Each year, the goal of the BLPR is to bring academics to Western Washington University to give two lectures regarding current research on philosophical and religious issues. After each lecture, there is a discussion time in which questions will be taken from the audience, opening the lectures up for informed, civil conversation.
In 2016, we welcome Dr. Jorge Garcia, who is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College to address the question of what racism is and why it's bad, and Dr. Luvell Anderson, who is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The University of Memphis to discuss James Baldwin on the legitimacy of the black language.
In 2015, we welcome Dr. Christian Miller, who is Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University, and Director of The Character Project, to address the question of whether people today have virtues, like honesty or compassion, and vices, like cruelty and dishonesty, and to suggest ways in which people today can improve their characters.
In 2014, we welcomed Dr. Linda Zagzebski who is the George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Philosophy and Kingfisher College Chair of the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at University of Oklahoma, to address the question of whether it is reasonable to believe in God.
In 2013 we welcomed Dr. Eleonore Stump who is the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at St. Louis University, to speak on the theological problem of human suffering. Over 1,200 people attended her lectures, entitled: The Story of Mary of Bethany: Heartbrokenness and the Problem of Suffering and The Problem of Suffering: A Thomistic Approach to Theodicy (no recording). An audio of Dr. Stump's talk at the Women's Study Group at First Pres, Bellingham, on the topic of faith and the problem of suffering, is also available: Audio recording.
In 2012 the BLPR was pleased to welcome Dr. Jeffrey Schloss, T.B. Walker Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Faith, Ethics, and Life Sciences, Westmont College, and Dr. Michael Murray, Senior Visiting Scholar, Franklin and Marshall College as our guest lecturers. Nearly 1,300 people attended the lectures, entitled: Theories of Religious Belief -- Does biology explain away God? and Natural Evil in a Fine-Tuned Universe -- Is evolutionary suffering incompatible with a good God?
In 2011, the BLPR was pleased to bring distinguished guest Dr. Alvin Plantinga, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, to the campus of Western Washington University. Over 1,400 people attended the lectures, entitled: God and Evolution: Where the Conflict Really Lies, and Does Science Show that Miracles Can’t Happen?