University College Faculty Updates

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tyndale University College faculty members are researching and teaching across a diverse range of academic disciplines. The following are some of the recent contributions that Tyndale faculty members have made to their field of research:

Dr. Richard Davis, Professor of Philosophy, and Dr. Paul Franks, Associate Professor of Philosophy, co-presented their paper at the Evangelical Philosophical Society Annual Meeting on November 18, in Atlanta, Georgia. Their lecture is titled “Plantinga’s Pro-Theism: Transworld Depravity, Incarnation, and Atonement.” In it, they attempt to show that Alvin Plantinga's well-known free will defense to the problem of evil is incompatible with his more recent "O Felix Culpa" theodicy. On November 8, Professor Davis preached at Cedarview Community Church’s Sunday service in Newmarket, Ontario. His sermon was titled “How to Distort the Gospel.”

Dr. Natasha Duquette, Associate Professor of English, presented her lecture "Visual and Poetic Afterlives of Saint-Pierre’s Paul et Virginie" at the Canadian Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies event, which took place from October 15 to October 17 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The episodic narrative of Bernardin Saint-Pierre’s Paul et Virginie (1787) generated a proliferation of visual and poetic vignettes by Parisian artists. Dr. Duquette’s paper looks at multiple examples, including Nicolas-René Jollain’s painting L’Hospitalité (1790) and Helen Maria William’s “Sonnet: To the Calbassia Tree” (1795). In Saint-Pierre’s novel, after the death of her husband, the widowed Madame de la Tour travels with the African character Mary from Madagascar to I’lle de France. Seeking to settle in the most solitary spot on the island, Madame de la Tour walks with Mary into the wilderness and finds Margaret, a working-class woman who has been impregnated and abandoned by her aristocratic seducer. This is the scene depicted by Jollain in L’Hospitalité. Interestingly, Jollain depicts the Madagascan Mary’s deep sympathy with Margaret, the mother of Paul, in his painting. Five years later, in 1795, Helen Maria Williams celebrated the power of female friendship in a sonnet she imagined Madame de la Tour writing. In “To the Calbassia Tree,” a poem inserted into her translation Paul and Virginia (1795), Williams praises the sublimity of a calabash tree planted by Mary in memory of her birthplace, Foullepointe. The imagery in “Sonnet: To the Calbassia Tree” deploys the sheltering nature of the tree as an emblem of hospitality and friendship. In the revolutionary 1790s, Jollain’s painting and Williams’ sonnet refocus attention on the radical centrality of egalitarian female friendships across racial and socioeconomic differences at the centre of Saint-Pierre’s novel.

Dr. Brad Faught, Professor of History, was a panelist at the Anglican Communion Alliance’s conference Desiring the Kingdom, hosted by Tyndale from October 22 to October 24. He also gave the Commemorative Lecture “The Making of an Africanist: Margery Perham from Sheffield to Somaliland” at the Oxford Alumni Weekend on September 19, at Nuffield College, Oxford.

Dr. Paul Franks gave two lectures at the Ideas Matter: Advocating a Christian Worldview event on October 14 and 15 at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas. His lectures were titled "Two Threats to the Christian Worldview: 'Anti-theism' and Religious Pluralism" and "The Importance of 'Renewing Your Mind' at University." These two lectures were part of an apologetics series at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. In the first lecture, Dr. Franks describes two current threats to the Christian worldview and gives an overview of how to respond. In the second lecture, he attempts to outline what developing the life of the mind looks like biblically. He highlights some of the unique obligations that students acquire as a result of their attending university. Both lectures were live-streamed and are available on the website here and here.

Dr. Franks also spoke at the Brackenridge Philosophy Symposium on October 16 at the University of Texas, in San Antonio. In his lecture, "Broadening Free Will Defenses," he attempts to show why responding to the problem of evil by employing propositions that are merely logically possible is a mistake and that, instead, one ought to only employ propositions that are consistent with other things one takes to be true.

Dr. Benjamin Reynolds, Associate Professor of New Testament, was asked to chair the morning session for John and Judaism: A Symposium hosted by Mercer University from November 18 to November 20, in Atlanta, Georgia. The chairing session was titled "John as a Source for Understanding Judaism." All of the papers at this symposium were given by world experts on the Gospel of John, including Craig R. Koester of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minneapolis; Catrin H. Williams, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, Wales; Harold Attridge, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut; and Gail R. O’Day, Wake Forest Divinity School, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


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