The Comparison Project begins new lecture series on miracles

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Karen Zwier

The Comparison Project will begin a new lecture series for 2017-2019 on the theme of miracles. Karen Zwier, visiting assistant professor of philosophy and religion, will deliver the first lecture of the series, titled “Miracles: A Philosopher’s Stance.” The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 14th, at Sussman Theater in the Olmsted Center on Drake’s campus.

Zwier’s lecture will survey some of the ways in which philosophers have analyzed the concept of miracles and grappled with the question of the proper epistemic stance toward miracle reports.

Zwier is acting as interim director of The Comparison Project lecture series for the 2017–2018 year. Her research deals with philosophical and scientific methodology, as well as metaphysics of science. She concerns herself with questions about how—and if—metaphysical claims are engaged by empirical scientific methods. Her areas of specialty include philosophy of causation, history and philosophy of physics, and science and religion.

The Comparison Project enacts global philosophy of religion in the local Des Moines community. It is supported by the Drake University Center for the Humanities, Humanities Iowa, the Medbury Fund, the Drake University Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship, the Des Moines Area Religious Council, and Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation.

Future events in The Comparison Project's series on miracles include:

  • Thursday, October 5: “Miracles as Transforming Invitations to Wonder & Gratitude: An Islamic Perspective.” Umeyye Isra Yazicioglu, associate professor of Islamic studies, St. Joseph’s University.
  • Thursday, October 26: “Does ‘the Biblical God who acts’ really act?  Special divine action via quantum mechanics that is objective but not miraculous.” Robert J. Russell, founder and director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences; and Ian G. Barbour, Professor of theology and science, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.
  • Thursday, November 16: “On the Role of Miracles in the Vimalakirti Sutra in the Early Medieval China.” Shi Jingpeng, Minzu University of China, Beijing.

Each event is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Sussman Theater; admission is free. More information is available online.

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