Baylor Center for Christian Philosophy kicks off with inaugural ceremony

Baylor University’s department of philosophy and Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) came together and launched a unique area intersecting two subject matters not many associate together.

The Baylor Center for Christian Philosophy (BCCP) is a place where scholars from religion and philosophy can collaborate and create content in a singular, virtual, space with a variety of hosting locations. Associate professor of philosophy and program director of the Baylor Center for Christian Philosophy, Trent G. Dougherty, Ph.D., created The Center similar to those at the University of Notre Dame, Rutgers University and Biola University.

Dougherty shared what the center’s main purpose on campus and how it uniquely highlight both faith and scholarship.

“The Center pulls together top scholars from across the disciplines at Baylor,” Dougherty said. “Who have a strong interest in the integration of distinctively Christian faith and top academic scholarship.”

Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, and Co-Director of the Program in Philosophical Studies of Religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion, Francis Beckwith is a fellow of The Center.

Stephen Wykstra, a professor emeritus of philosophy at Calvin College and the inaugural recipient of the Alvin Plantinga Award for Excellence in Christian Philosophy, will be giving a public lecture

To kick off the center, Stephen Wykstra spoke in the Armstrong Browning Library, with a reception to follow. Wykstra is a professor emeritus of philosophy at Calvin College as well as the inaugural recipient of the Alvin Plantinga Award for Excellence in Christian Philosophy.

Beckwith described what his role as a fellow contributer to the overall production of the newly founded Center.

“I’ll be involved with helping Trent Dougherty, my colleague, who’s in leadership in the center, bring in speakers, participating in conferences and perhaps helping him write grants for research projects,” Beckwith said.

In like manner, Dougherty described his role and duties as program director.

“My primary duties are to canvas the fellows of the center for grant ideas and help coach them through the process.”

J. Newton Rayzor, Sr. Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, John Haldane, Ph.D. is a fellow of The Center and feels as though this is the perfect time for such a place.

“This new initiative, the Baylor Center for Christian Philosophy is a very appropriate and fitting one for an institution like this,” Haldane said. “An institution that was founded on the belief and importance of the Christian faith and Christian practice being connected to an education purpose of forming young men and women for the world.”

The partnership between the philosophy department, ISR and the Templeton Religion Trust is important and Beckwith described the role of Templeton Religion Trust on campus, prior to the opening of the Center.

“Templeton use to be called CRIAD, served as a center on campus where faculty of different disciplines who were interested in religion can receive funding and create programs and centers like the center for christian philosophy,” Beckwith said.

This center will be hosting several events, scholarly and otherwise, that will bring notable individuals in both fields together. For more information on their upcoming events this fall you can go to their BCCP home website.

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