Fall 2014 Update

updateDear Philosophy Majors and Friends,

Welcome back to a new year at Tyndale! I hope you all had wonderful, relaxing, and prosperous summers, and that you’re now eager to return to the world of academic philosophy, where despite the opinions of many Jesus nevertheless reigns over all (cf. Col. 1:15-17).

Let me quickly bring you up to speed on things around our department. This past year, we had one of our largest graduating classes ever with 13 students earning their BA in Philosophy. Four of those students applied to graduate programs in philosophy or theology; all four were accepted (!): Catherine Klausen (MA, Waterloo), Aleshia Johnson (MA, Yale Divinity), Jeremy Dawson (MA, Ryerson), and Andrew Brockman (MA, McGill). In some cases, our students received multiple offers of acceptance along with full funding.

Our alumni are also enjoying continued academic success after graduation. Ryan Fritze (BA ’12) was accepted to the Law program at Western, Job Morales (BA ’12) to the PhD in Philosophy at Western, and Kirk Lougheed (BA ’10) to the PhD in Philosophy at Monash University (Australia). So Aslan is on the move! We believe Jesus is doing something special at Tyndale Philosophy, as we seek to give him lordship of the entire department.

Last year I was on a research leave at Ryerson University, and completed a number of writing projects, including a paper with Prof. Franks entitled Counterpossibles and the ‘Terrible’ Divine Command Deity. That paper is coming out shortly in the journal Religious Studies (see here). In June we presented our research in Leeds, England at a conference with a good number of atheist philosophers in attendance. One philosopher from Italy told us that he was very encouraged to finally hear God being defended at the conference (unlike so many of the other sessions where even his existence and nature were being questioned).

As you return to Tyndale Philosophy this Fall, there are a few changes I should bring to your attention. The first is that Prof. Franks and I have switched roles. This year he will be a Templeton Research Fellow at Ryerson (see here and here), and I will be back at Tyndale in the classroom. In Prof. Franks’ absence, we are truly blessed to have some top-notch, Spirit-filled academics to assist us.

  • Natasha Duquette (MA, Toronto; PhD, Queens), Associate Dean of Tyndale University (link), will be teaching PHIL 323: Aesthetics (Winter 2015). Dr. Duquette comes to us from Biola University where she was Chair of their large English Department. Among her many areas of expertise, she is a specialist on Jane Austen. (See her 2013 book Jane Austen and the Arts.) In October, along with Fred Duquette, she will be presenting “Fanny Price Amidst the Philosophers” at the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) meeting in Montreal (link). Watch this video of Prof. Duquette speaking at Biola’s Centre for Christian Thought (video). You might also enjoy her splendid contribution to the EPS ‘Christ Shaped Philosophy Project’ (pdf). If you have the pre-reqs, you cannot miss Aesthetics!
  • Cyril Guerette (MPhil, Cambridge; PhD, Toronto) is teaching PHIL 171: Intro to Philosophy (Fall 2014) and PHIL 366: Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (Winter 2015). In addition to being the Senior Pastor of FreeChurch Toronto, Dr. Guerette has taught Philosophy and Religious Studies at Heritage Baptist College for over a decade. His doctoral work at Toronto was on Anselm’s poetry and philosophy. Upper-level PHIL majors, this is your chance to study Ancient & Medieval in depth. This course is offered only infrequently. And check out this interview with Prof. Guerette on 100 Huntley Street (video).
  • Timothy Blank (BA, Tyndale; MA, Ryerson) returns to his alma mater to teach PHIL 201: Critical Reasoning. His specialities are Logic and Philosophy of Religion. Prof. Blank’s MA thesis at Ryerson was on Open Theism and the Multiverse. He will be presenting some of his research this Fall in Dallas, TX at ‘The Randomness and Foreknowledge Conference’ (link). While a graduate student at Ryerson University, Prof. Blank taught logic and critical thinking to much acclaim. It is such a thrill to have him back.

One final note. Next week, beginning on Tuesday, September 2, I will be in my office at Tyndale for those of you who would like to come by to talk about your program, course selection, or just life in general. Please feel free to pop in for a visit!

See you all very soon. It’s great to have you back!

Dr. Davis