Philosophy and Theology Stream

Friday 15 March 6:45 pm (dinner) and Saturday 16 March (all day) 2019

New College, Holywell Street, Oxford

During the day on Friday 15 March: Join in the first day of the Humanities Stream, the Natural Sciences Stream, or the Social Sciences Stream.

Conveners: Max Baker-Hytch (Philosophy, Wycliffe Hall)

Student co-conveners: Ruby Shao (Philosophy, Exeter College) and Mari Ovsepyan (Theology, Pembroke College)

How should we pursue the truth, Christ, relating to Him not as an object but as a person, one of the three persons of God, who is love?

Integrating study with worship challenges Christians across the university, but particularly philosophers and theologians. Our work penetrates to the very foundation of our beliefs. Disciplinary assumptions about religion, ethics, and other existential questions can contradict the God we encounter in our daily activities, quiet times, and churches. Meanwhile, courses along with research projects may expose tensions in our views that resist simple solutions. And classmates, colleagues, students, supervisors, or the broader public often push us to concretely serve our neighbors as Christ would.

The Philosophy and Theology Stream will help postgraduates, postdocs and academics, drawing on experience from many years, to discuss how our scholarship and spirituality not only inform but also strengthen each other. We will explore uniting our hearts and heads so as to wholly champion the Kingdom of God.

We welcome past as well as new attendees to the Philosophy and Theology Stream on Saturday 16 March. On Friday 15 March, participants are encouraged to attend one of the other Streams: Humanities, Natural Sciences, or Social Sciences. Each combination will advance the philosophical and theological quest for wisdom, supplying a holistic vision of learning in faith.

Eventbrite - Seeking Wisdom: Discipline Streams Conference 2019

Please note eligibility criteria: This event is for University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes postgraduates, postdocs, and academic staff, or by request to

Friday 15 March

You may join in the first day of the Humanities Stream, Natural Sciences Stream, or Social Sciences Stream.

The Philosophy and Theology Stream will join the other Streams for the following events at New College.

5:30 pm Prayer in the Chapel

6:00 pm Drinks at the Bar

6:45 pm Dinner in the Hall

Saturday 16 March

9:00 am Registration begins at New College in the North Undercroft with coffee & tea

9:15 am Prayer in the Chapel of New College

9:45 am Seminar: Existentialism, sin, and salvation - Kate Kirkpatrick (Religion, Philosophy, and Culture, King’s College London)

Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were two of the twentieth century's most famous, and famously atheist, intellectuals. But their atheism was not of an evidentialist, theologically ill-informed variety. Both took the concept of sin seriously, and this talk will offer some reasons to keep reading Being and Nothingness and The Second Sex in a theological register.

11:00 am Coffee & Tea

11:30 am Seminar: The inner life shapes the outer work - Bethany Sollereder (Theology and Religion, University of Oxford)

Our inner lives affect, and ultimately transform, our learning. The way we treat our work, whether with love or a will to power, inevitably shapes how we treat people and the culture of scholarship we build. But to approach work with the motivations of love rather than power might mean imperilling our career prospects. How do we choose?

1:00 pm Lunch in the Hall

2:00 pm Seminar: The challenge of relativism - Roger Trigg (Philosophy and Theology, University of Oxford)

Christians in philosophy should be prepared to argue against ideas that undermine, or corrode, the basis of Christian faith. Relativism is an example, in all its many forms, some of them seductive. Yet if a view is false, Christians should be able to marshal cogent arguments that can be widely accepted. Christians who are philosophers do not need to argue as explicitly Christian philosophers, even when their faith influences their choice of subject.

3:30 pm Coffee & Tea

4:00 pm Panel: Intellectual paths to faith - Kate Kirkpatrick, Bethany Sollereder, Roger Trigg

How can Christian philosophers and theologians encourage people on a path to faith through intellectual means?

5:30 pm Closing