Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture Will Explore How Art Contributes to Human Flourishing

October 24, 2022
Faith Symposium

Scholars and practitioners will examine the place of art within flourishing Christian lives and communities

Media Contact: Shelby Cefaratti-Bertin, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-327-8012
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WACO, Texas (Oct. 24, 2022) – The annual Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture will focus on “Art Seeking Understanding  and feature more than 130 speakers from North America, Europe and Africa, representing a diverse range of fields, including philosophy, medicine, history, theology, engineering, ministry and literature. The symposium, hosted by Baylor University’s Institute for Faith and Learning (IFL), will take place Wednesday, Oct. 26, through Friday, Oct. 28. Most of the conference will be hosted on the Baylor campus in the Bill Daniel Student Center, 1311 S. Fifth St.

The symposium is the largest scholarly conference convened annually at Baylor. It will bring the resources of the Christian tradition to explore how art seeks understanding and thus contributes to human flourishing. The conference theme of art seeking understanding (ars quaerens intellectum) invites association with the notion of faith seeking understanding (fides quaerens intellectum).

“Art opens our imagination towards possibilities that transcend the self,” said Darin Davis, Ph.D., director of Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning and clinical professor of moral philosophy in the Honors Program. “This year’s symposium is special because it focuses on the connections between art, the divine and what it is to flourish individually and among others.”

“Outstanding scholars - philosophers, theologians, art historians and literary critics - are coming together with celebrated artists - painters, sculptors, composers of music and poets - to share insights about the kind of understanding conveyed by art,” said David Lyle Jeffrey, Ph.D., distinguished senior fellow at Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion and Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities. “The symposium should be an occasion for lively conversation and the emergence of ground-breaking insights.”

Invited speakers include the following:

  • Jeremy Begbie, Ph.D., Thomas A. Langford Distinguished Research Professor of Theology at Duke Divinity School and the McDonald Agape Director and founder of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts
  • Douwe Blumberg, sculptor
  • Katie Calloway, Ph.D., assistant professor of English at Baylor University
  • Natalie Carnes, Ph.D., associate professor of theology in the Department of Religion at Baylor University
  • Andrew de Sa, classically trained artist, working in the Washington D.C. area
  • Phillip Donnelly, Ph.D., director of the Great Texts program and professor of literature in the Honors College at Baylor University
  • Makoto Fujimura, contemporary painter, author and co-founder of Academy Kintsugi
  • Barry Harvey, Ph.D., professor of theology at Baylor University
  • Thomas Hibbs, Ph.D., The J. Newton Rayzor Sr. Professor of Philosophy and Dean Emeritus of the Honors College at Baylor University
  • Heidi J. Hornik, Ph.D., professor of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art and chair of Baylor University’s Department of Art and Art History
  • David Lyle Jeffrey, Ph.D., Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities at Baylor University, professor emeritus of English Literature at the University of Ottawa, guest professor at Peking University (Beijing), and honorary professor at the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing)
  • Robin Jensen, Ph.D., Patrick O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame
  • Travis Kroeker, Ph.D., professor of religious studies at McMaster University and member of the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition
  • Micheal O’Siadhail, poet
  • Kirk Richards, painter
  • Robert C. Roberts, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Baylor University and resident scholar of Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion
  • Brent Strawn, Ph.D., professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School and professor of law at Duke’s School of Law
  • Thomas Ward, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy at Baylor University

Each year, the Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture addresses significant issues from the vantage point of Christian intellectual traditions. It thereby embodies Baylor University’s aspiration to cultivate reflective engagement with the world of public ideas and issues, especially in a way that acknowledges the relevance of Christian questions, convictions and contributions. Featuring leading national and international scholars—and including a wide range of participants from varied denominational, private and public universities—the symposium is convened by Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning.

Previous symposia have addressed such topics as Faith and Film, the Spirit of Sports, the Bible and the Reformation, Stewardship of Creation, the Character of the University, and Accountability.

For a full schedule of events and additional speaker information, visit the Institute for Faith and Learning website or call 254-710-4805.


Celebrating its 25th year, the Institute for Faith and Learning was founded in 1997 to assist Baylor in achieving its mission of integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment and its goal of becoming a university of the first rank committed to its Baptist and Christian heritage. Since its founding, the Institute has developed several major programs in support of this mission, cultivating high-quality research, sponsoring conferences, mentoring students and encouraging teaching faithful to the Christian intellectual traditions.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.