Catholic Theological Union, and his B.A. from Bellarmine University in Louisville. He is the author of several books, including Friendship and the Moral Life; Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship; and Happiness and the Christian Moral Life: An Introduction to Christian Ethics. He has also published many articles on Christian morality and spirituality.

HarmlessDr. J. William Harmless, S.J. is Professor of Historical Theology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He has been a member of the Society of Jesus since 1978 and specializes in the history and theology of early Christianity. He is the author of Augustine and the Catechumenate (Liturgical Press, 1995), Desert Christians: An Introduction to the Literature of Early Monasticism (Oxford University Press, 2004), and Mystics (Oxford University Press, 2008). He contributed recently to the Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies (Oxford University Press, 2008). His newest book, Augustine In His Own Words, will be published by Catholic University of America Press in the summer of 2010.

Seminars @ Calvin
Calvin College
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Grand Rapids MI 49546-4402
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