“Educating for Wisdom in the 21st Century University,” the 2011 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture will convene from Oct. 27 to 28.
Among the featured speakers in the international event are Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann; Andrew Delbanco, named in 2001 by TIME Magazine as “American’s Best Social Critic”; Anthony Kronman, former dean of Yale Law School; and Candace Vogler, chair of the philosophy department at the University of Chicago.
Baylor University President Ken Starr will join Wheaton College President Philip Ryken and Robert Spitzer, a member of the Society of Jesus and former president of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., for a panel discussion open to the public on “Educating for Wisdom in Christian Universities” from 10:30 a.m. until noon on Friday, Oct. 28.
The symposium will be hosted by the Institute for Faith and Learning at Baylor. It has drawn participants from around the nation as well as Canada, Great Britain and Australia, said Dr. Darin Davis, director of the institute and an assistant professor of philosophy. More than 120 presenters representing 60 institutions and disciplines – among them the humanities, business, sciences and engineering – will gather at Baylor.
“This topic is resonating with so many people. We believe our symposium provides a rich opportunity for students, professors and administrators to think broadly about the nature and purpose of higher education,” Davis said.
He cited that while the pursuit and transmission of wisdom historically has been at the heart of education, some critics claim that wisdom has been relegated to second-class status among universities’ other goals. Separated from other aims – such as discovering new knowledge or imparting marketable skills to eventual job seekers – wisdom too often is seen as the sole province of a few disciplines like philosophy and theology, and not at the center of the entire university’s work and purpose. he said.
The public may attend plenary sessions, held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. each of the three evenings, for free. Current Baylor faculty, staff and students may attend all conference activities for free except for meals. Registration is required by Baylor attendees who are presenting or wishing to dine.