Seminar – Seven Deadly Sins in the Christian Tradition June 21 – July 2nd, 2010

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Seven Deadly Sins (Capital Vices) in the Christian Tradition
June 21 – July 2nd, 2010

Directed by Rebecca DeYoung, Robert Kruschwitz
Guest Speakers J. William Harmless, Paul J. Wadell

Seminar Description
This two-week seminar on the seven deadly sinsor, capital vicesin the Christian tradition will explore a philosophical understanding of the vices as moral concepts that played a central role in spiritual formation and cultural critique from the 4th to the 13th century.

We aim to deepen understanding of the vices among Christian scholars by embedding a rigorous conceptual analysis of the vices within their historical and theological tradition and the Christian practices that gave them shape. With this background in hand, Christian scholars, teachers, and pastors can more accurately and winsomely articulate for contemporary audiences what is valuable in the vices tradition, counter contemporary secular treatments (or mistreatments) of the sins, and enrich impoverished Christian conceptions of their own traditions and practices in the church and community. Finally, we will explore ways to apply this scholarly research fruitfully in Christian practices and pedagogy in worship and in the classroom.

About the Directors
Dr. Rebecca DeYoung is associate professor of philosophy at Calvin College. Her work on the virtues and vices includes Glittering Vices (Brazos 2009), and Aquinass Ethics (Notre Dame, 2009), as well as several articles and book chapters on courage, sloth, pusillanimity, gluttony, hope and fear, and despair. She has also published curricula on the vices for both young people and adults with Faith Alive Christian Resources. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 2000 and has been teaching philosophy at Calvin College, her alma mater, since 1998. She and her husband Scot have four children ages 4, 6, 9 and 11.

Dr. Robert Kruschwitz is the creator and general editor of Christian Reflection, the Center for Christian Ethics innovative quarterly series in faith and ethics for church laypersons. Among the ethics courses he teaches at Baylor is a popular introductory course on the Seven Deadly Sins. Previously he taught for twenty-one years at Georgetown College (Kentucky) where he had chaired the faculty and the philosophy department. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. degree from Georgetown College. An early member of the Society of Christian Philosophers (1982) and a founder of the Baptist Association of Philosophy Teachers (1988), he received the George Walker Redding Faculty Award for Outstanding Christian Service from Georgetown College in 1997 for his leadership in integrating Christian faith with teaching and research. With Robert C. Roberts, he co-edited The Virtues (Wadsworth, 1987), a pioneering anthology of recent essays on moral character. His articles and reviews on ethics have appeared in Faith and Philosophy, Perspectives in Religious Studies, Faculty Dialogue, The Thomist, and Christian Reflection. He is married to Vicki Kruschwitz, who is taking a sabbatical from her career in international transportation with IBM and Lexmark International, and is the familys genealogist

Applicant Information
Who may Apply
We would strongly prefer applicants…

  1. practiced in the Christian tradition,
  2. eager to engage in serious Christian scholarship and pedagogy, and
  3. with graduate-level training in moral philosophy or moral theology (or closely related field).
  4. Applicants should have earned a Ph.D. or terminal degree in their field.
  5. We will aim to balance the seminar with applicants at various stages of their careers.
  6. Participants should already have experience teaching or researching in the field of moral philosophy, moral theology, or psychology.

How to Apply
To apply, an applicant must submit the application form and arrange for submission of a letter of recommendation. In addition to general applicant information, the application form will require:

  • curriculum vitae or resume
  • a letter stating reason for interest in the topic, noting any previous experience publishing or teaching on the topic of virtue or vice
  • an abstract proposing a potential contribution based on the seminar-e.g., conference talk (specify venue), scholarly research (specify journal, genre, audience), teaching (specify venue), or dissemination to the larger Christian community, ecclesiastical or academic, in other ways

Name and contact information for two (2) references – one of these references may also be used for your letter of recommendation.

A letter of recommendation should be sent from the recommender directly to the Seminars office at and must include the applicant’s name and “Seven Deadly Sins” in the subject line.

You will receive an email confirmation within 10 days of submitting your complete application and receipt of your letter of recommendation. If you do not hear from us, please call us to determine whether your complete application has been received.

The application deadline is January 15, 2010. Participants will be selected after the application deadline. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered. Applicants will be notified of their status by March 1, 2010.

Thanks so much,
Ruth Groenhout, Interim Director
Mary Bennett, Coordinator
Katie Robrahn, Dept Assistant
Seminars @ Calvin
1855 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546-4402
ph: 616.526.8558, fax: 616.526.6682