Lecture Series 2019-20

The William Penn Honors Program lecture series brings nationally and internationally recognized scholars and public intellectuals to George Fox to present on topics of crucial interest to Christians in the 21st century. Students are often afforded opportunities for lunch seminars with the speakers, giving students unique access to these Christian thought leaders.

Meghan Sullivan

Meghan Sullivan

“The Love Imperative — A Defense”

October 24, 2019, 7 pm
Hoover 105

We naturally think of love as discriminatory — you love your partner more than strangers, your friends more than your adversaries, and your home team over opponents.  Indeed, most philosophers — influenced by the Greeks — have worked hard to carve out a theory of when and why we are permitted to be so partial in our affections.  Universal love, if we can even understand it, seems only like an option for saints or hippies... not a realistic or practical ethical framework for most of us. This lecture will provoke you to think deeply about your philosophical approach to ethics and the motivation behind your morality.

Meghan Sullivan is Professor of Philosophy and the Rev. John A O’Brien Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame. Sullivan’s research tends to focus on philosophical problems concerning time, modality, rational planning, value theory, and religious belief (and sometimes all five at once). She has published work in many of the leading philosophy journals, including NousEthics and Philosophical Studies. Sullivan is deeply interested in the ways philosophy contributes to the good life and the best methods for promoting philosophical thought.

Andrea Palpant Dilley

Andrea Palpant Dilley

“Faith, Doubt, and Discipleship”

November 7, 2019, 7 pm
Canyon Commons

Andrea Palpant Dilley grew up as a missionary kid in Kenya and then left the church as a young adult. Now as an editor at Christianity Today, she looks back on her story and explores how “immersive discipleship” is key to keeping faith in a time of upheaval. Join us as a former skeptic reflects on finding God in the midst of spiritual uncertainty.

Andrea Palpant Dilley is a writer and editor. Prior to her time at Christianity Today, she worked as a documentary producer/director and freelance journalist. Her writing has appeared in Books and CultureRock and SlingGeez MagazineUtne ReaderFaith and Leadership, and Christianity Today. She is the author of Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt (Zondervan) and a contributor to the anthology Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical (Wipf and Stock). She lives with her husband and four kids in Austin, Texas.

Ray Barfield, MD, PhD

Ray Barfield, MD, PhD

“Seeking God in the Ruins: A Pediatric Oncologist's Story of Finding Beauty and Hope Amidst Suffering and Death”

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, 7 p.m.
Canyon Commons

Ray Barfield lost his Christian faith after witnessing the suffering of children with cancer. Though he later returned to Christianity, his doubts transformed his perspective on human flourishing. Join us as Barfield shares how it’s not so much the absence of suffering but our response to it that fosters wholeness.

Dr. Barfield is a pediatric oncologist and palliative care physician. He joined the faculties of Duke's Medical School and Divinity School in 2008. The first half of his career focused on improving immune therapies for childhood cancer and understanding the moral aspects of decision-making in medical research involving children. At Duke he has focused on the role of theology, humanities, and the arts in the formation of physicians. Dr. Barfield was the founding director of two programs at Duke: Pediatric Quality of Life and Palliative Care and Theology, Medicine, and Culture. Currently he is the director of the Medical Humanities Program for the Trent Center for Bioethics, Medical Humanities, and History of Medicine in the Medical School. He has published widely in medicine, philosophy, and literature.