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2012 Seminars

Virtues and Vices
(For Chinese Scholars by Invitation Only)
June 25 - July 20, 2012

Directed by:
Christina Van Dyke, Calvin College
Kevin Timpe, Northwest Nazarene University

Funding provided by the John Templeton Foundation

Seminar Description

The main focus of this seminar will be to help Chinese professors develop courses on virtue ethics.  Related to this, the seminar will also help participants gain a deeper understanding of some basic historical and philosophical issues in the virtue ethics tradition.  We will begin with a historical overview of some of the virtue ethics tradition in the west and then alternate between discussions of key philosophical issues and pedagogical discussions.  Particular attention will be given to points of contact between virtue ethics and other issues in philosophy and cognate disciplines (e.g., psychology and theology).  At the end of the seminar, each participant will be expected to have developed a preliminary syllabus that would be suitable for virtue ethics course in China.

About the Directors

Dr. Christina Van Dyke is associate professor of Philosophy and Director of Gender Studies at Calvin College; she specializes in medieval philosophy (particularly metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of mind) and the philosophy of gender.  She has co-authored Aquinas’s Ethics: Metaphysical Foundations and Theological Context (with Rebecca DeYoung and Colleen McCluskey) and co-edited The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy (with Robert Pasnau), as well as publishing articles in the intersection of gender studies and Christianity. She is Executive Director for the Society of Christian Philosophers.

Dr. Kevin Timpe is an associate professor of philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University, and was a research fellow at St. Peter’s College, Oxford University during the 2010-2011 academic year. His research is focused on the metaphysics of free will and moral responsibility, and issues in the philosophy of religion. He is the author of Free Will: Sourcehood and its Alternatives (Continuum Press, 2008) and the editor of Arguing about Religion (Routledge, 2009) and Metaphysics and God (Routledge, 2009). He is co-editing, with Craig Boyd, Virtues and Their Vices (OUP, 2012). His recent publications have appeared in Oxford Bibliographies Online, Philosophical Studies, American Philosophical Quarterly, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Faith and Philosophy, and Religious Studies. Timpe also serves as the philosophy of religion area editor for the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

About the Speakers

Thomas Williams is Professor of Catholic Studies and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Florida. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University in 1988 and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1994. Before coming to the University of South Florida he taught at the University of Iowa, where he received the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Collegiate Teaching Award in 2005. He was Alvin Plantinga Fellow in the Center for Philosophy of Religion at Notre Dame in 2005-06.

Dr Williams's research interests are in medieval philosophy and theology (especially Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, and Duns Scotus) and the philosophy of religion. He recently revised the widely-used anthology Philosophy in the Middle Ages, originally edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, for Hackett Publishing Company (2010). Other recent work includes Anselm (Great Medieval Thinkers, Oxford U P, 2009, co-authored with Sandra Visser of Valparaiso University), a chapter on Duns Scotus for the Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Action (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), a chapter on human freedom and agency for the Oxford Handbook of Aquinas (Oxford U P, 2011), a paper on the response of American High Churchmen to the Oxford Movement (Anglican and Episcopal History, forthcoming), and a chapter on the Franciscans for the Oxford Handbook to the History of Ethics (Oxford U P, forthcoming). Current projects include a translation of Augustine’s Confessions, a translation of and commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Happiness and Treatise on Human Action (co-authored with Christina van Dyke of Calvin College), and John Duns Scotus: Readings in Ethics.

Dr Williams edited The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus (2003) and Thomas Aquinas: Disputed Questions on the Virtues (2005) and translated Augustine's On Free Choice of the Will (1993) and Anselm: Basic Writings (2007). He has contributed essays to the Cambridge Companions to Augustine, Anselm, Abelard, and Medieval Philosophy, and to the Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy . His articles have appeared in journals such as Anglican Theological Review, Modern Theology, Philosophy and Literature, Apeiron, Faith and Philosophy, Journal of the History of Philosophy, and Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie. He is a subject editor for medieval philosophy for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. In 2007 he recorded a course, Reason and Faith: Philosophy in the Middle Ages, for The Teaching Company. He serves as an assisting priest at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Tampa and sings in the chamber choir of the Cathedral Church of St Peter in St Petersburg.

This seminar is by invitation only.


Seminars @ Calvin
Calvin College
1855 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids MI 49546-4402
fax 616.526.6682